Mariane Ibrahim, a closely watched dealer whose namesake gallery has locations in Chicago and Paris, will add a third exhibition space to her portfolio. Next February, the gallery will open in Mexico City, timed to the country’s main art fair Zona Maco.
“We are going to where the future is, not where the present moment is,” Ibrahim told ARTnews in an email interview. “Mexico City is, for us, the future of the space, and a place we have had a strong connection with, prior to any market consideration.”
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The two-level space, measuring over 10,000 square feet, will be located at Río Pánuco 36 Col. Renacimiento, in a 19th-century building on in the city’s Cuauhtémoc neighbor, not far San Rafael and Roma. Interestingly enough, the new location’s space has an architectural resonance with the Paris space, as it is modeled after that city’s iconic Hausmann style. She described the Mexico City gallery as “a hybrid non-conventional space, with a fragmented floor plan, offering a unique visitor experience. We are pleased to host shows in a building with charm, character, and history, not a white cube traditional space.”
The inaugural exhibition will be dedicated to a solo show of Clotilde Jiménez, an Afro-Latino artist now based in Mexico City.
Ibrahim, who first opened in Seattle a decade ago, relocated her gallery to Chicago in 2019 and opened in Paris two years later. This move is significant on a macro level in that it makes her one of the first major international dealers to expand to Mexico City. “From the beginning, we have always been steadfast about shaping new beginnings. This third space is a testament to that permanence, to further support our artist careers while offering new and possibilities for curatorial projects,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim has participated in past editions of Zona Maco, where she first began to connect deeply with the Mexican collecting scene, adding that she has always held in esteem the art scene’s “experimental emphasis and the curatorial focus, which is instilled into the emerging and renowned institutions and galleries,” she said, adding, “We are hoping to join the dynamic existing art scene, to contribute to the developments. The capital is adding a lot to our program, and similarly, we are hoping to add to the Mexican art scene.”
With the expansion to Mexico City, Ibrahim said she is most excited about offering the artists she currently represents—among them Amoako Boafo, Peter Uka, Ayana V. Jackson, and Carmen Neely—more opportunities to show their work in a new context. For many of her artists, who were involved in the decision with expanding to Mexico, this will be the first time their work will be exhibited in the country.
“Mexico will offer a reinforcement and continuity in our program. However, we are continuing to grow, and we want to develop,” she said. “We want to continue to push the boundaries and feel Mexico City will be receptive to our program due to its heritage. Mexico is a place of cultural and demographic confluences. Being in between two oceans, and close to the Americas, the Caribbean and South America, it marks a confluence of many cultures that are still present of African, European, and indigenous descent.”