Showing posts with label Events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Events. 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 

HYBRID 2020, Madrid's Coolest Emerging Art Fair

March 06, 2020

HYBRID, an emerging art fair set in the rooms of a Madrid hotel, comes as a breath of fresh air amid an Art Week predominantly defined by the same old.

The experience of going through rooms-turned-galleries is fun and intimate, mainly because the event is nicely curated but also because the artists are there. Artworks are good and affordable, and the show is gender balanced, sharply contrasting with ARCO, the main Art Week event, where only 32% of artists were women.
There are 35 young galleries, collectives and art/artist-run spaces from 10 countries exhibiting in the hotel rooms, while the communal areas are allocated to independent artists for site-specific installations.  
I loved the new media art by Brianna Lowe and Jenn E. Norton at two Canadian artist-run spaces: Ed Video from Guelph, Ontario, and V tape from Toronto.
Brianna Lowe's exhibit includes videos with exciting 3D representations and video game sceneries, while Jenn E Norton presents at the V Tape room an augmented reality and 3D-animated project that has been selected as Hybrid 2020 Best Exhibition. Norton's animated project features plant compositions when symbols displayed on the wall are viewed through an electronic device. The theme itself is as interesting as the medium. It is about the communication methods of plants and fungi that operate outside human perception. 
Left Brianna Lowe, Compressing Balls (2020), Ed Video Guelph Canada | Jenn E Norton, Not Present on the Year (2020), V tape Toronto


Some artworks nicely interact with the setting, such as Exodus in a Sink a site-specific work around a handbasin by Perfettipietro from artist-run Spazio Display Parma. Or the collage on a bed with works by Lucia VeronesiMarco Salvetti and Lorenzo di Lucido from Yellow, another artist-run space and invited by Hybrid as Special Project.

 Left Exodus in a Sink (2020), Perfettipietro, Spazio Display Parma | Works by Lucia Veronesi, Marco Salvetti, Lorenzo di Lucido, Yellow Milan
There is a performance on the visual paradox of masculinity by Ricardo Mena at the Cobertura Photo room, a Seville-based photography school/gallery, being recorded by artist María Pla. 
Ricardo Mena, Acullá Performance & María Pla, Doble Expo (2019),  Cobertura Photo Sevilla
The Susana Pardo gallery displays photography by Manuel Granados on the subject of waste pollution. In his series Árbol para un paisaje Granados explores the exchange between humans and nature with unusual waste bouquets. 

Árbol para un paisaje (2020), Manuel Granados, Galería Susana Pardo Barcelona

Aguas del gran sol (2005-20), Raúl Hidalgo, Galería Lamosa Cuenca | Paletas, Paco Vallejo, Raum E116 Berlin

Very interesting the work presented by Fotolateras, a collective of two, Lola Barcia and Marinela Forcadell, who travels the world with unusual pinhole cameras (light-proof boxes with a hole). They make their own cameras with coffee and biscuit cans, and use the different can shapes as specific lens types. When they travel, they carry up to 40 cans and improvise a darkroom in their hotel bathroom. The outcome are unique, slightly-distorted black and white pictures.

Pinhole photograph of London, Fotolateras Valencia

Home-made pinhole cameras, hotel room lab and biscuit can for landscape pictures showed by Lola Barcia, Fotolateras Valencia

Handmade banner by Joyce Overheul at the Lauwer Galleryand carbonized objects by Rani Sasson at the Almacén Gallery

Nevertheless She Persisted (2019), Joyce Overheul, Lauwer Gallery Den Haag | Rani Sasson, Almacén Gallery & Cultural Centre Tel Aviv


HYBRID Art Fair | Petit Palace Santa Bárbara Hotel, Plaza Santa Bárbara 10, Madrid | 28 February - 1 March 2020

Related Articles


Featured Artists
Brianna Lowe
Jenn E Norton
Joyce Overheul
Lucia Veronesi, Marco Salvetti and Lorenzo di Lucido
Manuel Granados
Maria Pla
Paco Vallejo
Rani Sasson
Ricardo Mena
Raul Hidalgo

by PS. Cover picture, Colour is Pretty by Anbel
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