He’s Heir to the Jumex Empire, but His Main Focus Is Art

LOS ANGELES — To your left in the lobby are Damien Hirst’s dots. Over the fire is a Louise Bourgeois spider. Opposite the grasp mattress are Cy Twombly’s swirls.

Los Angeles just isn’t essentially generally known as a metropolis of artwork collectors, but nestled smack dab in Beverly Hills is amongst the extra energetic consumers in the market: Eugenio López Alonso, inheritor to the Grupo Jumex fruit-juice empire in Mexico, who has landed on an ArtNews checklist of the high 200 collectors in the world for at the least 5 years operating.

Many credit score López, 53, with serving to elevate Mexico’s up to date artwork scene by means of the establishment he based in 2013, Museo Jumex. Every work on show there throughout the Zona Maco artwork truthful in May was by an artist from or dwelling in Mexico, Artnet famous.

A Louise Bourgeois sculpture, “Spider IV” (1996), hanging above the fire in the collector’s lounge.Credit…Michelle Groskopf for The New York Times

With Museo Jumex, designed by David Chipperfield in the Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City, López joined the ranks of collectors who’ve began their very own non-public museums.

“Jumex was as transformational to Mexico City as was the opening of the great anthropology museum in 1964,” stated Marc Porter, the chairman of Christie’s Americas. “Eugenio’s museum confidently re-established the capital as a center of the contemporary art world.”

Before the museum, López ran the Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, a nonprofit in Ecatepec that he established in 2001 with help from Grupo Jumex, the firm based by his father, Eugenio López Rodea.

The basis — which has been folded into the museum — provides awards to curators and artists for postgraduate research overseas; underwrites and lends artwork to main exhibitions; and helps quite a lot of instructional packages in Mexico and the United States.

The Museo Jumex did face some upheaval final 12 months in the wake of a number of departures, most notably that of the inventive director Julieta González and the adjunct director Rosario Nadal, after the directorship quietly modified palms. (Neither could possibly be reached for remark, and López declined to focus on this.)

The museum was additionally criticized by some in 2015 for canceling an exhibition of the work of the Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch, who is thought for his violent pictures involving carcasses. (Patrick Charpenel resigned as director amid the controversy over the cancellation of the present; he’s now director of El Museo del Barrio and didn’t reply to a request for remark.) López stated he had needed to postpone the exhibition, not cancel it, and current it as a part of a four-artist present, “the way it was supposed to be.”

Dan Flavin’s “Untitled (Monument for V. Tatlin),” the Russian artist and architect, from 1964.Credit…Stephen Flavin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Michelle Groskopf for The New York TimesMaurizio Cattelan’s “Love Lasts Forever (Elaine Dannheisser),” 1997-2000.Credit…Michelle Groskopf for The New York Times

With greater than 2,800 works, López’s assortment is amongst the largest in Latin America. In 2006, The Los Angeles Times put López’s whole spending on artwork to date at $50 million to $80 million; López stated that determine was “higher now,” although he wouldn’t be particular.

His style is daring and eclectic, with works from blue-chip artists like Donald Judd (considered one of his vertically hung “stack” initiatives) and Jeff Koons (a sculpture in the yard) alongside items by Mexican artists akin to Gabriel Orozco, Mariana Castillo Deball, José Dávila and Pia Camil — all of it bought in session with Esthella Provas, an in depth pal and artwork adviser.

His home is a feast for the eyes of any artwork lover, with work on each floor — right here a Catalan, there a Richter, round that nook a Rauschenberg. His residence in Mexico City can be awash in heavy hitters, akin to Richard Serra, Julie Mehretu, Lucio Fontana and Ellsworth Kelly.

Ed Ruscha’s “Virtue,” from 1973, hangs over López’s mattress in Los Angeles.Credit…Michelle Groskopf for The New York Times

López serves on the board of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and as vice chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the place, with its previous president Jeffrey Soros, he led a fund-raising drive in 2013 to set up a $100 million endowment.

In a latest interview at his midcentury Los Angeles residence, López talked about growing his deep love for artwork.

For 12 years, beginning in 1994, you ran the up to date artwork gallery Chac Mool in Los Angeles with Esthella, who has remained your artwork adviser. How did that have affect your turning into a collector?

Every piece that got here to the gallery, I didn’t need to let it go.

What was the first main piece you bought?

A Robert Motherwell at Sotheby’s for $160,000 in 1995 once I was 26 years outdated. It was the first time in my life I had an actual ardour for one thing.

How did you find out about artwork?

I went to museums — bothering individuals, asking them questions — curators, collectors, studying about galleries. I lied to my father about going to the manufacturing unit for equipment in Dallas once I was actually going to the Menil Collection opening [in Houston].

A cigarette sculpture by Claes Oldenburg, titled “Fagend Study” (1976), and ash trays from López’s assortment.Credit…Michelle Groskopf for The New York Times

How have you ever determined what to buy?

I all the time purchased one thing that I liked. When I purchased this Brice Marden, my father stated not more than $300,000. I used to be like, “I want it, I want it, I want it.” I purchased it for $260,000.

What made you resolve to begin the basis?

In 1995, I visited Saatchi’s assortment in London and thought, “I can do something like this in Mexico” — share my artwork with individuals, like the IBM Collection, like Chase Manhattan Bank’s, like the DuPont [company] in Europe.

What are your favourite genres?

I like the Abstract Expressionists and the Pop Art.

Your favourite artist?

Twombly. I’ve six Twomblys. It’s one thing I can’t clarify to you. Why? Because I’ve by no means seen that form of aesthetic finished in another murals. It seems to be like a baby’s scrawl.

Cy Twombly’s “Untitled (Roma)” (1961) hangs throughout from López’s mattress. He has six works by the artist.Credit…Michelle Groskopf for The New York Times

You don’t promote artwork fairly often. What do you consider those that method artwork as an funding?

They see it like the inventory market proper now, and artwork just isn’t the inventory market. There is one thing improper there. Of course, you may’t assist it while you see an artist promote for $three million and you are feeling clever and you are feeling unimaginable and you are feeling, “What a genius I am,” but it wasn’t due to that. There are many items of artwork that I purchased, and that I nonetheless love, and nothing occurred to them. But I nonetheless love them.

You divide your time between Los Angeles and Mexico. What makes you retain coming again right here?

The happiest moments of my life have been on this home. I’m Mexican; Mexico is my nice love. But my hometown is Los Angeles. There isn’t any different place the place I really feel extra snug in my life.