The Neocolonial Essence in the Modern Mexican Horizon

The Neocolonial Essence in the Modern Mexican Horizon

The meeting point between design and architecture can be found in this presentation dedicated to architect Manuel Parra by Clásicos Mexicanos. This is the first time the gallery has an exhibition dedicated to the work created by this mastermind of the Neocolonial style.

Dellekamp/Schleich Arquitectos and The University of Texas at Austin collaborate with Clásicos Mexicanos to exhibit the architect’s furniture, as well as part of his personal archive, which will throw some light on the creative process for the construction of conversations between spaces and his pieces.

The “Early Mexican Handmade Furniture”, as Parra named it, recovered the techniques, proportions, and materials from the Mexican vernacular era; in short, he meant to recover the tradition and insisted on using national materials. Pitchforks found along with parts of old furniture, combined with workmanship, were the inspiration and creation for one of the most interesting collections from the 20th century’s modern movement.

Who is Manuel Parra? Enigmatic and with a different and not very characteristic essence for the time, this Mexican architect (1911-1997) built more than 100 houses throughout his career, always true to his Neocolonial style, but without neglecting the innovations from the modern movement. Overshadowed by the fascination towards functionalist architecture, Parra has not been studied much, more so his work as an interior architect and designer. Devoted to the use of local woods, he designed a great number of pieces with them, which kept a conversation with architecture; those pieces of furniture exploited the almost plastic qualities of the raw material, by the hand of traditional labor.

In his archive, there is also an endless collection of documents, which show the study of architectural and plastic shapes from Mexico’s colonial past, in addition to the popular expressions, color, and materiality Parra employed to provide all his work with a historical essence.

Manuel Parra Manuel Parra and friends.

Clásicos Mexicanos is a gallery dedicated to the 20th century’s modern design. Through historical archival research, they remake pieces, which have not been manufactured in years, sometimes since the days they were first designed, to put them at the reach of architects, collectors, and interior designers.

Within their catalogue Mathias Goeritz, Ricardo Legorreta, Armando Franco, Antonio Lack, Agustín Hernández, and Po Shung can be found. As research evolves, the list grows longer. Over 35 designs have been rescued to this day and are in the market thanks to facsimile creations.

Where: Tres Picos 65, Polanco