The art fair opens its doors with special activities to celebrate its first thirty years. The Forum, is centred this year on Russia, with a series of panels chaired by Daria Pyrkina, and others on Collecting, chaired by Rosa Martinez. At the same time 'Solo Projects: Focus Latin America' showcases 14 galleries chosen by the Brazilian freelance curator Luisa Duarte. Another new initiative this year is the Opening: New European Galleries programme, inviting 19 new galleries from various countries in Europe which have been open for less than 8 years.
ARCOmadrid_2011, the art fair organised by IFEMA, opens its doors on its 30th edition this coming Wednesday 16th February and runs until Sunday 20th. The fair debuts a revamped programme and special activities to celebrate its first thirty years. A notable feature is the increase in digital communication, particularly the launch of a free app for smartphones and tablets, which will be downloadable in the next few days. The app, together with the on-line catalogue, available on www.arco.ifema.es, helps you to plan your visit to the fair and gives you a chance to see the works on exhibit in each gallery booth, among other features. The application for Professional Access and passes for the fair, the online ticket sales and its presence in social networks rounds off the new e-features offered by ARCOmadrid this year.
The core content of the fair is provided by the 197 galleries from 21 countries. Over these thirty years the fair has consolidated its reputation as an annual meeting for art world players from around the globe. This aspect is bolstered by the many interesting roundtables and forums with input from renowned experts, collectors, museum and biennial director, intellectuals, artists, philosophers and foundations.
On one hand, we have the Forum, which is centred this year on Russia, with a series of panels chaired by Daria Pyrkina, and others on Collecting, chaired by Rosa Martínez, director of the 51st Venice Biennale.
On the other hand, there are six Professional Encounters with the participation of Chus Martínez, chief curator at MACBA Barcelona; Latitudes, the independent curatorial office founded by Mariana Cánepa and Max Andrews; Marta Gili, Director of Jeu de Paume, Paris; Adriano Pedrosa, freelance curator based in Barcelona; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London; Lynne Cooke, deputy director for Conservation, Research and Publicity at MNCARS, Madrid.
Furthermore, the fair has put together a programme for international collectors, one of the driving engines of the fair. ARCOmadrid has invited a group of 150 international collectors, active buyers whose presence guarantees business for participating galleries.
This programme is joined by another one aimed specifically at cultural institutions and museums, such as Maison Rouge from Paris, the Tate Gallery or the Association of Collectors of Portugal, among others. The purchasing committees of these organisations will be visiting the fair with a view to incorporating new artworks to their institutional collections. In this regard, we have already had commitments to make acquisitions from institutions such as Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Comunidad de Madrid, the City Council of Pamplona, CGAC (Centro Galego de Arte contemporánea), besides private corporations like Heineken, Coca-Cola Foundation, ARCO Foundation or Banco Espirito Santo, among many others.
Apart from encouraging the support of prestigious major buyers, this year the fair is also lending particular attention to the segment of latent collectors and art lovers, with the introduction of the new First Collector project. Led by Elisa Hernando, director of Arte Global Consultants, this initiative will provide art investment advice to art lovers or people who have not yet garnered experience in buying art. The idea behind this new introduction is to encourage new buyers and to renew the fair’s commitment with fostering art collecting.
Besides this project to foster new collecting, the fair is also promoting, in conjunction with the Amigos de ARCO Association, a series of Introduction to Contemporary Art Courses in collaboration with several museums and art centres in Spain. These courses are being run in five different venues during the first half of the year: Artium (Vitoria), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Español Patio Herreriano (Valladolid), MACBA (Barcelona), Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) and Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC) and all include a guided visit to ARCOmadrid. This project is an investment in the future of the fair and is conceived to encourage the general public to engage with the new art practices that are shaping the face of contemporary art.
Art programme at ARCOmadrid
Shifting our gaze to the exhibition programme itself, the new look ARCOmadrid_2011 has a total participation of 197 galleries. As usual, the fair still revolves around its core GENERAL PROGRAMME, a section featuring international galleries selected by the fair’s Organising Committee. A total of 117 galleries will be showing work ranging from the historical avant-gardes and contemporary classics to the art of today. They will be joined by another 39 galleries in the ARCO 40 subsection in which galleries present recent work by a maximum of three artists, as well as 8 Russian galleries from the FOCUS RUSSIA programme selected by Daria Pyrkina, curator of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts and a professor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. For the first time, these galleries will be strategically mixed in with the rest of the galleries in the exhibition halls in order to encourage greater interaction within a professional framework. Besides, there is a noteworthy participation of major Russian institutions.
With this focus on Russia as its guest country in 2011, ARCOmadrid wishes to throw light on the country’s happening art and give it a wider repercussion in Madrid, further coinciding with the Year of Russia in Spain and the Year of Spain in Russia, which is organising over 300 events and projects in both countries with the goal of strengthening the bonds between both cultures in areas such as art, the economy, science and education.
At the same time, another of the introductions for this year is the section SOLO PROJECTS: FOCUS LATIN AMERICA, open to emerging Latin American artists. This revamped section, sponsored by AECID (Spanish Agency for International and Cooperation Development), showcases 14 galleries chosen by the Brazilian freelance curator Luisa Duarte; the associate curator at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Daniela Pérez and Julieta González, associate curator of Latin American Art at Tate Modern, London.
Another noteworthy new initiative this year is the OPENING: NEW EUROPEAN GALLERIES programme, inviting 19 new galleries from various countries in Europe which have been open for less than 8 years. This selection for ARCOmadrid_2011 is coordinated by the freelance curator and gallerist Maribel López.
Other collaborations and presences
Likewise, the ARCOmadrid exhibition programme also includes leading public and private institutions actively involved in promoting and supporting contemporary creation and collecting, who all have their own stands at the fair. This is the case, for instance, of Comunidad de Madrid, IVAM (Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno), Generalitat Valenciana and Fundación Telefónica.
A new feature at this year’s fair is the addition of museum publishers to cast a spotlight on the publishing work being carried out by museums and art centres. MUSAC, CAC de Málaga, CGAC, Obra Social Caja Madrid, Fundación Pilar y Joan Miró de Mallorca, Espacio Cultural El Tanque and Fundación Es Baluard are some of these centres taking part in the new section.
Visitors will also find a space for art magazines, exhibiting together in the Publishers and Art and Culture Magazines section. At the same time, various mass media also have their own stands at the fair, where they will be demonstrating their commitment with contemporary art. We have, for example, the national TV and radio network RTVE, as well as the daily newspapers ABC, El Mundo and El País, have all wished to join in the celebrations for ARCOmadrid’s thirtieth anniversary.
As usual, the whole breadth of Spanish and international art and culture magazines will be well represented, plus a good selection of digital publications. The focus on publishing is rounded off by the publishers CENDEAC, Ediciones Akal and AHORA, bibliophile editions and artists books, which will be on view in the space between Halls 8 and 10.
Spaces with personality
Personality and distinction are the signs of identity of the rest and relaxation areas at ARCOmadrid. One of these is Illycaffè, a regular collaborator over recent years at the fair. The design of the illycaffè coffee area at the fair this year has been commissioned to Tobias Rehberger, the German artist who won the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 2009 Venice Biennale for this project. This illy art space is located in the area between Halls 8 and 10. illycaffè also has another space, this time located in Hall 8, called illy coffee space, offering the public a chance to stop and have a coffee break while visiting the fair.
Likewise, the Sushita space and the Bombay Sapphire space, where the renowned barman Javier de las Muelas will be in action, are other places for visitors to take a well-earned break, as well as the Heineken space in the connection between Halls 8 and 10. In turn, the Amigos de ARCO Lounge will recreate, in 300 square metres, the apartment of a collector. Becara has decorated the space using works of art acquired by Coca Cola Foundation over the last 15 years of ARCOmadrid.
The Laie-CaixaForum and La Central bookstores also have their space in the area connecting Halls 8 and 10, where visitors can browse and purchase catalogues, artist books and art magazines.
ARCOmadrid’s 30th Anniversary
For three decades now, the International Contemporary Art Fair has been one of the art market’s main platforms, as well as a must-visit event for the promotion and dissemination of emerging art creation beyond Spanish and European borders. In this regard, ARCOmadrid not only opens the international art calendar but also stakes its claim as a key reference for galleries, artists, collectors, critics, curators, museum directors and academics and experts worldwide.
To celebrate the anniversary, ARCOmadrid has prepared a special programme of activities for gallerists, artists, collectors, curators, institutions and art lovers at the fair. One of the main events will be an 30th Anniversary Exhibition coordinated by Andrés Mengs and with the collaboration of the Ministry of Culture. The exhibition takes a look back at the fair’s 30 years with standout images from each edition, which have been selected after a thorough review of tens of thousands of photos from the archives of ARCOmadrid and the photographer Luis Pérez-Mínguez, a stalwart visitor to the fair.
Together with these photos, the exhibition will include a selection of artworks which were acquired at ARCOmadrid over the years. These pieces are on loan from museums and collections such as Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, DA2 Domus Artium Salamanca, Centro 2 de Mayo belonging to Comunidad de Madrid, the Bergé Collection, Coca-Cola Foundation, now back for a few days at the fair where they were initially purchased.
Besides the exhibition, there is a broad-ranging programme of activities, conferences and other acts to celebrate the thirty years of the fair, three decades during which the art market in Spain has grown and grown, largely thanks to the influence of ARCOmadrid.
Once again, for the month of February ARCOmadrid_2011 will turn Madrid into a world capital for the contemporary art scene, and will consolidate the Spanish capital’s reputation as one of Europe’s great cultural cities, with its museums, art centres and galleries adding to its tourist attractions to make an exciting and unique cultural destination.
Curated by: Daria Pyrkina
From historical avant-gardes to the new generation of young artists
Every year ARCOmadrid throws a special spotlight on a different country. On this occasion, the FOCUS RUSSIA programme will give visitors a chance to acquaint themselves with the changing face of Russian contemporary art galleries, not only in Moscow, but also in other large cities like Saint Petersburg or even in the faraway Vladivostok. An emerging art market with huge potential, Russia has seen huge growth since the dismemberment of the Soviet Union.
Perestroika cleared the path for the recovery of the art market in Russia, paving the way for both public and private initiatives. Private collections and contemporary art museums have mushroomed since, with such notable examples as the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMoMA), opened in 1999, or the Nizhny Novgorod National Centre for Contemporary Arts, founded in 1997. Barely ten years were sufficient for the two institutions to stake out a place for themselves. Following this path, Russia’s traditional museums have started contemporary art programmes, notably the Hermitage in St Petersburg with the Hermitage 20/21 initiative.
Spectacular growth is also to be seen in the international dissemination and collecting of Russian art. In 2009, Karen Kettering, an expert in Russian art at Sotheby’s, said: “the Russian art market lacks any precedents, because ten years ago it just didn’t exist.” In this regard, the results obtained by the Russian modern and contemporary art market have been highly positive and have maintained sustained growth even in these times of financial downturn.
A report published in 2008 by the British art market research company ArtTactic showed that the value of the Russian art market at auctions had multiplied by 47 since 2000 and according to Art Market Research (AMR), since the beginning of 2004 the average prices of this particular niche had risen by an average of 370%.
In that regard, works by Russian artists have grown sharply in value, particularly in painting by artists born before 1950. For instance, in 2000, the takings in sessions of sales of Russian art from the 19th, 20th and 21st century at the main auction houses totalled $6 million, a figure that rocketed to $286 million only seven years later.
The increase is partly explained by the record prices reached by Ilya Kabakov, whose work Beetle, an enamel on wood painting from 1982, was sold by Phillips de Pury & Co. in London in February 2008 for £2.93 million ($5.84 million at the time). Subsequently, the irruption of Russian art in the international market in recent years is contributing to a greater diversity and changing the face of international auctions.
Generations of Russian Contemporary Art
ARCOmadrid_2011 will therefore be an opportunity to get better acquainted with this market. A market which, notwithstanding its long history of art creation, is regarded as emerging in terms of contemporary art. Daria Pyrkina, curator of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Moscow (NCCA), has put together a diverse selection of galleries. “Alongside more veteran and well established galleries that started out in the early 1990s, I have chosen other more recent ones which are already beginning to make a name for themselves” the curator explained.
This generational diversity will also be reflected in the selection of artists with work on view. As Pyrkina claims, “there will be a good mix of well-known names and promising new artists.” As such, besides hosting powerful galleries working with 20th century avant-gardes, FOCUS RUSSIA will also include “a generation that has grown up in a different socio-political context, centring on current art strategies, notably conceptual art.”
FOCUS RUSSIA will also facilitate contacts between the invited galleries and their Spanish and international counterparts, encouraging the exchange of projects and opinions, with the galleries mixed in among the booths of the fair’s core General Programme. The galleries taking part at the programme are XL (Moscow), M & I GUELMAN GALLERY (Moscow), AIDAN (Moscow), ANNA NOVA (St. Petersburg), MARINA GISICH (St. Petersburg), GMG (Moscow), PAPERWORKS (Moscow) and ARKA (Vladivostok).
But apart from those galleries, the fair will also host the participation of noteworthy Russian institutions, such as the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture; NCCA National Centre for Contemporary Art; MMOMA Moscow Museum of Modern Art; State Hermitage Museum; Victoria Foundation and Stella Art Foundation, and a strong contingent of Russian collectors.
Russia: In the Spotlight in Madrid
The Focus Russia programme will be showcasing these galleries in Madrid coinciding with the celebration of the Year of Russia in Spain and the Year of Spain in Russia. Together with the participation of Russian galleries at the fair, the main cultural centres in Madrid have prepared a wide-ranging programme of exhibitions, film seasons, concerts, open air activities and events, centred on exciting contemporary Russian artists. A fringe programme involving most of the big museums and cultural institutions in Madrid, such as Casa Encendida, Matadero and the Government of the Madrid Region, has also been organised as a showcase for what’s happening in Russia’s art scene today and to lend it a greater focus in Spain.
FOCUS RUSSIA is an excellent chance to open up the Spanish and European markets even further and to familiarise the public with contemporary creation with Russia against a wider, more contextualised backdrop.
Noticia Prensa IFEMA (P)
ICIAR MARTINEZ DE LECEA
91 722 51 77
Professional Preview Wednesday 16 & Thursday 17, from 12 noon to 8 pm
Parque Ferial Juan Carlos, Madrid
General Public: Fri. 18, Sat. 19 & Sun. 20, from 12 noon to 8 pm