Reposting from NYTimes:
Kurimanzutto Expands (Way) North
When Kurimanzutto opened in Mexico City in 1999, Mónica Manzutto and her husband, José Kuri, along with the artist Gabriel Orozco, wanted to create something different from an ordinary commercial gallery. Ideas like participation, art spaces as “platforms” or “laboratories,” and “provisional” projects were popular at the time.
During its history, Kurimanzutto has achieved international stature by following that anti-model. Instead of settling on a fixed location for the gallery, sites and spaces were chosen, based on the nature and requirements of each project. The gallery has been turned into a convenience store by Mr. Orozco, an installation with cars by Thomas Hirschhorn and exhibitions have appeared in the Mexico City International Airport, a local restaurant and a shipping container.
The gallery has a permanent home in the Condesa section of Mexico City, a gorgeously sprawling spread in a former lumberyard and industrial bakery redesigned by the architect Alberto Kalach. There are open wood trusses and stone courtyards with vegetation chosen to attract butterflies.
When Kurimanzutto New York debuts officially on May 3 at 22 East 65th Street (it’s also open this Saturday) it will be something of a homecoming, since the idea for the original gallery was hatched here. But it will still be fluid, adapting to the ideas of artists it shows — both Mexican and international — by moving around the city. It will be run by Lissa McClure and Bree Zucker. (Ms. McClure started at the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York and Ms. Zucker at Kurimanzutto in Mexico City.)
Ms. McClure, the senior director, said the gallery was still committed to establishing a “hybrid space that is inclusive, experimental, surprising.”
“One that functions outside the commercial gallery box,” she said. “And one that resists people’s expectations of what it means for an international gallery to open a space in New York.”
Ms. Zucker said that they had chosen the Upper East Side because it is outside the mass of Chelsea. It is, of course, a neighborhood where many curators and collectors stay when they visit New York, but “the Upper East Side is an area redefining itself.”
“For artists, this presents an interesting opportunity,” she added.
The inaugural exhibition, “Abraham Cruzvillegas: Autocontusión,” is a good introduction to the Kurimanzutto ethos. Suspended from the ceiling throughout the space are 55 wooden constructions that look like a cross between Aleksandr Rodchenko’s Constructivist sculpture and a torn-up fruit vendor’s stand. Painted pink and green, the colors pay homage to the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica.
The dangling sculptures were made from found scraps and festooned with objects donated by Mr. Cruzvillegas’s friends and associates. Some are perishable: turmeric, ginger, avocados, or a whole prosciutto ham. There is also a prickly pear cactus, which is native to parts of the Northeast. Other objects are oddball silly, like an old snowshoe or a deflated basketball.
Making art, which is theoretically prized and precious, out of cast-off objects is one of the basic paradoxes central to many projects that have appeared in the Mexico City gallery, which has presented work by artists like Sarah Lucas, Damián Ortega, Allora & Calzadilla, Adrián Villar Rojas, Danh Vo and Dr. Lakra (Jerónimo López Ramírez).
The new gallery is based around a different bunch of paradoxes: from being a big fish in a small pond to another gallery in a vast sea of art; from having a deluxe art space to a more modest one. “The Mexican gallery scene is relatively small but incredibly vibrant,” Ms. McClure said, “and Kurimanzutto is at the heart of that scene and deeply entrenched in the cultural identity of the city. We’re able to take risks that are more challenging in New York.”
Moving to New York, she added, “will bring us back to the fundamentals of Kurimanzutto when it first opened in Mexico City, where we’ll look for spaces around the city according to the artists’ ideas and projects.”
Both women see New York as providing an international platform and a larger audience for their artists. Ms. Zucker said that she was initially drawn to Kurimanzutto because it represented “movers and shakers from all over Latin America.” The gallery is intent on carrying the discussion that’s sprung from their work and ideas farther north.