The exhibition of MASA Gallery in a remarkable abandoned mansion about twenty minutes west of Condesa unites furniture, art, and design providing a space for exhibiting the pieces by designers and artists living in Mexico. The gallery is an excellent place for getting acquainted and discussing contemporary functional art which is closely connected with design. The exhibition includes various pieces produced by the individual as well as groups of designers. The list of artists whose pieces are presented at the show includes such names as Frida Escobedo, Tezontle Studio, Alma Allen, Jerónimo Reyes-Retana, Yann Gertsberger, Jose Dávilla, and many others. The works of such artists as Ewe Studio and Brian Thoreen deserve a special mention.
Photography by Genevieve Lutkin
Ewe is a design studio focused on cultivating the traditions of Mexican artisan culture. The studio tries to present the traditional forms and objects in a new way with the use of modern materials and techniques. The pieces produced by this team are a vivid example of contemporary functional art that has entered the daily life of modern society. Such pieces as furniture items, vases, and lamps combine the aesthetics of true pieces of art and the functionality of conventional interior design items. This combination is characteristic of functional art that has changed the traditional understanding of pieces of art as museum objects and made them enter the lives of ordinary people.
Brian Thoreen is an American designer who lives in San Miguel Chapultepec. He is famous for his approach to creating different objects, installations, and furniture items with reference to the materials that are used in their production. In other words, he lays emphasis not only on the appearance of a particular object but also on the material that he uses to create it. Thoreen’s works have been displayed throughout LA and illustrate the concept of functional art such as multiple installations he did with Chapter clothing brand. His rubber coffee tables combine the principles of functional art and Thoreen’s unique approach to choosing materials: he chooses a waterproof material to make an interior design item that is supposed to somehow interact with water.