Wednesday, 23 February 2011

ARCO Madrid 2011

Sala de Juntas by Los Carpinteros, El País space

This year the contemporary art fair of Madrid has been all but contemporary. Predictable formats, beaten art-track, established artists... A rather nice selection if it was a vintage art fair.

First-time director Carlos Urroz has chosen to celebrate Arco's 30th anniversary with a selection of works that had previously been shown at the fair and images from the past 30 editions. Interesting idea if only the exhibiting galleries would have gone another route. Unfortunately they have also opted for the established. And you wonder for the reason. It may be that at an art fair innovation feeds from courageous buyers and they come hand in hand with economic buoyancy.

This year's guest of honor was Russia. High expectations to see Daria Zhukova's (Mrs Abramovich) Garage Center for Contemporary Culture and surprise to find a small space with a slate board and chalk to freely draw on it.

Photography was perhaps the most represented art form at this edition. Below a picture by Jose Manuel Ballester from the Dan Galeria São Paulo. It features the staircase at the Ministério Itamaraty in Brasilia by Oscar Niemayer, possibly the most beautiful staircase ever built.

Zwelethu Mthethwa for Oliva Arauna Gallery

Arco International Contemporary Art Fair, Madrid 16 - 20 February 2011

Garage Center for Contemporary Culture Moscow
Jose Manuel Ballester
Dan Galeria São Paulo
Galeria Oliva Arauna Madrid

Pictures of the art works by PS