Art market Magazine January 2017

 
ART FAIR 
 
Arco Madrid forges ahead 
hy travel all…
ART FAIR

Arco Madrid forges ahead
hy travel all the way to Spain in the middle of winter when you just have to wait a few months to find the top international galleries at Art Basel
– in a springtime ambiance, to boot? Despite a saturated offer, Arco Madrid is confident that it will lure collectors from all over the world to its 36th edition (22 to 26 February). "Given that a fair opens almost every two weeks nowadays," says Arco director Carlos Urroz, "we need to stand out a little, otherwise nobody will fly all the way to see us." Arco fine-tunes its specificity through its selection of galleries (200 this year) – including names you won't necessarily see in Basel, Miami or New York –

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ARCOmadrid, from 22 to 26 February, South Convention and Congress Centre, avenida Del Partenón, 5, 28042 Madrid, Spain. www.ifema.es/arcomadrid_01/

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and through its Latin identity. "It might seem obvious, but Madrid is still a link between Europe and South America." This means that a large number of Spanishspeaking artists can be found at the fair. Since 2011, when Carlos Urroz was appointed Arco's director, Latin American tropism has dominated the event's geopolitics, as witness its annual focus on a guest country – 2015 it was Colombia, and this year Argentina, with 12 Buenos Aires galleries carefully selected by curator Inés Katzenstein. Worth noting are some abstract landscapes by the draughtsman Eduardo Stupía, presented by the Jorge Mara Gallery, and "illegible writings" by Mirtha Dermisache at Henrique Faria Buenos Aires. Perharps a gauge of boldness (because there is always a commercial risk), a third of the stands will feature solo shows (Tomás Saraceno, Ignasi Aballí and José María Sicilia) and duo exhibitions. The latter sometimes create striking dialogues – for example, between works by the controversial Viennese actionist Hermann Nitsch and those of the young Korean minimalist Jong Oh at the stand of the Marc Straus Gallery (NY). These are sure to attract the attention of head-


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François Bucher, "Contact. Que muera conmigo el misterio que está escrito en los tigres", 2016, gelatin silverprint remastered negative, 40 x 60 cm. Edition 5 + 2 PA.

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Arco Madrid 2017

hunters, expected in droves. "Arco is a meeting point. No other fair receives visits from so many museum directors or art critics, for instance," says Carlos Urroz. It is true that the fair has an excellent reputation in the limited circle of institutions and collectors. People visit it to make discoveries and see who is emerging with the big names (Hauser & Wirth and Chantal Crousel) or with newcomers like García Galería, Ethall and L21. Visitors come from West and East and alike. "In the new emerging economies of Brazil, Russia and India, interest in contemporary art is really burgeoning, and part of our work consists of finding new audiences for

the fair." Meanwhile, Chinese collectors are sure to salivate at the prospect of buying pieces at Arco by Spanish artists Secundino Hernández and Néstor Sanmiguel Diest, apparently much sought-after in Asia. Since last year, the fair has been shored up by its new Portuguese outpost, Arco Lisboa (coming up in May 2017), and now targets collectors from Africa's Portuguese-speaking countries like Angola and Mozambique. Labelled a "specialist fair", Arco dreams of a polyglot future, though without sacrificing its high standards of curatorship. Let's hope the famous Madrid sun will shine on these noble intentions. Céline Piettre

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Art Market Magazine January 2017
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