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

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


ARCOMadrid 2017

February 24, 2017

The 36th edition of ARCO Madrid Contemporary Art Fair is seeing a rise in photography as an art medium and an increased interest in nature as a subject. Many photographs at ARCO feature calm settings that awaken an extraordinary sense of awe and peace. 
Outstanding photographic work on nature at ARCO Madrid 2017 include a 15-minute time lapse of a sea view (above) by Gianfranco Foschino; Pierre Gonnord's and Axel Hütte's shots of Spain's northern forests; Richard Long's documentation of his days-long journeys through nature; and Regina José Galindo's images of her performance at the Botanical Garden in Palermo, a powerful interaction of body, soul and nature - see below.
Pierre Gonnord, Urbasa I 2/5, Series:Indarra, photography | Galería Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid
Dierk Maass, Illumination (2016), LED lightbox | Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt

Richard Long, Footpath waterline - A thirteen day walk in the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico (1987) | Lisson Gallery London
Axel Hütte, Irati (2014) | Galería  Helga de Alvear, Madrid
Jessica Rankin, Could I just have the Sober Hand (2016), detail | Galerie Carlier Gebauer, Berlin

Regina José Galindo, Raices (2016) | Prometeo Gallery, Milan

The project Petrified by Carlos Motta brings together beautiful landscape photographs of the US South West and archive images of local historical episodes. "The allure and beauty with which the landscape is represented prevent from seeing the atrocities that took place within it", says the artist who seeks to highlight how regimes of representation (landscape photography, historical painting and portraiture) have served as accomplices to processes of historical erasure. 

Carlos Motta, Petrified (2016) | Galeria Filomena Soares, Lisbon

Adam Jeppesen, BO-Uyuni (2015) | Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin

Ahmet Ögüt, Pleasure Places of All Kinds, Yichang (2015) | Kow Galerie, Berlin

There is also socially engaged photography at this ARCO edition brought by Richard Mosse (see 2015'14 and '13 posts). Mosse's interest to chart human displacement caused by war, persecution, climate change and poverty brings him to document in Heat Maps refugee camps with an "extreme telephoto military-grade camera that can detect thermal radiation, including body heat, at great distance." The camera, primarily designed for surveillance in warfare, is used for capturing the intimate details of the camps that Mosse then blends into a densely detailed panoramic image similar to a Hieronymus Bosch's paintings. The artist's new work meditates on the struggle of millions of refugees and migrants. 

Moria in Snow (2016) by Richard Mosse | Galería Leyendecker, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Guest country is Argentina who brings 12 galleries, 23 artists and an institutional stand at the Argentina Plataforma/ARCO, curated by Inés Katzenstein and supported by the Argentine Ministry of Culture and Buenos Aires' Contemporary Art Fair, arteBA. Artists include Tomás Sarceno, Mariela Scafati, Sol Pipkin and Juán Tessi (see below).
Mariela Scafati, Montaje disonante de cuadros que no se corresponden  | Galería Isla Flotante, Buenos Aires

Tomás Saraceno, 3C 318/M (2016) | Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, NYC

Sol Pipkin, Sin nombre (2016) | Galería Slyzmud, Buenos Aires

Juan Tessi, | Galería Nora Fish, Buenos Aires

Further artworks include numerous light installations...

Olafur Eliasson, Global Cooling Lamp (2006) | Galería Elvira González, Madrid
Iván Navarro, Bomb (2016) | Baró Galeria, Sao Paulo

José Carlos Martinat, Distractor 3 (2016) | Revolver Galería, Lima

Fabrizio Corneli, Laboratorio-Lancio (2016) | Studio Trisorio, Naples

Bernardí Roig, Cuidado con la cabeza (2017) | Galería Max Estrella, Madrid
... and thread on paper, acrylic on aluminium and oil on canvas.

José María Sicilia, La locura del ver (2016), detail | Meessen De Clercq Gallery, Brussels
Thilo Heinzmann, O.T. (2016) | Galería Heinrich Ehrhardt, Madrid

Santi Moix, Sin título (2016) | Galería Carles Taché, Barcelona

ARCO International Contemporary Art Fair | Madrid, 22-26 February 2017

Previous Articles
ARCOMadrid 2015
ARCOMadrid 2014
ARCOMadrid 2013
ARCOMadrid 2012 and 2013 Prospect

Featured Artists
Adam Jeppesen 
Ahmet Ögüt
Axel Hütte
Bernardí Roig 
Carlos Motta 
Dierk Maass
Fabrizio Corneli
Gianfranco Foschino
Iván Navarro
Jessica Rankin
José Carlos Martinat
José María Sicilia 
Juan Tessi
Mariela Scafati
Olafur Eliasson 
Pierre Gonnord 
Regina José Galindo
Richard Long 
Richard Mosse
Santi Moix
Sol Pipkin 
Thilo Heinzmann
Tomás Saraceno 

Photos by PS
Cover picture: video detail of Lux (2016) by Gianfranco Foschino for Galería Leyendecker, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
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