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Coleccion Jumex moves closer to Mexico City action

June 10, 2009 | 12:04 pm

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La Coleccion Jumex, one of the largest private collections of contemporary art open to the public in Latin America, is planning to move from its location on the outskirts of Mexico City closer to the action in the capital’s center.

A release issued by the Fundacion Jumex confirms the appointment of David Chipperfield Architects, a London-based firm, to design a new building for the collection of more than 1,300 pieces.

The art museum is currently in a 15,000-square-foot white cube of a building on the grounds of the giant Jumex juice plant in the city of Ecatepec. Eugenio Lopez, heir to the Jumex family fortune, began collecting contemporary art years ago, and at one time owned and operated a gallery in Beverly Hills.

Ecatepec, more than a half-hour drive from central Mexico City, is a gritty working-class area. It’s better known as a transit point for migrants hopping trains to the United States than for its vibrant cultural scene.

The new gallery will be in the Granada neighborhood of Mexico City, which is a stone’s throw from the affluent Polanco borough that is home to many of the embassies here in el Distrito Federal (or Federal District), as the capital is officially known.

Construction of the gallery is expected to start in March 2010 and be completed by 2011, in time for the collection’s 10th anniversary.

You can read more about Eugenio Lopez in this profile by the L.A. Times’ Reed Johnson. Lopez is “a steadfast patron of up-and-coming Mexican artists such as Gabriel Orozco and Damian Ortega, helping to shift their careers into high gear,” Johnson writes.

David Chipperfield Architects has designed a number of museums around the world, including the Anchorage Museum in Alaska, the Figge Art Museum in Iowa and the Ansaldo City of Cultures in Milan, Italy.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Image: Drawings of the new building plans for the Coleccion Jumex, provided by the Jumex Foundation.

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