Julio Martínez Barnetche

Gallery page for artist and sculptor Julio Martínez Barnetche, Mexico City. As artist Martinez works between sculpture, furniture and objects, carving precious and semi-precious stones, woods and metals.


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JULIO MARTINEZ BARNETCHE in the outdoor section of his ‘jungle’ workshop. With finished and semi-finished sculptures and stones ready to be carved into sculptures.

JULIO MARTINEZ BARNETCHE in the outdoor section of his ‘jungle’ workshop. With finished and semi-finished sculptures and stones ready to be carved into sculptures.

The aesthetic marriage of materials is forever a dance between tension and harmony, permanent and transient and soft and hard.
— Julio Martinez Barnetche, 2018


Julio Martínez Barnetche is a mexican stone sculptor working precious and semiprecious stones. His oeuvre entails not only sculpture, but also furniture in special wood and stone combinations, jewellery and tableware and cooking devices in volcanic stone. Martinez Barnetche is a prolific sculptor of precious and semi-precious stones, wood and metals, working between pure sculpture, furniture and objects. He often takes his materials as he encounters them naturally. In the case of the wood, he finds it in nature, in the garden of friends or from architectural salvage sites. In some pieces handcrafted forgery is applied. This is where the artist explores the target, the piece's final destination. One piece for example became a small side table, reminiscent of a heart. The series Shi Ho is a furniture series created in 2014. Shi Ho, is a word from the Mazateco language, from the area of Oaxaca, meaning a 'union'. An essential aspect of the Shi ho collection is its unique approach to combining the soft and hard, natural and man-made materials to create contrasting sensations. Shi Ho relies on a variety of origins, types and methods of handling and combining wood, stone and metal. There is a spiritual side to the entire creative process. 

My lifelong relationship within the small communities nestled in the mountainous landscape has become an integral and intimate part of my life and an inspiration for my creativity.
— Julio Martínez Barnetche, 2018


The first impression one gets when facing the work of Julio Martínez Barnetche is of a series of sculptures of petrous materials, with overwhelming strength, and developed with a virtuous use of materials and technique.
His sculptures work as petrous dispositives in which the interlocutor begins an interpretative journey that can be compared to one’s experience of a mental construction; the inner images denoted are of a formal assertiveness paradoxically intertwined with a subtle and delicate beauty. This allows the creation of an expressive whole executed accordingly with each glance, with each tactile interaction, with each kinesthetic sensation that surrounds the piece.

When mentioning the dispositif we refer to Deleuze’s concept: Lines of visibility, of enunciation, lines of strengths, lines of subjectivation, lines of caesura, of fissure, of fracture, that intertwine and mix, compose the dispositives. Some lines end up meeting with others, generating new ones by means of variations or even by mutations due to appropriation. The work of Julio Martínez Barnetche has enunciating lines that link the scientific and artistic discourse: it connects both languages. We can appraise a sensitive approximation through the shape, the space and the volume with an intimate dialogue with bi-dimensional images, which present us the microcosm of the work itself. It is so that the dispositif generates stress lines between the macro and microcosm. The appropriation does not end with the contemplation, we own the piece when we find and remove the limit between what can be physically perceived and the richness of the other visual proposal, which is evident through the petrographic analysis. With these approaches we can erase the borderline between art and science.

The projects of Julio Martínez Barnetche are dispositives that can transmute, that allow experimentation, that can establish a dialogue and demand a creative interpretation from the observer, who is always looking for the latest, considering this as what is “current”, something we own in this moment, and tending to what Boris Groys mentions as a “positive requirement” in his book `On the New ́.

TEXT BY: Ofelia Martínez García




2000-2008 Experience in alternative farming techniques.

1995-1998 Introduction to sculpting under the guidance of Fernando Arnaud (architect, painter and sculptor), Manuel Fuentes (sculptor).

1997 Carpentry course at CECAO (Arts and Trades Training Center), Valle de Bravo, Mexico State, a branch of CETIS (Technological, Industrial and Service Studies Centre), ICATI (Industrial and Technical Job Training Institute).

1995-1997 Undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from the Metropolitan Autonomous University, Xochimilco, Mexico City.

1994 Film studies at City College of San Francisco, California. Artistic and Professional Activities

2006 - 2010 Creation and design of the La Jó Glí sculpture collection.

1999 - 2010 Founding, teaching and coordination of the C. Tlasahuates workshop, which operates as a training and work centre for the production of original sculptures in wood and stone.



2016 Rompe Olas, Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, Ciudad de México.
2016 La Jo Glí, Vitrina del MUAC/UNAM. Ciudad de México.

2014 Uso, alimentación y ritual, Casa Lamm. Ciudad de México
2013-2014 Mares Pétreos. Escultura en jade. Palacio de Minería, UNAM. Ciudad de México.

2013-2014 Vasijas de Pulque y otros utensilios para la alimentación; Cuarto Congreso Nacional del Maguey y el Pulque. Museo de la Memoria Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala.

2000 Los cantos de la piedra. Galería Gilberto Aceves Navarro UNIVERSIDAD AUTÓNOMA METROPOLITANA Xochimilco, Ciudad de México.


2018 MEXICO DESIGN TIME. Marion Friedmann Gallery. Londres, Inglaterra Reino Unido

2016 Silla Mexicana. Museo Franz Mayer. Ciudad de México.

2014 De ida y vuelta. Diseno contemporáneo en México. Centro Nacional de las Artes, Ciudad de Mexico.

2006 Bienal de escultura de pequeño formato del Estado de Morelos, Jardín Borda, Cuernavaca, Morelos.

2002 Tiempo, Piedra y Barro. Exposición que se inauguró en el Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte, Ciudad Universitaria, en la Ciudad de México, para despues itinerar por Oaxaca, Merida, Toluca y Puebla, entre otras ciudades.

1998 Exposición Colectiva de Escultura y Pintura CENTRO MÉDICO SIGLO XXI. Ciudad de Mexico.