On Wednesday 11th February the International Contemporary Art Fair, ARCOmadrid_2009
, is opening its doors with 238 galleries from 32 countries in Halls 6, 8 & 10 at Feria de Madrid. As we have come to expect in the month of February, galleries, collectors and other players from the art world will be travelling to Madrid for the 28th edition of the art fair, organised by IFEMA, with a special focus on emerging markets as well as the major international art capitals. The art fair opens the 2009 season against a rarefied backdrop, with its eyes set on the horizon of moderation and calm forecast by the latest market indicators, giving collectors and investors a chance to find the best Spanish and international art, with a spotlight on India, this years guest country, which is showcasing its best galleries and artists.
Of the total, 196 galleries have been chosen by the fairs Planning Committee for its General Programme, which is repeating the subsection it introduced last year called ARCO40 which gives a special focus to more recent work. Blue chip galleries like Marian Goodman Gallery and Edward Tyler Nahem from the USA, Imago Art Gallery from the UK, Lelong from France (returning to the fair) as well as Hauser&Wirth, with galleries in both Zurich and London (first timers) among others, are featured in the GENERAL PROGRAMME.
Besides these galleries, a team of international curators are also presenting a selection of artists, galleries and projects in SOLO PROJECTS, PERFORMING ARCO, and EXPANDED BOX, this last-named with a subsection this year called CINEMA, featuring video art.
Against the backdrop of the commercial success in recent years and its growing status on the international art circuit, ARCOmadrid is again the focal point of interest of the art market with a selection lending special attention to the three market capitals: New York, London and Germany, as well as China, Brazil and India as the main emerging countries with lots of exciting art on offer.
Emerging markets are precisely one of the key elements in the greater stability of contemporary art compared with other areas of investment. This can be readily seen in the results registered over the last twelve months, in which contemporary art saw a rise +12.5% in its price index, according to the consultants Art Price. Despite the slight drop in sales and a stabilization of prices, new records were set, and as good proof, 1760 artists born after 1945 saw new highs in auctions in recent months.
Spatial Project for ARCOmadrid_2009
ARCOmadrid_2009 has made a move to Halls 6, 8 & 10 at Feria de Madrid. The decision to move to this new location was taken in order to ensure a new exhibition layout with all the different sections and spaces on the same level, thus guaranteeing a more integrated fair and a more direct dialogue with the visiting public.
Similarly to last year, the new distribution and design is by the architect Juan Herreros, whose ideas will help improve the layout of ARCOmadrid, restructure the contents of its programmes and activities, and construct a fair that is clearer and more accessible to visitors.
India, an emerging power
ARCOmadrid_2009 is lending its attention once again to emerging markets, this time with the PANORAMA INDIA programme which will prove a useful tool for promoting contemporary art from India on international platforms. In recent times, India has become the happening star in the art market. The countrys booming economic situation, the constant appreciation in value of its artists and the rise of private collectors, make the Indian market one of the most promising focal points for contemporary art in the 21st century. With a broad representation of 13 galleries and around fifty artists selected by the curator Bose Krishnamachari, ARCOmadrid will give European collectors and investors an overview of the current art scene in India.
General Programme + ARCO40
A total of 196 galleries are exhibiting at the GENERAL PROGRAMME and ARCO40, the fairs core programme. Of these, 73 are from Spain and the remaining 123 coming from 27 different countries around the world. For the second year, the ARCO40 subsection lends a specific focus to young emerging art and is a gateway for new galleries to the fair. ARCO40 hosts 53 galleries offering a new vision of contemporary practices, with work created in the last three years by a maximum of three artists, and presented in spaces all measuring forty square metres.
New innovative art at ARCOmadrid_2009 is also on view at its curated programmes: SOLO PROJECTS, EXPANDED-BOX and PERFORMING ARCO feature the latest art as proposed by a total of 55 galleries selected by a team of international curators.
Back again this year after its successful introduction in 2008, PERFORMING ARCO provides a specific space for performance and live art at the International Contemporary Art Fair ARCOmadrid, sponsored by Mango. Selected by a curatorial team comprising La Ribot (dancer, choreographer and visual artist), Adrian Heathfield (teaches Performance and Visual Culture at Roehampton University) and José Esteban Muñoz (director of Performance Studies, Tisch School of Arts, NY University), PERFORMING ARCO gives the visiting public a chance to contemplate three live performances, besides the performances by three Indian artists. They will all add to a broader vision of contemporary art at ARCOmadrid and give the visiting public a chance to catch up with happening tendencies in live art taking place on the Spanish and international scene.
Meanwhile, the Solo Projects programme will be showcasing the diversity of contemporary art with 35 projects reflecting emerging trends in art today. This selection of solo shows in this section was made by a team of eight experts comprising: Colin Chinnery, independent curator, Beijing; Moacir dos Anjos, independent curator and researcher at Fundaçao Joaquim Nabuco, Recife, Brazil; Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, curator of Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil; Alistair Hicks, art advisor for Deutsche Bank London, art critic and editor, London; Susanne Neubauer, curator of Kunstmuseum Lucerne, Switzerland; Virginia Pérez-Ratton, director, Fundación Ars Teor Etica, San José, Costa Rica; Maria Inés Rodríguez, curator of Programation Satellite at Jeu de Paume and editor of Point dIronie, Paris, France; and David G. Torres, independent curator and art critic, Barcelona, Spain.
The final curated section is Expanded Box, sponsored by BEEP_Data logic, specialised in art and new technologies, which continues its support for the unstoppable process of expansion of art practices towards new formats and contexts. This programme will present 15 art projects revolving around two axes: STANDS, a space set aside for multi-format installations, curated by art critic and independent curator, Domenico Quaranta, and CINEMA, a section set aside exclusively for video art selected by independent curator, Carolina Grau. A new addition to ARCOmadrid is the inclusion in this section of a new space called STUDIO. A place at the service of artists which can take the form of a forum, a debate, a dialogue, a monologue, an improvisation or a conference.
Once again, the International Contemporary Art Experts Forum is bringing together experts, academics, theorists and other players in the art world to discuss issues of interest like:
Value System: What gives art its value?; The Art of Collecting Art; The Nowness of Place 2. Interventions in the public space; Global Art Market; Suspension Points; Limited or Illimited? One Question, Many Answers; Custom Markets, Custom Alternatives: Perspectives on Contemporary Practice in Africa; Insurance Policies for Work of Art; Performing; Between Fields. New Media Art between Isolation and Integration, Inter-Disciplinarity and Media Specificity; Good Omens for Bad Times, besides a cycle on the visual arts from this years guest country and promising emerging market: Production of Discourse and Construction of Modernity in India. An Analysis of Contemporary Art Practices
Together with the programme of conferences, there is a series of talks involving artists, international curators, and consultants for major collections, among other professionals, where they can exchange views on the art world and contemporary trends.
The International Contemporary Art Experts Forum has the solid support of five sponsors. First of all CENDEAC (Centro de Documentación y Estudios Avanzados de Arte Contemporáneo) will be taking an active part at the cycle in the Expert Forum titled Suspension Points; Fundación Banco Santander is involved with the cycle The Art of Collecting Art; while AECID (Spanish International Cooperation Agency) and Casa Asia are supporting the cycles Custom Markets, Custom Alternatives: Perspectives on Contemporary Practice in Africa and Production of Discourse and Construction of Modernity in India, respectively. Finally, Mango is also collaborating in the roundtable focussing on Performing, as official sponsor of the section Performing ARCO.
Another section at the fair is ARCO Institutions, conceived to promote and support public and private organisations actively involved in art through their collections. At this section, at which some of these institutions are showing samples of their collections, we can get a taster for the new museum that the gallerist Helga de Alvear will be opening soon in the city of Cáceres for her private collection. In conjunction with the regional government of Extremadura, the Fundación Helga de Alvear is presenting the Visual Arts Centre on February 12th at 7:00 pm, with an encounter between the German gallerist and the renowned Swiss art critic and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, talking about Helga de Alvears magnificent collection, a part of which is on view at the Foundations booth in the exhibition So What?, reflecting her own highly personal taste and personality.
The offer on view at the fair is rounded off with a space for magazines and publications, with a special focus on contemporary art, displayed together in Magazines & Publishers.