The Jumex collection is the largest private collection of contemporary art in Latin America and includes works by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Gabriel Orozco, Cy Twombly, Jeff Koons, Andreas Gurky, Darren Almond, Tacita Dean, Olafur Eliasson, Martin Kippenberger, Carl Hopgood, Bruce Nauman, David Ostrowski and Francis Alys. The collection was started by Eugenio Lopez Alonso, the sole heir to the Jumex fruit juice fortune and an art patron who studied contemporary art while researching how to put together a collection that would encourage the development of Mexican artists of his generation.
Alonso initially bought pieces by local and foreign artists before broadening his scope and focus as a collector. He created the Fundacion Jumex, supported by a team of art professionals with the aim of promoting contemporary art programmes that included collecting, education and research, as well as funding artists and museums.
One of the key aims of the Foundation was to foster the production and discussion of contemporary art, diffusing information about it, while also finding innovative ways to promote art and culture. The Foundation accomplishes this through the Colección Jumex, the Foundation’s art collection, and the Museo Jumex, which provides a place to exhibit contemporary art, as well as to hold a programme of activities relating to it. The Fundación Jumex furthers its mission through these complementary programmes which aim to help visitors understand and appreciate contemporary art.
The Foundation was formally established in March 2001 with Lopez’s collection exhibited publicly for the first time at the Galeria Jumex; a 15,000 square-foot white cube space designed by architect, Gerardo Garcia, on the site of the still working Grupo Jumex juice plant in Ecatepec, a location in an industrial area on the outskirts of Mexico City. Despite its challenging location, the contemporary art space provided a richly programmed, minimal, industrial-scaled gallery.
The Museo Jumex, which opened in November 2013, was designed by architect, David Chipperfield. The new museum, which has a distinctive sawtooth form, is also located in a former industrial area which has been re-developed into a commercial and retail centre. The architect has created fluid space between the inside and outside, which offers a shaded cafe, terrace and balconies that enable visitors to the museum to be both inside and outdoors. The Foundation also sponsors education initiatives and distributes art grants.