The Galería de Arte Mexicano was founded in 1935 by Inés Amor. This was in response to the closing of a temporary exhibit gallery in the Palacio de Bellas Artes. It was the first contemporary art gallery established in Mexico City and has proven essential to the cultural and artistic life of the country. The gallery began by exhibiting the work of artists like Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Miguel Covarrubias, Rufino Tamayo, Frida Kahlo and Agustín Lazo, among many others. The name of the gallery was even suggested by Diego Rivera himself.
The gallery has also been deeply involved with artists and exhibitions held all over Mexico and abroad. The gallery has organized more than 1,500 Mexican and international exhibitions during its 85-year history. The gallery is also home to one of the most complete archives of modern and contemporary art in the country. Included are letters, photographs, worksheets, catalogs, books, and press clippings. The archive is frequently consulted by scholars, researchers and curators from all over the world.
Since its inception, the gallery’s primary interest has been in the promotion and sale of the works of Mexican artists and international artists closely linked to Mexico. Special emphasis has gone into the publication of catalogs, monographs, and books, always with the collaboration of important art critics. The gallery has also been integral to the gestation and support of some of the country’s most important public and private collections.
The Galería de Arte Mexicano is a historical site all on its own. The International Surrealism Exhibition of 1940 proved widely influential. It was organized by the gallery. André Breton presented his lecture series at the gallery’s colonia Juarez location in 1938. But the gallery has never stopped following the most important trends and movements, generation after generation. Art critic Luis Cardoza y Aragón once wrote: “The Galería de Arte Mexicano has evolved along with painting, thus serving, nationally and internationally, contemporary art in Mexico.”