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ARCOmadrid 2016

Posted on March - 1 - 2016

ARCOmadrid is celebrating its 35th. edition and opened its doors to international goers from February 24 to 28. Since its founding in 1982 by Spanish gallerist Juana de Aizpuru, when Spain was transforming into democracy and moving towards modernization, ARCOmadrid has provided a space for international exchange, serving as a meeting point for European, American and Latin American production.

All thought at the beginning of the nineties the international market experienced an economic setback, it blossomed and entered the new millennium with stamina surpassing the new picks and lows of the economy, allowing Latin Americas galleries and artists a stronger presence in the European scene. 

This year, as part of its anniversary celebration, the Fair’s curatorial team selected more that 35 galleries to bring forth two of their artists, as part of the “Imagining Other Futures” section. The two selected artists represent the evolution of ARCOmadrid in the last three decades and intend to speculate about the upcoming future of the Fair. Besides this section, ARCOmadrid also held another 169 galleries selected by the Organizing Committee, 19 galleries invited to the Opening Sections and 18 Solo Projects.

The space hosted a total of 224 galleries from 29 different countries. It’s interesting to note than more that 70% of the galleries were foreign and 30% of those were Latin American, which shows the continent’s strong presence and growth in the fair with 48 galleries from 10 different countries.

Most of the initiatives representing Latin America were from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia, key and heavy weigh figures in the Latin American scene. Nonetheless, there were also galleries from Peru, like the renown Revolver gallery, Ecuador, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Guatemalan gallery Proyectos Ultravioleta presenting the work of two Chilean artist Felipe Mujica and Johanna Unzueta.

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Installation view of the booth of Kurimanzutto with work by Gabriel Kuri and Gabriel Sierra. Courtesy of www.arnet.com

Some of the irreverent humor and bold experimentation could be especially appreciated in the Solo Projects section, where art was fused together with other artistic expressions such as music, theater and dance. Artists such as Erika Ordosgoitti from Venezuela and the Mercedes Azpilicuata from Argentina among others, chose performances as their form of expression, and one particularly stood out and captured the public’s attention for its explicit nudity:  the Mexican artists Emilio Rojas, with his work “Colonial Color Palette”. 

The all-around atmosphere of the event was not just charged with nostalgia and reminiscences over the fairs three decades, but also with ambitious and exciting forward-looking projections for the Latin American presence in the European art scene, making it one of the most interesting Fairs out there. 

By: Gabriela Martinez