Recent Articles
Lindsay August-Salazar on her inspirations, influences and ideals
Meet the Artist
Lindsay August-Salazar – “Art has the capacity to expand my deeper drive and interest in human expression'
Colleen Blackard - 'I want to build worlds to share'
Artist to Watch
Colleen Blackard - 'From an early age I found it easier to communicate with gestures and pictures than with words'
Bepi Ghiotti on his photographs of rivers and mountains
Meet the Artist
Bepi Ghiotti - 'An artwork is never still although what it represents might seem like it is'
Catherine Opie tells us how she got this amazing shot
Catherine Opie tells us how she shot this powerful photograph at the first ever women's march
Meet the Artist
Rey Zorro - 'When we went on holiday we’d put chairs on the beach to look for UFOs in the night sky. This was normal at home; we never spoke about it as being ‘out of this world’
Meet the people behind Assembly
Meet the Dealer
Meet the people behind Assembly - a new kind of gallery
The Artspace Art for Life Interview with Adam Clayton
How I Collect
The Artspace Art for Life Interview with Adam Clayton
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer on her new Artspace edition
Artist to Watch
'I was really trying to paint what it feels like to be living in the fall of human civilization' - Celeste Dupuy-Spencer on her powerful new Artspace edition
William Eric Brown on the latest Artspace auction
Meet the Artist
‘I’m most comfortable in that state of unknowing - is it real or imagined?’ - William Eric Brown
TM Davy on his benefit auction contribution
Meet the Artist
'Unhappy and happy flow back and forth like a tide making art. I’m working to be OK with that' – TM Davy
Anthony Goicolea on his new Artspace Edition
Meet the Artist
'I am most inspired by those weird transitional moments or in-between states where things undergo metamorphosis' - Anthony Goicolea
Jerry The Marble Faun on the latest Artspace Auction
Meet the Artist
‘It takes a lot of energy to tap into whatever is trapped inside the material - the process is like a releasing a spirit’ – Jerry The Marble Faun
Garrett Chingery on the latest Artspace auction
Meet the Artist
‘My interests include the relationship of one’s self to the world, surrealism and mystery’ - Garrett Chingery
Glennda Testone on the latest Artspace auction
"We have an opportunity to not just 'return to normal' but to create a new normal" – Glennda Testone
Maxi Cohen on A Movement in Water
Meet the Artist
Maxi Cohen - "I find being in water - lakes, rivers, ocean, hot springs - is where I am most creative, where I sink into deep connection with myself"

The Phaidon Folio

Technicolor Towers and the World's Largest Mural: Discover The Public Art of Mexico City


Technicolor Towers and the World's Largest Mural: Discover The Public Art of Mexico City
David Alfaro Siqueiros, The People to the University, 1952

Mexico City's trendy new art scene filled with artist-run schools and spaces comes from a long history of support for the arts. Many of its public works make reference to historic sites and events, as with Espacio Escultórico referencing the pyramid of Cuicuilco or the murals of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, by the most important Mexican artists of the time, elucidating various eras in Mexico's long history. From Phaidon's Art & Place, we've chosen three of the most awe-inspiring and impressive public works in Mexico City today. Next time you're in town for a studio visit or Material Art Fair, be sure to visit everything reprinted below.


Ciudad Satélite
Mathias Goeritz and Luis Barragán


Mathias Goeritz and Luis Barragan, Cinco Torres, 1958Cinco Torres, 1958 


Cinco Torres, known by the inhabitants of Mexico City as Torres de Satélite, are five concrete towers in triangular prism shapes of different heights (from 31–54 m / 103–176 ft) created by sculptor Mathias Goeritz (1915–90) and architect Luis Barragán (1902–88) as sculptural monuments designed to welcome people to the new district of Ciudad Satélite, situated to the north of Mexico City. The Ciudad Satélite development project had been assigned to renowned architect and urban planner Mario Pani, who invited Barragán and Goeritz to participate by creating a public work of art. The towers are sited on a principal highway in the area and have become a distinctive landmark that can be seen from far away. 

Originally conceived as a monument of seven towers in reference to cabbalistic numerology, with the tallest tower being 198 m (650 ft) high, the initial project was scaled down due to budgetary constraints. Goeritz had wanted to paint all the towers the same color with some tonal variations but they finally decided to use markedly different colors: white, yellow, blue, and orange. The colors were changed on several occasions: for the 1968 Olympic Games the towers were all painted orange, in 1989 one of the towers was painted blue and another one red, and finally in 2008 they were changed back to their original colors. 

Barragán had been inspired by the medieval towers of San Gimignano, in Tuscany, which he had visited in 1951. At the same time, Cinco Torres also represents several of Goeritz’s aesthetic principles, such as his concept of emotional architecture, in which the spiritual qualities and beauty of buildings are considered to be more significant than their functional values. In Cinco Torres the minimalism and impressive verticality of the towers express the spiritual quality of the monument. The towers became a symbol of a new type of urban monumental sculpture that broke with conventional architectural traditions of the past. The Cinco Torres embody the spirit of modern utopia of 1950s Mexico City. 



Polyforum Siqueiros
David Alfaro Siqueiros


David Alfaro Siqueiros, Polyforum Siqueiros, 1960-71Polyforum Siqueiros, 1960-71 


The world’s largest mural, The March of Humanity on Earth and Toward the Cosmos by David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974), represents the culmination of what could be described as “the Mexican mural renaissance.” Created between 1960 and 1971, The March of Humanity is complex and, in many ways, is atypical of Mexican muralism. Its various panels are located on the exterior and interior of the Polyforum, a building created specifically for them in the Parque de la Lama, in southern Mexico City. The entire cultural and commercial complex–which also includes the Hotel de México, a major tourist hotel–was commissioned by wealthy Mexican industrialist and modern art patron Manuel Suárez, also known for his conservative politics. 

Twelve mural panels jut out from the Polyforum’s exterior, like facets on a diamond. The building’s interior is in the shape of an ellipse, with fresco panels again forming facets on the walls, and decorating the ceiling. Painted in acrylic on asbestos and cement, the murals also incorporate low-relief sculpture. Baroque swirls of color, light and dynamic figures animate the panels, incorporating influences from abstraction and expressionism. The theme is ambitious and universal: human beings’ struggle throughout history for a better society. 


David Alfaro Siqueiros, Polyforum Siqueiros, 1960-1971 (interior)Polyforum Siqueiros, 1960-1971 (interior)


In contrast to other works by Siqueiros, here there are no explicit political references, although the murals clearly respond to 1960s Mexican politics, when the government was promoting tourism and international ties. Designed with tourists in mind, the complex still welcomes visitors who arrive daily on buses to tour the site. Viewers can admire the interior murals from a rotating stage inside the Polyforum, while enjoying a recorded light and sound show narrated by Siqueiros himself.




Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Mathais Goeritz, Helen Escobedo, Manuel Felguérez, Hersúa, Juan O’Gorman, Sebastián, Federico Silva, David Alfaro Siqueiros


John O'Gorman, Historical Representation of Culture, 1952John O'Gorman, Historical Representation of Culture, 1952


Originally founded in 1551, for many centuries the various faculties of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) were scattered across the centre of Mexico City. In 1954 they were finally brought together at the University Campus (CU), a single site. 

Expansive murals adorn a number of the campus buildings and highlight the university’s role in Mexico’s history. 

The murals were created by some of the most important artists of the time, including David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974), whose work can be seen in the Rectoría building (including The People to the University, the University to the People), and Juan O’Gorman (1905–82), who was responsible for the facade of the Central Library. 


Mathias Goeritz, Federico Silva, Sebastiá¡n, Helen Escobedo, Manuel Felguérez and Hersúa Espacio Escultórico (Sculptural Space), 1979Mathias Goeritz, Federico Silva, Sebastiá¡n, Helen Escobedo, Manuel Felguérez and Hersúa, Espacio Escultórico (Sculptural Space), 1979


The outside walls of the monolithic library building present the largest mural in the university complex. O’Gorman’s Historical Representation of Culture entirely covers the walls’ surface with a mosaic in natural stone. Each wall portrays a different phase in Mexico’s history with which O’Gorman associated an emblem. The north wall, dedicated to Pre-Hispanic Mexico, is dominated by an eagle on a prickly pear devouring a snake, symbolizing the foundation of the capital of the Aztec Empire. The south wall, depicting the colonial past, shows the coat of arms of the House of Habsburg, the reigning dynasty at the time of the Conquest. The east wall with the atom represents modern Mexico, after the revolutionary struggles of the workers and peasants. The west wall represents the university itself and displays the institution’s motto: Por mi raza hablará el espíritu (On behalf of my race the spirit will speak). 

Beyond the teaching areas lies the Centro Cultural Universitario. Created in the 1970s, its artistic legacy includes the Espacio Escultórico, a public area designed by a collective of six sculptors. This collaboration resulted in a circular, crater-like space made of volcanic lava over which tower sixty-four 4 m (13 ft) tall polyhedral monuments. 




a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.


through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.


authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.


with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.


Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.