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25 January 2023

Fundación ARCO grants the “A” Awards for Collecting on its 27th edition

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Juan Vergez and Patricia Pearson from Vergez; Collegium: Lorena Pérez-Jacome and Javier Lumbreras, and Alejandro Lázaro and Alejandra González, are award-winners on this edition.

Fundación ARCO, promoted by IFEMA MADRID, has granted the “A” Awards for Collecting that this year distinguish three collections: Juan Vergez and Patricia Pearson de Vergez (“A” Award for the Private Latin-American Collection); Collegium: Lorena Pérez-Jacome and Javier Lumbreras (“A” Award for the Promotion and Research of Contemporary Art through Collecting), and Alejandro Lázaro and Alejandra González (“A” Award for the Young National Collection).

On this twenty-seventh edition, Fundación ARCO has granted these awards distinguishing the artistic value of the collections of institutions and collectors, in addition to their work towards the promotion of contemporary art.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 23rd in Matadero Madrid to be followed by the traditional Fundación ARCO dinner, with the collaboration of Cartier, aimed at raising funds for the acquisition of works at ARCOmadrid 2023 for its collection, currently housed in CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo de la Comunidad de Madrid.

Award-winners 2023

Juan Vergez and Patricia Pearson de Vergez  | “A” Award for the Private Latin American Collection

Patricia and Juan Vergez, parents of four children, have been collectors since their marriage 35 years ago when they decided to register their wedding list with an art gallery. From that moment on, they covered the walls of their home, designed to resemble a white cube, with works. They have continued to collect pieces since then, initially Argentinian art, then Latin American and finally, a particular focus on the pieces produced after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Eventually there wasn’t enough room in their home for so many works and, after the search for a new venue to exhibit them, Espacio Tacuarí was born: a space in a building dating back to 1920 in the historical district of San Telmo, in Buenos Aires. Remodelled between 2005 and 2006, it became home to the majority of the pieces in the Colección Vergez in Argentina.

Espacio Tacuarí has become an unmissable port of call for art lovers visiting Argentina. An initiative that embodies the primary goal of Patricia and Juan Vergez: to promote contemporary art and new artists while at the same time enriching cultural growth in Argentina.

Collegium: Lorena Pérez-Jacome and Javier Lumbreras  | “A” Award for the Promotion and Research of Contemporary Art through Collecting

Together, Lumbreras and Pérez-Jácome have built the Adrastus Collection, comprising almost one thousand works by 150 artists from 40 countries, mainly the 21st century. For a number of years they have been immersed in developing Collegium, a contemporary art museum that will occupy the former Jesuit school in the city of Arévalo, Ávila, which will become home to the Colección Adrastus.

The collection is a body of works subject to the principles of experimentation, the demands of a certain political radicality and the unavoidable capacity to generate and produce critical commentary. Without exception, they are all outstanding pieces within the symbolic orders and the grammatical and discursive spaces of contemporary art. An art that points out, reviews and investigates the issues of its context and its time; that ignores the clichés and benefits of the retinal paradigm to exercise its critical possibilities.

The collection seeks to overcome the idea of frontier and manage a naked view of our reality. The abasement of all hegemonic principles, the critical spirit in the face of political anorexia and the disavowal of all exercise of power, confirm the ideals of this collection. A collection that opens up to the world and proposes, in its own way, the dismantling of the cannon law of organisation and comprehension of the history of art and society through the urgent redefinition of economic, political, geographic and cultural issues.

Alejandro Lázaro and Alejandra González | “A” Award for the Young National Collection

The Lázaro collection began in 2013 with the birth of Alejandro and Alejandra’s first daughter, with the wish to gift her a work of art on her eighteenth birthday, thus engaging the youngest generations of their family.

The collection currently comprises nearly 200 works. It initially focused on central European painting. Works like those by the German artist Günther Förg or André Butzer were the first acquisitions.

Once immersed in the marvellous fabric woven around art, between gallery-owners, artists, curators and other professionals, the early essence of the collection underwent a change and was thus hugely enriched. 

In spite of having a very clearly defined line in its early stages, this has become increasingly blurred to make room for works in other mediums such as sculpture, video art and installations, without distinguishing by origin, thus outlining a broader spectrum of their social, political and research interests, and the wonder of beauty and the emotion a work and its artist convey when telling it.

As it is a young collection, they feel a strong commitment to the artists of their generation, but internationally famous artists also form part of the collection.