This article was previously published in the special edition, ALUMNAE (December 2018).
Alexandra Morris has been working successfully in New York and Mexico’s art business world since 2010. After an undergraduate degree in History of Art, she completed a Courtauld master’s in British Modernism in 2008, attributed her academic writing skills and career-oriented mindset to her time spent at the institute. She went on to complete a Christie’s master’s degree in History of Art and Art-World Practice, and shortly after, Morris founded ‘Alex Em/Fine Art’; an art collection consulting firm, overseeing private art collections in the US, UK, the Middle East, and Latin America.
In 2017, Morris opened a gallery in New York’s Lower East Side - PROXYCO, the brainchild of Morris and her colleague Laura Saenz. The gallery focuses on emerging and mid-career artists from Latin America, especially from Mexico and Colombia; the name derived from the concept of the gallery as a ‘proxy’, representative of artists abroad, and ‘co-,’ indicating the key themes of contemporary art, connection, contemplation, and collecting. PROXYCO’s goal:
“Through the work of the gallery, we also aim to advance understanding of the role of Latin American art in international art movements (past and present) and to provide a global platform for artists working today.”
Morris began the gallery after noticing a need for more representation of Latin American artists, specifically in the New York art scene. Morris herself is from Mexico, and the gallery gives an opportunity for discussion around artists that would not usually get to show their art in blue-chip galleries or museums. The idea of the gallery as a ‘proxy’ is especially important at this pivotal point in art history, where an overwhelming surge of non-Western art is being placed in the spotlight due to social pressure and rising interest. PROXYCO takes advantage of this and, powered by two Latin American women, is building a platform for artists that distinguishes them rather than fetishizing them - a common problem when non-Western art is curated, collected, or sold by Western galleries.
Through her work, Morris has created a unique and empowering platform for Latin American artists and is helping the progression towards a fully inclusive art scene.