José Esparza Chong Cuy, Photo: Camila Cossio



Michael Darling, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, announced today that internationally recognized curator and writer José Esparza Chong Cuy has been appointed the new Pamela Alper Associate Curator at the MCA. Esparza was most recently based in Mexico City, where he was the Associate Curator at the Museo Jumex. He will assume his new position at the MCA on April 18, 2016.

Posted 8 April 2016

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“When I met José over a year ago on a tour at the Museo Jumex, I was immediately impressed by his poise and intellect,” says Darling. “With our longstanding interest in art from Latin America, we now have in José an articulate advocate for presenting the best work being made in that region. Mexico City is one of the most exciting cities in the world for contemporary art, and José’s deep knowledge of that scene will immediately enrich our dialogues here at the MCA. José is also active in architecture and design circles and that knowledge, alongside his expertise in contemporary art, will find a natural fit here at the MCA where we regularly venture out into parallel fields of activity. I think he will immediately become a great asset to our community.”
Esparza said, "I am genuinely thrilled to be joining the MCA, an institution I have long admired. As a museum that has consistently been at the forefront of artistic advancement, I am honored to work alongside its stellar team of professionals spearheaded by Madeleine Grynsztejn and Michael Darling, to continue pursuing an open, inclusive, and dynamic cultural environment. It is an exciting moment for the MCA, as it enters the threshold of its fifty-year history, and I look forward to be a part of it."
José Esparza Chong Cuy aims to connect art with contemporary and historic world events, to situate it within a larger social, economic, and political discourse. As an Associate Curator at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City, he co-curated The Natural Order of Things (2016), an exhibition with works from the Colección Jumex; curated The Permanent Revolution (2014), a large-scale performance commission and exhibition of the work of Mexican artist Pedro Reyes; and launched a curatorial series titled Passengers (2015), which looks at relevant international artistic figures who passed through Mexico during the 20th century. The series was launched with an exhibition focused on the eminent Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski, and activated the Colección Jumex by displaying works by Danish artist Joachim Koester. Esparza has also organized ambitious events such as the 89plus Americas Marathon, curated by Hans Urich Obrist and Simon Castets.
In 2013, Esparza was curator of the New Publics program at the Lisbon Architecture Triennial titled Close, Closer. The program took place entirely at a public square, where debates and performances addressed Portugal’s critical socioeconomic situation and its relationship to the urban context.
Esparza received a MS in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from Columbia University in 2012, and a bachelor in architecture from Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Guadalajara, Mexico. He also studied at the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid in Spain. Esparza is a former Curatorial Associate of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, and a Research Fellow at the New Museum for Contemporary Art. He has written and commissioned pieces for Domus magazine, and was their New York correspondent, focusing on Latin American art practices.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum is generously supported by its Board of Trustees; individual and corporate members; private and corporate foundations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and government agencies. Programming is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Museum capital improvements are supported by a Public Museum Capital Grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The MCA is a proud member of Museums in the Park and receives major support from the Chicago Park District. Air transportation is provided by American Airlines. The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago Avenue, one block east of Michigan Avenue. The museum and sculpture garden are open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm and Tuesday from 10 am to 8 pm. The museum is closed on Monday.  Tuesdays are Community Free Days with free admission for Illinois residents.  Suggested general admission is $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Children 12 years of age and under, MCA members, and members of the military are admitted free. Information about MCA exhibitions, programs, and special events is available on the MCA website at or by phone at 312.280.2660.
220 E Chicago Ave
Chicago IL 60611
+1 (312) 280-2660

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