Showing posts with label ARCO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ARCO. Show all posts

ARCOMadrid 2022

February 25, 2022

ARCO Madrid contemporary art fair celebrates in 2022 the 40th anniversary it couldn't celebrate last year –due to COVID restrictions– with 185 galleries from 30 countries and a specially curated programme to reflect on the past and future of the fair. This comes in addition to the regular sections for young galleries and Latin American art, and a general programme with 159 national and international galleries.

The General Programme has seen some fun this year with a few galleries featuring site-specific artworks that required visitors' engagement. The Berlin-based Neugerriemschneider gallery has presented two such artworks: Your Accountability of Presence, an installation by Olafur Eliasson that projects shadows of visitors in a wide spectrum of colours, and Falha by Brazilian artist Renata Lucas consisting of a folding floor with modular plywood panels that can be retracted. Eliasson's installation projects beautiful colours and shapes on the wall when there are people in the room but it interestingly shows no colours when the room is empty. 

Olafur Eliasson, Your Accountability of Presence, 2022 | A shared project by Neugerriemschneider Berlin and Elvira González Madrid

Renata Lucas, Falha, 2003/2022; Tomas Saraceno, NY Vir, 2018; Jorge Pardo, Untitled, 2015 | Neugerriemschneider Berlin

There were some extraordinary artworks in the General Programme including large-scale paintings by Martha Jungwirth (b. 1940) on Goya's notorious maja; a three-part painting by Antoni Tàpies (b. 1923) and a recent installation by Christian Boltanski (b. 1944) who died last year.

Martha Jungwirth, Untitled (Maja I), 2021 | Thadaeus Ropac Paris

Antoni Tàpies, Le Repas, 1984 | Galerie Lelong Paris

Christian Boltanski, Petites Ombres, 2021 | Galería Albarrán Bourdais Madrid

Photography has seen remarkable contributions this year with photos of Colombian performance artist Maria Teresa Hincapié (b. 1956) captured during her 8-hour performance at a Bogotá bookshop window in 1989; or of a peaceful coastal enclave by Michael Najjar (b. 1966) meant as a reflection on the drama of climate-induced rising sea levels. Other wonderful photos include the black and white aerial views of traces of the Golf War on the landscape by Sophie Ristehueber (b. 1949) and a photo of a massive sound sculpture by Nik Novak (b. 1981) on the use of sound as a weapon.

Submerged Forest, Rondônia, a photographic map by Richard Mosse (b. 1980) and part of his series Tristes Triptiques –named after Claude Lévi-Strauss's memoir with the same name– captures in a beautifully hued and light way the ecocide in the Brazilian Amazon. The drone-captured map shows land cleared for livestock feed crop cultivation (in turquoise in the picture below), forest flooding for hydropower projects (in dark blue) and forest die-back (in red).

Maria Teresa Hincapié, Vitrina, 1989-2020 | Galeria 1 Mira Madrid

Sophie Ristelhueber, Fait #61 and Fait #45, 1992 | Galerie Poggi Paris

Michael Najjar, Rising Seas, 2021 | Galería Juan Silio Santander

Nik Novak, The Mantis #3, 2019 | Alexander Levy Berlin

Richard Mosse, Submerged Forest, Rondônia, 2020 | Galería Carlier Gebauer Madrid

Interesting 3D artworks include Iman Issa's (b. 1979) serene wall sculptures with incongruent texts –like the one accompanying Self portrait that reads: Self as Alenka Zupančič who recounted the joke: "There are no cannibals here. We ate the last one yesterday"; Pasta, a spaghetti sphere by Victor Esther G (b. 1976); and the simple and bold objects by Jimena Kato (b. 1979).

Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan (b. 1979) has exhibited a tondo that honours Kojo Tavalou Houénou, a 1920s prominent critic of the French colonialism in Africa, and is part of Strachan's work on finding invisible people of colour from history and reinserting them into a narrative. Sheila Hicks (b. 1934) has shown lovely wall-mounted textiles and Ángela de la Cruz (b. 1965), the London-based Turner Prize-nominee widely represented in the current ARCO edition, monochromatic deformed stretchers

Among the 2D artworks stand Jessica Rankin's (b. 1971) embroidered painted landscapes and a glittering polyurethane on aluminium painting by the Brussel-based duo mentalKLINIK.

Jessica Rankin, Rain Dreamed from Sounds (THKC), 2021 & Iman Issa, Self portrait (Self as Alenka Zupančič), 2020 | Galería Carlier Gebauer Madrid

Sheila Hicks, Hyperion, 2021, Galerie Nächst St Stephan RS Vienna | Tavares Strachan, Kojo, 2021, Perrotin Paris

Victor Esther G, Pasta, 2021, Galería ATM Gijón | Jimena Kato, Untitled (Buble), 2019; Transfusion Syndrom #01, 2021; Dream Catcher, 2021, Rodriguez Gallery Poznan

Ángela de la Cruz, Loop L (Yellow), 2021, Thomas Schulte Berlin | mentalKLINIK, Disgustingly Awful Paintings 2102, 2021, Sabrina Amrani Madrid

Opening, the curated programme for young galleries, has brought together 15 galleries from 10 countries. Highlights include the site-specific artwork by Rio de Janeiro artist Manoela Medeiros (b. 1991) who has applied her excavating practice to create two wall cut outs at the booth; Dritton Selmani's (b. 1987) use of plastic bags in Love Letters as a medium for writing deep reflections; and a series of patched sketches by fashion designer/artist Susan Cianciolo (b. 1969). Pristina-based Selmani views plastic bags not as disposable items but as ideal carriers of memorable reflections due to their ultra-long lifespan.


Driton Selmani, Love Letters, 2021 | Eugster Belgrade

Susan Cianciolo, I Saw the Circle, 2022, Cibrían San Sebastian | Manoela Medeiros, ARCO site specific installation, 2022, Double V Marseille

El País has commissioned this year Daily Menu(s), an installation by multimedia artist Concha Jerez (b. 1941) made with half a dozen tables arranged in a circle. Each table is set with tableware full of shards and a screen showing mediocre content. The artist reflects on random media consumerism but also on censorship in social media. 

Concha Jerez, Menú(s) de Día, 2022 | El País Space

The commemorative section ARCO 40+1 partly happens around a space organised like a museum, with several tiny subspaces allocated to galleries that have somehow been central to the fair. Altogether 20 national and international galleries have contributed with artworks from the likes of Mario Merz and Mona Hatoum. The project description in paper made sense, yet the physical experience didn't quite match the script, at least for me. The gallery spaces were crammed, with exhibits hardly fitting in, and the artworks –although of great quality– felt randomly selected. In this context, Karin Sander's (b. l957) simple and uncluttered artwork made of fresh vegetables pointing at the passage of time (see cover picture), was doubly appreciated.

Lastly, superb short film presented by Daniel Canogar (b. 1964) at Forum –ARCO's space for talks and debates– on Dynamo, his installation for the Spanish Pavillion at the Expo Dubai 2020. The artwork is made of a continuous screen morphed into a giant intertwined loop and shows sensor-induced light compositions supported by matching sounds and ambient lighting. Canogar spoke about his fascination with the technological sublime and how the public's energy feeds Dynamo, his most significant artwork so far, he said.

Daniel Canogar, Dynamo (2021), Spanish Pavillion Expo Dubai 2020. Photo ©Studio Daniel Canogar

ARCOMadrid 2023 will include the programme "Mediterranean: A Round Sea" by curator Marina Fokidis with artists and galleries from surrounding countries.

ARCO International Contemporary Art Fair | Madrid, 23-27 February 2022
| IFEMA Madrid Halls 7 & 9 

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Featured Artists
by PS unless otherwise stated. Cover picture Kitchen Pieces by Karin Sander at Helga de Alvear Gallery

ARCOMadrid 2021: Art as a Regeneration Tool

August 06, 2021

Anxiety, hope and other conditions resulting from recent lockdowns are wonderfully explored at Madrid ARCO art fair, an unusual edition taking place in July rather than in February with fewer exhibitors - 130 down from 209 last year - but more diversity with a new section for women artists. In an unrelated and discreet way, this 40th edition also brings an example of how art can accelerate rural transformation (picture above).

Visitors get a feel of lockdown anxiety with Desvelo y Horizonte (Wakefulness and Horizon), a project by Juan Uslé (b. 1954) commissioned by El País. The project includes three large-scale monochrome paintings made in his NYC apartment during lockdown and inspired by the idea of the horizon, and three oversized photographs of the Cantabrian Sea: his inspiration and recurring vision during lockdown. The photographs are dramatically placed in the wall adjacent to the paintings. A mix of images of boarded-up shops during lockdown and sketches of the sea (below) fill the rest of the space. They show drama and hope.  

Juan Uslé, Desvelo y horizonte, 2020

Opening, ARCO's section for young galleries, was particularly interesting with ten galleries and twenty one artist's projects exploring the theme of the sensual vernacular, meant as the capacity of art to incite specific feelings.  

This section showed some outstanding works like Sandra Poulson's (b. 1995) Hope as a Praxis at the Luandan gallery Jahmek Contemporary Art, recipient of the 2021 Opening Best Booth Award. The installation (below) shows different iterations of chairs in the process of breaking. They are made in hardened fabric and replicate Africa's most common plastic garden chair, commonly used as "temporary" home furniture in the belief that living conditions will improve. The chair - whose use continues even when it breaks - represents a symbol of hope for Poulson.


Another superb exhibit at the Opening section was at the Eugster Belgrade Gallery with works by Šejla Kamerić and Vladimir Miladinović.  

Kamerić (b. 1976) shows two pieces exploring the collateral consequences of conflict: Saponified Jacket of Melania Trump and Keep Away from Fire, a piece with several clothing labels sewn together. According to the artist, Keep Away from Fire introduces violence in all forms by revealing the absurdity of the instructions in the labels: "there are moments - such as war and aggression - when it is not possible to keep away from fire." 

Vladimir Miladinović (b. 1981) presents a series of paintings featuring news headlines during the pandemic (below) that, according to the gallerist, convey a brutality similar to the one experienced by the artist during the Balkan war. Miladinović is an archive artist who works with war and post-war trauma in former Yugoslavia, and explores how media creates public space, thus shaping the collective memory.

More exploration of public space comes with the aforementioned rural transformation - and repopulation - project where art is used as an engine for growth. It is somehow unusual to feature a repopulation project in an art fair but the Genalguacil Pueblo Museo Foundation responsible for the project very much excels in outreach. 

The project has been running since 1994 when the village of Genalguacil in Málaga, Spain, first organised a residence programme for artisans and artists. Today, various art programmes, including residence, commissioning and lighting programmes, take place yearly in Genalguacil's streets and museum thus adding new works to the public art collection (see pictures below). 

Recently, the project has reached its goals of increasing Genalguacil's population and opportunities. One of these opportunities is the offer to join the exclusive Most Beautiful Villages in Spain Club, which translates into more visitors and revenues. The Genalguacil example shows that art can indeed be used as a driver of growth.  

Genalguacil public artworks. Photos by Genalguacil / Isidro López-Aparicio, Arco de Viento, 2016. Photo El Mundo En Mi Camara


General Programme Selection

Keyezua (b. 1986), Fortia 11, 2017 | Movart Luanda, Angola


Isaac Julien (b. 1960), What is a Museum? (Lina Bo Bardi - A Marvellous Entanglement), 2019 | Helga de Alvear Madrid

Jessica Rankin (b. 1971), Switch of Love Black Grass and Apple, 2021 (recto: left and verso: right) | Carlier Gebauer Berlin & Madrid

Rankin's embroidered artworks are also featured in the post ARCOMadrid 2017

Left: Clara Montoya (b. 1974), Llorona, 2021 | Galería F2 Madrid 

Right: Irma Álvarez-Laviada (b. 1978), El espacio entre las cosas V, 2020 | Luis Adelantado Gallery Valencia

Álvarez-Laviada has contributed to the aforementioned Genalguacil's lighting programme with an installation.


Left: Rebecca Horn (b. 1944), Der Blutbaum, 2011 | Galerie Thomas Schulte Berlin

Right: Sheila Hicks (b. 1934), Captured Rose (front) and Cosmic Wisdom (back), 2021 | Galerie Nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Vienna


João Tabarra (b. 1966), Hot Mountain and Standing Man, Karlsruhe, 2017 | Galeria Filomena Soares Lisbon


Left: Caio Reisewitz (b. 1967), Mamangua XXII, 2013 | Galería Joan Prats Barcelona

Right: Nahum Tevet (b. 1946), All of these (with yellow mirror), 2018 | Maab Gallery Milan


Felipe Pantone (b. 1986), Chromadyna Micap, 2021 | Polígrafa Obra Gráfica Barcelona

Left: Isidro Blasco (b. 1962), Brooklyn Cafe, 2021 | Galería Ponce + Robles Madrid

Right: Alexandre Farto aka Vhils (b. 1987), Residue Series #22, 2017-21 | Galeria Vera Cortes


Eugenio Ampudia (b. 1958), Concierto para el Bioceno 7, 2020 | Max Estrella Madrid


Agustín Ibarrola (b. 1930), Guernica Gernikara, 1977 | Galería José de la Mano Madrid

ARCO International Contemporary Art Fair | Madrid, 7 - 11 July 2021

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Featured Artists
Víctor Ara
by PS unless otherwise stated. Cover picture by Víctor Ara, Echando una Escansá aka Los Pinchos, 2000, Genalguacil by García-Santos for El País 

ARCOMadrid 2019

March 02, 2019
ARCO Madrid Contemporary Art Fair never disappoints. At its 38th edition and with 203 exhibitors from 31 countries, half of them from Spain and Latin America, ARCO 2019 shows a simplified format with some galleries presenting works by one or two artists only. There are great artworks and an apparent shift from photography to handicraft and sculpture, paintings being in short supply.

Guest country this year is Peru, who brings the works of 24 Peruvian artists selected by the curator of the Lima Art Museum and on show at galleries from different countries. The selection of artists, many of whom have developed a good part of their career in other countries, wants to draw attention to the importance of the artist above geographical limitations. The "Peru at ARCO" programme is supported by a major deployment of Peruvian culture throughout town that includes an exhibition on the pre-Columbian Nasca culture and contemporary Amazonian art.

Alicia Framis, Vestido para protegerse de lo absurdo (2017), Galería Juana de Aizpuru Madrid | Richard Deacon, Band (2009)Galerie Thomas Schulte Berlin

Two artists known for their work on gender activism stand out: Alicia Framis (Spanish living in Amsterdam) and Teresa Margollés (Mexican living between Mexico City, Madrid and Berlin). Framis' work at ARCO, a female manikin laying under a carpet of scouring pads (left picture above), draws attention to whatever isn't right with women's kitchen work and the invisibility of it. 

Margollés presents an impressive work (pictured below) resulting from a field study in Bolivia, a country with a high rate of hate crimes. The artist has recovered from a Bolivian morgue a sheet used to wrap the corpse of a woman victim of hate crime. The blood-stained sheet was then given to a local embroider to freely work on it. The embroidered artwork lays on a backlit table in a dark room where the visitor firstly acknowledges the beauty of the embroidery, and later, on a closer look, the blood stains. This is a work that successfully combines horror, beauty and hope; it draws attention to the violence on women while presenting the beauty of local craftsmanship.

Brian Rochefort, Various Works (2018-19)Van Doren Waxter NYC | Bianca Bondi, Boom Series, Galería José de la Fuente Santander

Teresa Margollés, Tela Bolivia (2016), Galerie Mor Charpentier Paris

Joana Vasconcelos, Galeria Casa Triangulo Sao Paulo

Some artworks at ARCO could easily be a wonderful contribution to urban design and planning. Argentinian artist Pablo Reinoso displays a beautiful one-person bench (pictured below) that brings a reflection on whether urban furniture is still designed to last century's behaviour when we used to interact with strangers on the public realm, something we hardly do today. Instead, his solo bench fits beautifully to the current use of public seating, which is a place to interact undisturbed with a phone.

More inspiration for urban planning with Pedro Barateiro's beautifully coloured topographic plans and Miler Lagos' relief (pictured below), which would make a wonderful site model.

Miler Lagos, Lago almuerzo entre la hierba (2018), Galería Max Estrella Madrid

Pablo Reinoso, Solo Banc (2017), Galeria Baró São Paulo
Pedro Barateiro, Compass(2019)Galeria Filomena Soares Lisbon | Joël Andrianomearisoa, Labyrinth of Passions (2016), Galería Sabrina Amrani Madrid

The Ponce & Robles gallery presents with Renfe - the national railway company - two very interesting projects on the different use of street art. One project is called The Most Expensive Artwork (#LaObraMasCara) and shows the destructing effects of unsolicited graffiti on the example of a train door fully covered by graffiti. The overpainted door carries the price tag of 15 million euros, which is Renfe's yearly expenditure on clearing graffiti off trains. The artwork also points at the safety hazard of spraying trains, since it is generally done while the train is running. 

The other project shows the positive effects of planned street art and is by Boa Mistura, a group of Madrid urban artists who uses art to improve communities. At ARCO, Boa Mistura has recreated a piece of a project in La Habana that shows a verse of a poem by Cuban Samuel Feijoo painted on a shack wall. The project takes all 25 verses of Feijoo's poem and paints them on the walls of different locations in the same neighbourhood. The verses cannot be understood separately but in a group and "serve to connect people with invisible links", says the artist.

Boa Mistura, My Root is (2015), Galería Ponce+Robles Madrid & Renfe

There were also examples of art meeting architecture:

Marlon de Azambuja, Brutalismo (2019), Galería Revolver Lima | Lucas Simões, White Lies #23 (2018), Galería Pelaires Palma
Lucio Muñoz, Tabla 23-94 (1994), Galería Marlborough Madrid

Augusto Ballardo, Rayo de luz en concreto, Escalones 1 (2018), Espacio Valverde Madrid | Eugenio Ampudia, Galería Max Estrella Madrid

A pile of books supporting a wall is Alicia Martín's proposal at El País booth that she shares with Peruvian artist Fernando Bryce. Martín has shared in an interview her intention not to provide a theoretical reflection but rather a visual impact that would then lead to a reflection.

Alicia Martín, Contrapposto (2019), El País

Pedro Cabrita Reis, Casa Queimada (2016), Galería Juana de Aizpuru Madrid | Marko Vuokola, RGB (1996-2011), Galerie Anhava Helsinki

Yago Hortal, SP 224 (2019)Galeria Senda Barcelona | Rafa Macarrón, Untitled (2019)Galeria Marta Cervera Madrid

Among the Peruvian contributions, the woven work of Ana Teresa Barboza and the paintings of Jorge Piqueras stand out. Prolific, energetic and in his 90s, Piqueras is one of Peru's greatest artists. I had the honor to work with him nearly three decades ago in Paris when he was designing a public artwork for an architectural project I was working on. His optimism and fun approach to the creative process did utterly impress me.

Ana Teresa Barboza, Wu Galería, Lima | Allora & Calzadilla, Contract (2014)Galerie Chantal Crousel Paris

Jorge Piqueras, Untitled (1956), Henrique Faria Fine Art NYC
Sven Johne, Heroes of Labor (2018), Galerie Klemm's Berlin
There was also room for activism. Interesting the way RedCSur, an Argentinian platform, has chosen to raise awareness about the privatisation of an artist's work: some 40 people in a line reading their complain in various locations of the fair.  
Controversy came around a giant sculpture of the king, a bonfire papier-mâché figure that is sold with the condition that it gets burned within a year.

Against the sale of artist Juan Carlos Romero's archive, RedCSur Action
TV crews at Santiago Sierra & Eugenio Merino, Ninot (2019), Prometeo Gallery Milan

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