Throughout its five intense days, ARCOmadrid will have received more than 100 thousand visitors, with the number of professionals attending this year standing out, at around 30,000 professionals from all over the world.
The organizational effort required to stage the 35th edition of the International Contemporary Art Fair, ARCOmadrid, organized by IFEMA, has surpassed all expectations; it’s been highly rated because of the careful selection of artists and projects that have have made this edition an exceptional occasion, with the return of major international galleries standing out.
Without a doubt, the selection work of the 221 participating galleries was especially complex in an edition that has attracted interest both inside and outside our borders, with a 40 por ciento increase in requests for participation compared to previous years. The high standard of selection was aided by the 35th Anniversary’s flagship project, Imagining Other Futures, curated by María and Lorena de Corral, along with Catalina Lozano and Aaron Moulton, which has brought together big names from international galleries, all part of ARCO’s history, and raised the Fair’s standards and positioning.
Galleries such as Marian Goodman, Lisson, Victoria Miró and Stephen Friedman, from London; Alexander & Bonin and Team from New York; Fortes Vilaça, Luciana Brito and Casa Triangulo from Sao Paulo; Barbel Grasslin, Esther Shipper, and Thomas Schulte from Germany; OMR and Kurimanzutto from Mexico; Christopher Grimes from Santa Monica, Krinzinger from Vienna and others in a long list of up to 33 historic ARCO galleries have participated and brought major names of the important line-up of artists represented. Amongst them we find Ruth Benzacar from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the country chosen as guest of honour at ARCOmadrid 2017, and which according to its Minister of Culture, Pablo Avelluto during its presentation last Friday, will have a powerful and original presence. A programme that in this edition has already featured 9 Argentine galleries, and which will no doubt strengthen ARCO’s position as a leading market springboard for Latin American art and galleries. In this edition, 46 Latin American galleries from 10 countries have participated.
The Fair’s positive assessment was general according to LEYENDECKER, who rated it as the best of all the editions they’ve taken part in since its inception. “We’ve sold a lot and every day, especially in terms of sales to Portuguese collectors. That’s why the outlook is good for ARCOlisbon, which is sure to be a great success”. ZENO X also rate their experience really positively: “We’ve sold a lot and want to come back next year”.
Meanwhile, THOMAS SCHULTE say that “we’re very happy, we’ve met our targets and noticed a greater interest partly thanks to the 35th Anniversary. It’s been a really good year, with a lot of collectors showing a high degree of interest. It’s enabled us to meet new people partly because of the anniversary, and also because of the organizational effort made”. CASAS RIEGNER from Colombia (which in last year’s edition had a lot of support due to its participation as Guest Country), also say that the Fair has been a really good experience, and that they’ll be back in 2017. It’s also been very good for ESPAIVISOR, and not just in the first two professional days: "We’ve met collectors and people who’ve shown interest throughout the fair”.
3 1 ARTE CONTEMPORÀNEA agree with this perception. “We’re really happy. This year the level of quality has shot right up, both in terms of the works exhibited and the Fair itself. We’ve met our targets, and even exceeded them. We’ve sold a lot, from the opening day until Saturday evenimg”. ESPACIO MÍNIMO have also noticed an improvement versus previous years. They highlight collectors’ presence and interest in the first two days: "it opened really strongly this year”
The collectors’ high quality and the dynamism of sales in ARCOmadrid were also positively rated by galleries such as LISSON, ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ, FRANCO NOERO, CASADO SANTAPAU, ADN, LUIS ADELANTADO, NOGUERAS BLANCHARD, ESPAIVISOR, KURIMANZUTTO and FORTES VILAÇA, who called it “sensational”, along with many, many others.
Despite official sales figures not being available, galleries’ optimism and collectors’ and institutions’ satisfaction when making numerous acquisitions was clear from the first day.
So ARCOmadrid, which as in previous years was opened by the King and Queen of Spain, was again well-supported by the domestic market, in the form of institutional collections and private collectors.
Amongst the institutional and corporate purchases confirmed in this edition of ARCOmadrid, we find those made by IFEMA for the ARCO Foundation, which is finalizing its acquisitions today.
As is traditional, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía has acquired works at ARCOmadrid worth 400,000 euros, of which 250,000 euros were provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. The museum’s board of trustees approved the purchase of 19 pieces by 10 artists: Ignasi Aballí; Juan Luis Moraza; María Ruido; Joan Rabascall; Dorothy Iannone; Anna Bella Geiger; Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster; Allan Sekula and Antoni Tàpies.
Meanwhile, the Fundación Helga de Alvear has bought works by Danh Vo –Galería Chantal Crousel; Mark Manders –Zeno X-; José Antonio Hernández-Díez –Estrany de la Mota-, and José Guerrero –Cayón-. The Fundación Mª Cristina Masaveu Peterson has acquired works by Irene Grau –Ponce Robles-; Barbara & Michael Leisgen–Beta Pictoris Gallery/ Maus Contemporary Art; Maria Laet -3 1 Arte Contemporánea-; Wolfgang Tillmans –Galería Juana de Aizpuru. The Fundación Sorigué has opted for pieces by Patricia Gómez/Mª Jesús González; Jorma Puranen and Manuel Franquelo.
For its part, DKV Seguros has acquired 19 works for its collection from artists Miguel Fructuoso, Víctor Jaenada, Alex Marco, Manuel Eiris, Irene Grau, Christian García Bello, María Ruido, Ana Santos, from the galleries T20, Formato Cómodo, Bacelos, Rosa Santos, Luis Adelantado, The Goma, and Ponce Robles.
We may add other institutions whose financial support is based on awards such as the Comunidad de Madrid para Jóvenes Artistas, which recognizes the work, creativity and talent of artists aged under 40, and which this year has gone to the work of David Besuté -García Galería-, and of Rubén Grilo, -Nogueras Blanchard-, which will become a part of the Madrid regional government’s CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo collection. Meanwhile, the 2nd NH Collection Contemporary Art Award has recognised the work of David Magán – Galería Cayón-, which will join the NH Hotel Group’s private collection. Along the same lines, the 9th Electronic Art ARCOmadrid/BEEP Award was granted to Portrait on the fly by artists Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau -Galería Anita Beckers-, which will become a part of BEEP’s Collection of Electronic Art.
In addition, Felipe Cohen, an artist participating in the Solo Projects section with Kubik Gallery, was named winner of the ninth edition of the illy SustainArt Award for his work Tiempo Perdido, awarded 15,000 euros, and Leonor Serrano Rivas, from Galería Marta Cervera, won the Solán de Cabras Young Art Award. Also, The Laberynth of Passions, the work of African artist Joël Andrianomearisoa -Galería Sabrina Amrani-, was awarded the 9th Audemars Piguet Award to the Production of a Work of Art.
In addition, there were other institutional and corporate purchases at ARCOmadrid, including those made by the Pérez Art Museum, Iberdrola, Banco Sabadell, Fundación RAC, Fundación Bergé.
The Organization is already working on its new internationalization project, ARCOlisbon, to be held from 26 to 29 May at the Fabrica Nacional da Cordoaria, as well as on the upcoming edition of ARCOmadrid 2017 (22-26 February) and its guest country programme, featuring Argentina.