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ARCO MADRID wants Latin America to come back

Arco invited many artists and galleries from Latin America this year in order to regain the role it used to have. New international art fairs stole ARCO visibility in the last years, but now (after 35 years) ARCO re-invents itself. ARCO Madrid was born in an era, when everything started in the modern art world and today it tries re-invent itself by looking at Latin America. After other fairs, such as Art Bassel Miami, Sao Paulo Fair for example, started to grow in importance, ARCO now tries to get its international recognition back and to re-conquest a protagonist role and it does it by deciding to collaborate with the galleries of the countries on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.In the last 35 years not only ARCO, but also modern art changed a lot: art genres started mixing with each other, expression became more similar to theater (the performance) and to cinema, artists can be less academic, freer.

But what also changed completely is the art world and the art market. The only thing that has not changed is the fact that the center, the neuralgic point for modern art continues to be in Europe and United States. The numerous fairs that appeared in Latin America in the last years and the crisis that affected Europe (especially the south) are two of the main reasons, why many gallerists chose to stop going to exhibit their artists in Madrid.

ARCO Madrid was born in 1982, and it was already in 1997, that the fair invited a lot of Latin American countries; this showed very good what was happening in the artistic panorama, during those times: the artists from south America needed to come to Europe if they wanted to obtain visibility and Arco was the best opportunity for them to obtain it. Since then Latin America started a great dialogue with Arco and vice versa.

But things started to change when art fairs also appeared over ocean (see Art Basel in Miami). With the title „imaginando otros futuros“ (imaging alternative futures) ARCO Madrid decided to invite Latin Americans galleries. There were 4 from Sao Paulo, one of these was “Casa Triángulo”, which presented two artists from two different generations: Manuela Ribadeneira (1966) and the 30-year-old Ivan Grilo, who created (like his collegue Ribadeneira) a site-specific work of art for the fair in the Spanish capital city.

Casa Triângulo


There was also the gallery “Carmen Araujo Arte” from Caracas (Venezuela), whose two artists Christian Vinck y Marco Montiel-Soto investigate and explore the various shifts of the socio-cultural tissue of Latin America. The two artists appropriate in their works the symbols and the landscapes of the indigene culture of Venezuela, in order to dislocate one of the most emblematic discourses of their country.

Carmen Araujo Ediciones

CHRISTIAN VINCK. Downeyanomami, 2015 Óleo sobre lienzo Oil on canvas 24 x 31,5 cm

Courtesy ARCOmadrid

MARCO MONTIEL-SOTO. These roots are thinking to grow in all directions to intertwine other while they make a round, 2014 Instalación Installation

Courtesy ARCOmadrid

These are only some examples of the galleries from Latin America that participated in Arco this year. In order to know if these galleries will take part again in the next year´s Arco fair and if Arco reached its goal of re-conquest the interest of these galleries in exhibiting in Madrid, we have to wait until next February 2017!


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