ART MADRID\'16: THE YEAR OF NEW COLLECTORS

 

 

After the Madrid Art Week, the most important appointment on the agenda of professionals and art lovers of our country, Art Madrid'16 celebrates having a prominent position these days.

 

 

The 11th edition of the Contemporary Art Fair Art Madrid, developed between 24 and 28 February, has received about 20,000 visitors at the Crystal Gallery of CentroCentro Cibeles, figure to which we add the large participation of the public in the various Parallel Activities of our program #ARTEYGÉNERO with talks, workshops and roundtables that have received about 1,500 people.

 

 

 

 

Art Madrid, consolidated as the second great fair of contemporary art in our country, has managed to bring art to a wider spectrum of fans of all ages and first collectors who have enjoyed a very close form of art experience. But, it has also seen increasing presence of professionals, gallery owners, institutions and museums to visit, among others, Isidro Hernández Gutiérrez, curator of the TEA (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes); Catalina Rodríguez, coordinator of Centro Cultural Las Cigarreras (Alicante); Aurora Zubillaga, senior director at Sotheby's Spain; the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Fenosa Gas Natural (MAC) of A Coruna, Carmen Fernandez; Carmen Espinosa, Lazaro Galdiano Curator Mo; MUSAC representatives and Denver Art Museum US.

 

 

 

 

 

The 11th edition of the fair has been highlighted by the increase in about 40% of the presence of new collectors. Together, with foreign collectors from ARCO, we have received responsible for collections Belondrade (Valladolid), Fundació Lluís Corominas (Lluis Coromina Isern entrepreneur) or Ebro Foods SA Foundation; Iratxe Galindez, Coordinator of the Würth Collection Museo de La Rioja; the Art21 Foundation (Belgium) as well as private collectors as Ernesto Ventos (Collection OLOR VISUAL), Andreu Rodriguez (business group Ticnova), Mª Jose Sobrini (Head of Digital Business Cisco Systems), Emilio Gilolmo (Vicepte. Fundación Telefónica) and responsible for the areas of arts and Culture in Foundation Botin Foundation ICO Foundation and Iberdrola.

 

THE YEAR OF NEW COLLECTORS

 

Joan Miró's sculptures, the work of master Mendive or the art works of Kiko Miyares and Hugo Alonso, were some of the most valued pieces by collectors in this edition. But, the great revelation of Art Madrid'16 has been the canary gallery ARTIZAR, who participated for the first time and risking with a single artist, master Mendive. "Our proposal has aroused much interest and until the last moment of the show we sold almost all the pieces. They were mostly known collectors of Miami and the Canary Islands, but we had pleasant surprises with new collectors", transmitted to us Pedro Pinto, director of the gallery.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Patrick Caputo from Unique Gallery Turin (Italy) remarks that his experience has been satisfactory because of "the level of artists and taste in the selection of galleries". "In terms of sales," he adds, "we sold art works by 4 among the 6 artists I proposed, pieces of various formats, so we are very happy."

 

Meanwhile, Eduardo Sanchez, director of NUCA ESPACIO (Salamanca), gallery awarded the Acquisition Prize NOCAPAPER, said "the setting is magnificent and we already had very good references [...] the influx of visitors has been good and varied and sales, being our first presence, I think they went very well and got great impact and new customers. "

 

Pep Llabrés, director of the Mallorcan gallery of the same name, which premiered in the General Program, notes that "the size and location of the fair are the ideal and although the buying public was critical and had more doubts than in the year above, the end has been a great fair in which virtually all customers were new collectors ".
 

 

Among the specialised professional profiles that we find in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the field of visual arts, one of the most recent occupations is that of the curator. The ‘80s put attention on the role of the artist, with its innovative character and the enhancement of its figure as an essential articulator of creative proposals, while the end of the century moved the interest towards the exhibition centres themselves and their work as custodians of current production and as spaces to accommodate all proposals. The change of millennium strongly introduced in this panorama the role of the curator. Perhaps together with a social identity crisis, perhaps with the complexity that contemporary projects are currently acquiring, the need for building, articulating and delving into artistic discourses became evident.

Although the functions entrusted to this profession are not entirely new, since previously they belonged to conservatives, critics or experts according to the themes, the role has gained solidity because it combines all these purposes while allowing the specialisation of other professionals in their fields of competence. Now, as some curators themselves point out, the genuine spirit of this figure, who was born to facilitate the understanding of the discourse, create narratives within a sometimes chaotic and scattered context, mediate between the works and the spectator and create bridges between contemporary art and society.

The art of our day raises a multitude of unknowns for the visitor who must face proposals many times away from the aesthetic standards, which gives way to uncertainty and confusion; but, in turn, these works employ a closer language, materials and even compositions detached from the sophistication and the technical display of yesteryear, something that, far from favouring proximity to the message, generates some distancing. What we have just described is part of the very essence of current art. The questioning of the formalist guidelines and the recourse to tangible elements that are more utilitarian than embellishing are the new criteria of creation, where, above all, the message to be conveyed stands out.

Likewise, another inherent characteristic of the work of our time is the artists' concern for more immediate themes, for social, political and economic issues that seek to create a narrative and conceptual revulsion, leaving behind the aesthetic priority or, rather, making of the message its own aesthetic. In this context, strange as it may seem, contemporary creation encounters a linguistic barrier hindering the viewer's understanding. And to this circumstance, the abundant current production is added, covering a wide range of themes that are nothing more than a transcript of our diverse and globalised society.

The curator helps to facilitate this understanding by articulating a coherent discourse that allows the grouping of related ideas to set up the message. This requires to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of the art, the lines of work of the creators, the most recent aesthetic proposals and the real demands of society to bridge the dialogue and allow the approach to art. If art deals with the same issues that concern us all, how can we not share its postulates? Cultural mediation requires the work of the curators to open a small window for reflection and to enable a space for exchange and idea generation. We share the thought that José Guirao expressed in a recent interview: "The curator is someone who reveals something new, and it would be a mistake for curators to become managers."

Understood this way curator’s role, many institutions have joined the trend of creating specific calls for new professionals to give light to their proposals. Let us remember, as an example, the call "Unpublished" of La Casa Encendida, or "Curator wanted", of the Community of Madrid or the call of Curating of La Caixa.