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Big Names in Contemporary Art at ARCOmadrid_ 2010
People walk near the artwork entitled "Interconnected Sculpture" by Abraham David Christian of Germany at ARCOmadrid, an international contemporary art fair, in Madrid. REUTERS/Juan Medina.

MADRID.- Once again, ARCOmadrid_ 2010, the International Contemporary Art Fair, offers a unique opportunity to see work by major names in the contemporary art world. Many of the top artists, those heading the art market rankings, will have work on show at the art fair in Madrid, making it a unique chance to catch some true master pieces of our time.

From the grandmasters of the avant-gardes such as Picasso, Miró, Gargallo, Vieira da Silva or Duchamp, to more recent arrivals to international stardom like Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor or Paul Morrison; not forgetting seminal names from the second half of the 20th century, like Andy Warhol, Lucio Fontana or Thomas Schütte. The best art from recent decades is on view – and on sale – at ARCOmadrid.

American Masters: From Pop Art to Conceptualism
Los Angeles' role as guest city at the fair this year has motivated many galleries to bring pieces by those great American masters who created trends in contemporary art practice in recent decades. This is the case of Ed Ruscha (Omaha, Nebraska/USA, 1935), one of the masters of Pop Art. His works can be admired at the booth of the Paris gallery 1900*2000, and also at a monographic show on display at Sala Alcalá 31 in Madrid organised concurrently with ARCOmadrid. His paintings, books, photographs and drawings are a clear reflection of the visual language of Southern California: posters, buildings, liquid words and evocations of neon lights and capitalist culture define the style of this key artist.

Another emblem of Pop Art, Wayne Thiebaud (Mesa, Arizona/USA, 1920) is featured in Madrid thanks to the British gallery FAGGIONATO FINE ARTS. Commemorating the 90th year of this great American painter, the gallery is presenting a revision of the artist’s main periods at its booth in the GENERAL PROGRAMME. Though widely known for his still-life paintings with depictions of delis and diners, toys and consumer objects, he also tackled other genres, like urban landscape, portraying the hills and streets of San Francisco. One of the pieces on show at the fair is Little Deli, 2001, an oil on canvas that, with its simplified shapes and bright palette, and his extremely sensuous handling of oil paint, provides an excellent example of his work.

At its booth in the GENERAL PROGRAMME the German gallery HANS MAYER is showing pieces by artists like Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and Keith Haring, with signature vocabularies which have earned them the status as icons of Western culture. Another of the artists whose works are constantly beating new records at auction is the New Yorker Jean-Michel Basquiat, who last season was second in the ranking of total volume of sales. His dramatic works, half way between expressionism and graffiti, can be seen at FAGGIONATO FINE ARTS.

Of course, the galleries exhibiting in the PANORAMA: Los Angeles section, also provide visitors with the opportunity to see first-hand some of the big names in Californian art. MARGO LEAVIN GALLERY is showing works by John Baldessari (National City, California/USA, 1931), one of the pioneers of Californian Conceptualism and an artist who, over the last four decades, has explored narrative possibilities through photography, video and artist’s books, to create allegories and tell stories.

L.A. LOUVER is another gallery boasting key pieces in the history of US art, with works by David Hockney (Bradford/UK, 1937), a British artist who moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s, whose signature collages with juxtaposed images taken with Polaroid earned him international recognition. At present, Hockney is working on an ongoing exploration of beauty and light with a passion and emotional intensity that saturates his palette.

In turn, REGEN PROJECTS gallery has brought pieces by one of the cutting-edge names in contemporary US art creation: Raymond Pettibon (Tucson, Arizona/USA, 1957). His expressive drawings deconstruct and reconstruct icons of contemporary culture from a highly personal narrative. Besides, this dynamic artist has illustrated the official T-shirt for ARCOmadrid_ 2010, on sale at the fair to give the general public ready access to one of the greatest contemporary artists of the moment. The profits raised will go to the Fundación Menudos Corazones charity.

Leading International Artists
Apart from the noteworthy selection of US artists, ARCOmadrid_ 2010 also offers the possibility to catch work by some of the most renowned contemporary artists. For instance, we have names who have already reached the status of classics, like the Italian-Argentinean painter and sculptor Lucio Fontana (Rosario/ARGENTINA, 1899-1968), whose torn canvases have earned him ninth place among the best selling artists in auction, reaching figures close to €10 million. This year, pieces by Fontana can be admired at FAGGIONATO FINE ARTS, next to pieces by the German sculptor Thomas Schütte (Oldenburg/GERMANY, 1954), whose ranking has soared in recent years placing him among the 200 artists born in the second half of the 20th century with the highest sales volume.

And as we can expect, some galleries are exhibiting paintings by Francis Bacon (Dublin/IRELAND, 1909-Madrid/SPAIN, 1992), one of the best rated artists in the world, to the point of even outselling masters of modern art or Impressionism like Van Gogh or Renoir. His paintings are on display at MARLBOROUGH and also at FAGGIONATO FINE ARTS, representative in the UK and in the rest of Europe of the Bacon estate.

ARCOmadrid_ 2010 is also the perfect occasion to see pieces by Georg Baselitz, a German painter whose work has been seen in the main museums and art centres of Europe and America, like the Guggenheim New York, or the Royal Academy in London, where he had a a major retrospective of his work in 2007. Five galleries are selling pieces by Baselitz: HEINRICH EHRHARDT, from Spain; SABINE KNUST, from Germany; CATHERINE PUTMAN and THADDAEUS ROPAC both from France; and THE PARAGON PRESS, a British gallery specialising in top quality prints and multiples.

Geniuses of Latin American Art
ARCOmadrid is always an excellent showcase for Latin American art. Indeed, the solid support the fair lends to Latin American art creation has ensured the presence in Madrid, year after year, of a considerable number of galleries from that part of the world. The strongest contingent comes from Brazil. For instance, LUCIANA BRITO GALERIA, in the SOLO PROJECTS section, is showing an impressive selection of works by the Ruptura Group, a collective made up, among others, by Geraldo de Barros (Chavantes, 1923-Sao Paulo/BRAZIL, 1998), Waldemar Cordeiro (Rome/ITALY, 1925-1973) and Luiz Sacilotto (Santo André, 1924-Sao Bernardo do Campo/BRAZIL, 2003). Ruptura is absolutely crucial for any proper understanding of Brazilian art in the second half of the 20th century, paving the way for later movements like Neo-Concrete Art, Pop Art and Conceptual Art in Brazil.

Lygia Clark (Belo Horizonte, 1920-Rio de Janeiro/BRAZIL, 1988) is another of the great Brazilian artists. She was part of the Constructivist movement in Brazil in the mid 20th century, and a co-founder of the Neo-Concrete movement. Always searching for interactivity and forging links between art and society, her work is on view at DAN GALERIA, a gallery also showing pieces by another artist, Mira Schendel (Zurich/SWITZERLAND, 1919- São Paulo/BRAZIL, 1988), whose use of language in her work exerted a major influence on Brazilian art.

The big Latin American names of the historical avant-gardes are also represented at ARCOmadrid_ 2010, Joaquín Torres-García (Montevideo/URUGUAY, 1874-1949) among them. Works by this Uruguayan artist of Catalan descent and founder of Constructive Universalism, a movement connected with European Cubism, are on show at three booths of the fair: ORIOL GALERIA D’ART, GUILLERMO DE OSMA and LEANDRO NAVARRO.

Rising Spanish Stars
ARCOmadrid_ 2010 is the perfect occasion to see pieces by Spanish artists working today, many of whom are also well-known internationally. One of them is Elena del Rivero (Valencia/SPAIN, 1949), a Spanish artist based in New York since 1991, whose work on paper draws inspiration from American art, particularly from Minimal And Conceptual practices, and also from a number of literary and historical-artistic episodes. Regularly exhibited in museums and art centres of Europe and America, her works are on view in the booth of the Madrid gallery ELVIRA GONZALEZ.

Another of the Spanish artists with international renown is Dora García (Valladolid/SPAIN, 1965), whose provocative work, on view at JUANA DE AIZPURU and PROJECTESD, is full of literary quotations with which García parodies prejudices, clichés and conventions, in a body of work of photographs and multimedia creations exploring and questioning the potential relationship between artist, work and spectator.

Also worth checking out is the work by Antoni Muntadas (Barcelona/SPAIN, 1942), a regular at many biennials – Venice, Paris, Sao Paulo, Lyon – and the Kassel Documenta, and with works in major international museums including MOMA, MNCARS and MACBA. LA FÁBRICA GALERÍA from Madrid is showing the works of this New York-based artist widely considered as the father of Spanish

One of the many Spanish contemporary artists sure to attract attention at ARCOmadrid_ 2010 is the photographer Pablo Genovés (Madrid/SPAIN, 1959). With echoes of the Düsseldorf School –and very specially Candida Höfer– this Madrid-based artist has created a discourse on destruction, picturing the final moments of things, in a reflection about the end of an era. Two galleries have photographs by Genovés on their walls, ESTIARTE (Madrid) and ART NUEVE (Murcia).

To give just a few examples of the high quality of artworks on show at ARCOmadrid_ 2010, we could name young Spanish emerging talents like Ángel Núñez, Ana Teresa Ortega or Íñigo Royo, on show at BACELOS, a gallery from Galicia; or major European artists like David Maljkovic, Markus Schinwald or Muntean & Rosenblum on view at the Austrian gallery GEORG KARGL… and so on until reaching 3,000 art practitioners from recent decades that make ARCOmadrid the must-visit event it is for all lovers of contemporary art.

ARCOmadrid_ 2010 | Contemporary Art | Damien Hirst | Anish Kapoor | Paul Morrison |

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