The exhibition, first in a series titled “The Brushes of History”, offered an ample panorama of the works realized from 1680 to 1750 by new Spanish or european artists with themes relating to the military and spiritual conquest, as well as the portents and spiritual glories, of New Spain. The exhibition, formed by 86 large format, colorful oil paintings, plus 70 other pieces including folding screens, watercolors and prints, was mounted in the large open spaces of the temporary exhibitions hall of the National Art Museum. They were displayed in such a way that they could keep a strong presence, separate from the original architectural structure marked by columns and molded fittings.

To organize the presentation of the works according to the strict iconographic and generic groupings determined by the curatorial program, the spaces were subdivided forming various laterally disposed rooms along a circulation gallery that emphasized the original functions of the building. This ephemeral architecture, realized with low cost materials, defined with clarity the visitors’ route according to the presentation of each of the groups and of each work in particular, in spaces of suitable dimensions for the large formats of the paintings, and allowing for their independent viewing and contemplation.

The dividing walls and accesses to the rooms, which integrate the building’s columns while minimizing their presence, formed an exhibition structure in direct relation to the constructive characteristics of the building, using two tones of grays to differentiate the ephemeral and the permanent elements. In this way the architectural and exhibition structures complemented each other, offering a double reading of the spaces.

Location: Temporary exhibition at the National Art Museum, Centro Historical Center, Mexico City

Year: 1999

Client: Patronato del Museo Nacional de Arte, A.C.

Project Scope: Project direction and museography.

Exhibition area: 1200 m2

Project director: Jorge Agostoni

Collaborators: Juan Cristian Gutiérrez Maupomé, Mara Vázquez Moreno, Vicente Romero Rubí, Margarita Zavala Yáñez, Ilyana Martínez Crowther, Salvador Cruz Rodríguez, Hilario Rangel Ramírez, José Fidel Solís Flores, Rosendo Rubí Pérez, Valentín Pérez Pérez