At Zona Maco, Agnes’s First Solo Exhibition is Bestrewn With Symbols of Luck

When the Guatemala City-based duo Agnes first burst onto the scene in 2017, they did so in a decidedly iconic fashion: Their debut collection was immediately embraced by the international design community, with splashy press clips, interesting placements, and influential commissions (AGO Projects founders Rodman Primack and Rudy Weissenberg asked the two to create a rug for their own CDMX home, which was later featured in our book, How to Live With Objects). Now AGO is spotlighting Agnes’s sophomore collection at their Mexico City–based gallery as part of the designers’ first solo exhibition, which opened during last month’s Zona Maco festivities. 

Two years in the making, the Amuletos exhibition goes beyond Guatemala and celebrates Agnes founders Estefanía de Ros and Gustavo Quintana’s broader Latin American roots — mining the heritage of multiple cultures from the region to inform a playful collection of craft-forward furniture pieces. Amongst them are a pill-shaped mirror decorated with colorful symbols of luck from different cultures, pinned around the outside of its frame. The same pictograms cover the curved back of a wooden chair, from which horn-like arms protrude, as well as the surfaces of round tables and stools, and a large amorphous rug. Meanwhile, an armchair upholstered in a patchwork of pastel pink shades features a bun-shaped base and a half-torus backrest, which is repeated as a connected trio to form a three-seater sofa in yellow. All are displayed against panels of oxblood red, a color that’s inescapable at the moment.

A strong Guatemalan influence is also present in the collection. The Constellation table was born out of a trip the duo took to Lake Atitlan, a place where stargazing hasn’t yet been spoiled by light pollution. “We were moved to translate this phenomenon, the reflection of the stars upon the mirror of water, the seeking of meaning, the symbols of fortune,” say the pair, who worked with locally-based Marcelino Guoz to sculpt a table from Tikal Green marble, and inlay its surface with brass shapes based on neoclassical marquetry furniture of the 18th and 19th centuries. Each piece in the limited run has a different array of brass symbols, which are forged and set into the marble by tombstone engravers. “The symbols and constellations inlayed in the table give tangible form to the connections that guide human lives — the search for luck, love, and fortune,” de Ros and Quintana said. Amuletos is on view until April 7.