At Salón Cosa, things were on full display. In its second edition on Oct. 27-31, the temporary art fair and exhibit gathered original and experimental works by 13 creators with roots in Guadalajara, Mexico. Created by gallerist Daniela Elbahara and curator Mario Ballesteros, Salón Cosa explored objects without categorization or hierarchy to generate conversation and reflection.

Mexican art faces influence from indigenous, Spanish, and modern pop culture aesthetics that intermingle and overlap to create wildly complex and contradictory results. Guadalajara, as a major Mexican city and home to a design scene all its own, formed a perfect locale for the second edition of Salón Cosa.

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Alejandro García Contreras, “Mirrors.” Photo by Manuel Zuniga, courtesy of Salón Cosa

The exhibit landed in Guadalajara with the intention to “open our vision to new horizons, to a free and exceptional territory. A territory whose deeply traditional roots are now reinvented,” the curators said in anticipation of the event. “Salón Cosa Guadalajara will be a unique opportunity to discover and celebrate the most interesting and original local artists.”

The first edition of Salón Cosa last spring set a precedent for itself as a social and somewhat uncanny space in Luis Barragán’s Jardín 17 in Mexico City. Last weekend’s gathering made its temporary home in the Bellwort Hotel, within prolific Mexican architect Julio de la Peña Lomelín’s 1967 Edificio Rosales. The modern, Brutalist building opened its terrace to the public for the first time for the event.

 

The natural landscape and organic forms of Mexico made their way into many objects on display. Examples range across styles and aesthetics, from the cactus-inspired “Biznaga” vases created by artisanal collective Chamula Hecho a Mano with Pablo Pajarito, to Ricardo Luevanos’ maximalist pendant lamp featuring a bright flamingo.

In a starker display of modernity, Monterrey-based artist Leo Marz showcased a freestanding hanger made of brass, steel, and resin titled “It Keeps You from Feeling Alone.”

Among the other furniture, clothing, vessels, etc. are clothing by Julia and Renata Franco, pioneers of Guadalajara’s design scene, the “Loop” chair of strategically bent wood by Marcelo Suro, and the “Loto” poufs and banquettes created by Caterina Moretti of Peca Studio and local artisans.

The diverse array of objects was extremely intentional—the curators eliminated participation fees to encourage riskier and more original artist proposals. The resulting objects scattered across the Brutalist backdrop of Edificio Rosales feel curated yet irreverent, meaningful yet absurd—certainly enough so to generate the complex and contradictory environment for reflection the curators intended.

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