The most noteworthy new introduction at ARCOmadrid_ 2010
is the focus on Los Angeles , one of the world's epicentres for art right now, as the fair's special invited guest. This is a new twist to its Panorama section, shifting from its usual focus on a country to a single city. The idea is present a more homogeneous portrait of what's happening in a specific urban area that is, in itself, one of the major art capitals of the USA . It is L.A. 's dynamism energy and creative diversity that has situated it at the forefront of the world's art market.
With the support of the City Council of Los Angeles and a selection of 17 galleries chosen by Kris Kuramitsu y Christopher Miles, PANORAMA: Los Angeles brings together "a huge variety of works in terms of technique, genre and leaning", as the curators point out. Works created by "artists coming from different generations, backgrounds and degrees of fame" in a selection that is primarily looking for "vitality in all shapes and forms and trying to be as faithful as possible to the idea of offering a panorama of the city", despite the fact that L.A. "constantly surprises us and that it is impossible to come up with any totalising viewpoint", explained Kuramitsu and Miles.
L.A., a city for art
"As a city for art, Los Angeles has become, and continues to be, a key centre for production, distribution and discourse at a time when centres are increasingly losing control and lacking in any kind of dominant school or movement", the curators tell us. The movements that once defined cities, "have been replaced here by a plurality and promiscuity of activity that forecloses a monolithic identity".
In point of truth, and as one will see at ARCOmadrid_ 2010, "though the history of art in L.A. is unquestionably shorter than that of many other cities, it is nevertheless dense and complex, mirroring an art scene that has reached adulthood -and we are not just speaking of artists, but also of its schools and museums, its alternative spaces, patrons and galleries- at a time of transition between the end of the modern age and postmodernism, determined by its own diversity and the plurality of an art practice that is predicated on the big changes that took place in the arts, academia and society as a whole".
More specifically, one might well say that this 21st century metropolis "has an artistic culture with a huge cross-generational wealth, largely thanks to its influential position over the last few decades, its network of private art school and academies, as well as the art departments in public and private universities", as the curators of Panorama: Los Angeles put it.
From West Side to Mid-City
This huge diversity is reflected in a selection of galleries that ranges from some of LA's most veteran spaces to others that opened just a few years ago. A cross-section sampling the whole city, from the West Side to Mid-City and Downtown. "Although the selection of artists in Panorama: Los Angeles cannot be said to be exhaustive, nor would you say that it is reductionist", claim Kuramitsu and Miles. "Our goal was to present diverse works in terms of media, genre and leaning, produced by artists of equally diverse origins, generations and fame". A project primarily based on galleries but which, according to the curators, has its eyes firmly set on artists, so that "the section dedicated to LA at ARCOmadrid_ 2010 includes big galleries, but also showcases big artists".
In fact the process of selection undertaken by the curators, "focused on a search for vitality in all shapes and forms and tried to be as faithful as possible to the idea of offering a panorama of the city that constantly surprises us and is impossible to sum up in any totalising viewpoint".
Demonstrating the whole diversity of Los Angeles , the biggest and most populated city in California , ARCOmadrid_ 2010 will be hosting the galleries 1301PE, ACME GALLERY and STEVE TURNER, from the East-West quarter and PERES PROJECTS and CHERRY AND MARTIN from Mid City, in the dynamic La Cienega Design Quarter, a magnet for lovers of art and design.
Also travelling to Madrid , this time from Chinatown in LA, are THOMAS SOLOMON, CHINA ART OBJECTS GALLERIES, KATHRYN BRENNAN GALLERY , THE HAPPY LION and REDLING FINE ART. And coming from the mythical neighbourhood of Venice is L.A. LOUVER while Beverly Hills is represented by MARGO LEAVIN GALLERY and REGEN PROJECTS.
The visiting public will also come away with a good idea of the vitality of the metropolitan area of Los Angeles, which has countless thriving art centres like Culver City, in western Los Angeles county and the headquarters of the US branch of SUSANNE VIELMETTER -which also has a gallery in Berlin and has already exhibited at ARCOmadrid on several occasions. Furthermore, rounding off the selection made by Kris Kuramitsu and Christopher Miles are the galleries from Santa Monica , ROSAMUND FELSEN GALLERY, SHOSHANA WAYNE and CHRISTOPHER GRIMES GALLERY, a regular at ARCOmadrid over recent years.
Los Angeles, off ARCOmadrid
ARCOmadrid's cultural programme oversteps the boundaries of the exhibition centre itself, because, similarly to other years, during the month of February the city of Madrid is a hotbed of exhibitions, performances and other cultural events focused on the fair's invited guest, this year the city of Los Angeles .
A programme coordinated by the writer George Stolz together with the ARCOmadrid team, and curated by Kris Kuramitsu and Christopher Miles, will round off the vision of Los Angeles on show from art galleries at the fair. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Matadero Madrid , Las Arquerías de Nuevos Ministerios and Instituto Cervantes are some of the cultural centres and museums which will be hosting various shows and other art events from Los Angeles during ARCOmadrid.
Los Angeles at the Experts Forum
The 8th Experts Forum brings together a roster of well-known artists, curators, theorists and other players in the art world to discuss issues of concern at the current moment in time, and also to contextualise the Panorama L.A. programme in the panel "Alternative Approaches to Presenting Art in Los Angeles" directed by Russell Ferguson, chair of the UCLA Department of Art (Los Angeles, USA), as well as with the participation of Jorge Pardo, a Cuban-American artist resident in Los Angeles, in "Conversations With Artists".