ART MADRID’18 CLOSES ITS MOST SUCCESSFUL EDITION

The Crystal Gallery of CentroCentro Cibeles, a space in which the Art Madrid Contemporary Art Fair has been held for the fifth consecutive year, has received more than 20,000 visitors, between Wednesday, February 21 and Sunday, February 25, among which it has increased up to a 20% the percentage of professional public and collectors, both private and institutional.

Photo by Julia Mateo from Madphoto

For this 13th edition, the selection committee of Art Madrid’18, formed by the international art market specialist Ángel Samblancat; the theorist and art critic Alfonso de la Torre, the gallery owner Javier López Vélez, from 3 Punts (Barcelona) and, the independent curator Carlos Delgado Mayordomo, assessed more than a hundred proposals to give shape to a program with quality and potential of sales, demanding to the galleries coherent and avant-garde proposals.

“I liked the hyperactivity of the fair and the ambient of permanent enthusiasm and, of course, the meeting space that is created between established artists and new emerging voices. Art Madrid has become a very different proposal, in the sense of distinguished, in the hectic artistic February”, says Alfonso de la Torre. On the other hand, Samblancat highlights “the best selection of proposals by exhibitors at the fair and greater openness to international galleries, for example in Latin America with magnificent representations such as Collage Havana of Cuba, Italy with Casa Falconieri of Cagliari, Asia with Yiri Arts of Taipei and his new contributions, from Germany with Schmalfuss and Robert Drees, from Ukraine with Nebo Art Gallery from Kiev and his exciting fabrics of exquisite talent”.

Photo by Miguel Ángel Satué from Madphoto

ENTHUSIASM AMONG COLLECTORS AND FEATURED ARTISTS

Frasco Pinto and Pedro Pinto, directors of the Artizar de Tenerife Gallery, highlight the variety of the public in “a very visited fair, with art lovers of all kinds. Veteran collectors, young collectors, visitors with no more aim than to see and enjoy art and curious". In terms of sales, his proposal, a ONE PROJECT by Carlos Nicanor “has covered and exceeded expectations. The truth is that it has worked very well”, they say. Jaime Sordo, president of the Association of Collectors 9915 was one of the collectors who chose a piece of Nicanor for his collection “Los Bragales”. For the gallerist Arancha Osoro from Oviedo, the balance has been very positive and “adespite bringing a new and personal choice, difficult in some case to defend in such a large market, we are happy because we have sold work of all our artists, highlighting especially the pieces of artists that have gone to private collections, such as an acrylic by Jezabel Rodríguez, a large-scale work by Nuria Formenti and a piece by the sculptor Kiko Miyares ”.

Along with the artists already mentioned, there are other artists appreciated by the collectors and buyers of this edition, such as the painter Lino Lago (with several pieces sold with the Moret Art gallery in A Coruña), Taiwanese Lai Wei-Yu drom the Yiri Arts gallery (the youngest painter in the collection of the Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts), the sculptor Candela Muniozguren who sold several pieces of her ONE PROJECT with the gallery Bea Villamarín, the Korean Joo Eun Bae, an authentic revelation from the MH Art Gallery in Bilbao, Carmen Calvo, National Fine Arts Prize, from which several collages were sold in the Art Lounge gallery in Lisbon, or Roldán Lauzán from the Cuban gallery Collage Habana, one of whose portraits is already part of the Colección Bassat.

Lino Lago

1.Rojo, 2017

Oil on linen

30 x 24cm

Candela Muniozguren

Tetrix 04, 2017

Lacquered steel

50 x 20cm

Lai Wei-Yu

After School Fight, 2017

Oil on canvas

116 x 91cm

For Sara Joudi, from the Galería Shiras Valencia) for the first time in Art Madrid, “there was a profile of new collectors and occasional buyers who were very interested in our proposal and acquired work. There was a favorable environment for the sale and very positive comments on the general proposal of the fair. We sold works of all the artists we carry. “ From another of the new galleries, Diwap Gallery (Sevilla), his co-director Juan Cruz says that his time at Art Madrid has been "a rewarding experience seeing how the work of urban artists and environments different from the usual one is being introduced, it’s a slow road but you have to do it and be patient and Art Madrid has made a very good bet “.

Javier López, from Galeria 3 Punts highlights an “increasingly interesting and younger audience” that surprised them as potential buyers because in this edition they have “exceeded sales expectations”. The 3 Punts proposal included, among others, Okuda San Miguel, Samuel Salcedo, Gerard Mas, Mark Jenkins and Ramon Surinyac. In this sense, the German gallery Robert Drees, reference space for contemporary art in Hannover, highlights “the energy and enthusiasm of buyers and art lovers among the public of Art Madrid” without forgetting “the space, an unparalleled location to show art”.

Pepa Salas

Alles wird gut, 2017

Acrylic on canvas

80 x 80cm

Okuda San Miguel

Punk Horse, 2017

Synthetic enamel and fiberglass

68 x 60cm

The proposal of the galería Luisa Pita, according to the gallerist, “has captured the attention of collectors and entities such as the Caja Burgos Foundation with whom I have closed an exhibition project for Christian Villamide, or collaborations with two architectural studios to integrate works by Pierre Louis Geldenhuys in his next projects”, says the gallerist.

This possibility of new projects, the meeting with other professionals, is one of the experiences the artists most appreciate. “EIt is the perfect link to contact other galleries, private collectors, share experiences with other artists... Participate in Art Madrid opens a range of possibilities for any artist, motivating him to continue creating with the spirit and perspective of being able to live of art”, explains the Spanish Pepa Salas, represented by the Robert Drees gallery.

For Rubén Martín de Lucas, one of the most valued artists in the latest editions of Art Madrid with the BAT alberto cornejo gallery, the fairs “are a great energizer, especially at the art market level (necessary to support the entire structure). It serves very well as a complement to the more leisurely and profound work carried out by the artists in the galleries and institutions. In addition, being able to meet the public, have their opinion, have their opinion firsthand... shortens the distance between artist and audience. The image of the deified artist in his pulpit is deceptive and unreal. “

Rubén Martín de Lucas

Large Wild Garden 03, 2017

Crayon, oil and enamel

180 x 240cm

“It’s one of the fairs where I’ve most socialized and I’ve felt very comfortable in contact with the public, I’ve felt very loved. I really liked participating in one of the best fairs in my country, championing a series of artists that symbolize certain changes in the art market, “ adds Okuda San Miguel, Guest Artist at Art Madrid’18.

Okuda San Miguel, Photo by Miguel Ángel Satué from Madphoto

GUESTS AND PERSONALITIES

The official inauguration of Art Madrid’18 was attended by, among other personalities, the ambassadors of Germany, Brazil, Ukraine, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Chile, Russia, the ambassador of Costa Rica, Mexico, as well as Mr. Pedro Berhan da Costa, Culture Counselor of the Embassy of Portugal, Mrs. Natasha Díaz, First Secretary of the Embassy of Cuba, Mr. Antonio Lee, Cultural Attaché of the Economic and Cultural Office of Taipei, Mr. Ryan Matheny Garrido, Deputy Cultural Attaché of the United States Embassy, a good example of the importance that the fair already has among collectors and foreign professionals.

On the part of the local institutions have visited the fair Dª. Manuela Carmena, Mayor of Madrid, D. Óscar Sáenz de Santa María, Director of Cultural Industries and the Book of MECD, Mr. Luis Serrano, of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage of the Community of Madrid, as well as Dª. Elisa de Cabo de la Vega Deputy Director General for the Protection of the Historical Heritage of the Ministry of Culture MECD.

Dª Manuela Carmena and the artist Antonyo Marest. Photo by Sara Ortega from Madphoto

As a representative of cultural institutions and foundations: Luis Lafuente Batanero, General Director of Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage, Javier del Campo of Fundación Caja de Burgos, Dª. Leticia Martín, Manager Atlantic Center of Modern Art-CAAM, Mr. D. Santiago Miralles, General Director of the Casa de América, Dª. María Brancós Barti, Head of Exhibitions of the Fundación Telefónica and Ms. Rosario López Director of Cultural Projects of the Banco de Santander Foundation.

Fernando Gómez de la Cuesta is an art critic at ABC Cultural, an independent exhibition curator, a researcher and a teacher. He has a Degree in Law from the UB and in History of Art from the UIB. Member of the ACCAIB and Territorial President of the IAC. He is critical of ABC Cultural and is part of the publication Ministerio de la Verdad of the Sublime. He has been a resident curator at the Casal Solleric in Palma with different exhibition cycles (2010-3), Director of the PalmaPhoto photography festival (2013-5), he has curated CRIdA (artists' residence of the Palma City Council from 2011 to 2012), the 1st Festival of Contemporary Art of Saltillo (Coahuila, Mexico, 2015) and the Contemporary Art Fair MARTE de Castellón (2018).

He is currently preparing several exhibition projects for the CGAC of Santiago de Compostela, Cabildo de Lanzarote, Centro Párraga de Murcia and La Regenta of Las Palmas. He has curated multiple individuals and collective exhibitions in spaces such as, among others, TEA Tenerife, MUCA Rome of Mexico, Niemeyer Centre of Avilés, Kunst Haus Wien, Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in Mallorca, Cervantes Institute in Prague, Es Baluard of Palma, Michael Horbach Stiftung of Colonia, Las Cigarreras of Alicante, Hilvaria Studios of Tilburg, Espai Rambleta of Valencia, MUU Helsinki or CEART Fuenlabrada, with the participation of artists such as Carlos Aires, Ana Laura Aláez, Irene de Andrés, Verónica R. Frías, Jorge García, Martín y Sicilia, Rosell Meseguer, Guillermo Mora, Santiago Morilla, PSJM, Avelino Sala, Amparo Sard, José Luís Serzo, Javier Vallhonrat or Simon Zabell, to name a few.

 

How did you receive this proposal from Art Madrid?

With great enthusiasm. For professionals who work from peripheral locations, in my case from a town in Mallorca called Artà, we find it very difficult to access the programs and projects that are developed in the capital. It is always a pleasure (and a responsibility) to have the opportunity to curate a proposal in Madrid, much more if you do it for a prestigious structure, as consolidated and organised, as is the international contemporary art fair Art Madrid.

 

How did you tackle this curatorship?

The truth is that since I received the invitation from Alberto Cornejo and his team I have enjoyed absolute freedom and total support to develop the idea I had in mind. Curating a section of a fair is a kind of special curatorship, you should never lose sight of where, how and why one is taking care of the selection and content of a proposal, and a contemporary art fair is a context marked by very powerful limits: one of them is the payroll of galleries that apply and the artists who present themselves; another, that all have as their first objective the sale of work. Starting from these initial conditions, I had a lot of interest in investigating something that has to do with the market as a legitimising institution within the professional developments of the current art world, also about fashions, trends, currents and about those resistant artists who decide to take paths away from them. I wanted to raise awareness about that dichotomy that already occurred between the great official salons and those creators who subverted the state of the matter from their participation in them or generating new alternative devices such as independent or des refusés salons.

 

What do you think is the role of One Project within Art Madrid?

One Project is a project that precedes me and has a foundational basis and a broad development over time. Both Carlos Delgado Mayordomo and Nerea Ubieto (colleagues who have previously curated this program) have done a great job. One Project must serve the fair to introduce new artists and new galleries, but at any cost, it must fulfil that function, no doubt, but it must do so by establishing a forum for reflection and debate, a place to put the prism on some concrete aspect of contemporary creation to be able to analyze it with a certain depth. One Project is a section that must have that plus of research, of calm, effort and rigour, to try to give another type of depth and visibility to the work of artists and gallery projects within a fair of art.

 

How do you expect the public will live the format used in this idea of ​​debate-conflict?

The title of the proposal, “Salvajes. La cage aux fauves”, already puts us on the track. Our idea, apparently contradictory, is to generate that friction based on a peculiar symbiosis, in which we have counted on artists who walk the path of creation through a path that is autonomous, personal and, sometimes, in conflict with the usual, with the recurrent, with the trend, with fashion... Artists who paint and sculpt with effort as a form of resistance and who do so in an epidermal, superfluous and vertiginous era, where hardly anyone pays attention to anything. Artists who believe from expressiveness, impulse or iconoclasm, from a passionate and vehement, visceral, desacralising or irreverent perspective. We hope that the public lives it with the same interest and the same intensity we aimed when building this story. For this, we have counted on Virginia Rivas, Roberto López, Julio Anaya Cabanding, Pichiavo, Santiago Palenzuela, Juan Carlos Batista, Andrés Planas, Alona Harpaz and Nicolàs Laìz Placeres, who are represented by DDR Art Gallery, Plastic Murs, Kaplan Projects, MA arte contemporary and the Agency of Cultural Transits.

 

What role do you think fairs play in the Spanish art market and how would you frame Art Madrid?

This and other fairs fulfil a fundamental mission when activating the sector. I believe in the fair as a dynamic agent and as a node of that network of activity that is deployed throughout the national territory, and I believe in its importance for the creation of new collectors. In my opinion, collecting, the private initiative in general, is one of the keys that can make a sector like ours become a professional economic fabric where the participating agents can live from their work, preventing it from remaining this circus of juggling games where they stay in an almost permanent precariousness. For that, basic education, a lot of pedagogy and a lot of intermediation are needed. We must increase the affection and sensitivity towards culture in general, and towards contemporary art in particular. Art Madrid undertakes this mission in a brave way, with an evolution that consolidates edition after edition. The permanence and growth of its complementary programs, where One Project is framed, demonstrates this.

 

And what do you think is the place of contemporary Spanish art within the international artistic paradigm?

Unfortunately, far from where the quality of the agents that compose it should place it. We suffer from a main problem that affects basic structures and acts as an obstacle very difficult to overcome. In many cases, we still do not charge decent fees for our work, without respecting our elementary rights, our creations and authorship, from this preliminary situation it is difficult to project an international professional career, in addition, the market and private investment are very restricted. The institutional sphere that, as in other contexts, should be our fundamental support, is still marked by political interference. In Spain, there is an excessive dependence on the public realm in what refers, above all, to contemporary art and that makes us have some political interlocutors completely unaware of what we do. These people manage the spaces and budgets that we use since precariousness but, in reality, they have motivations that are far from ours. Contemporary creation moves in terms and interests very different from those of the political pace. We need long-term plans and professional criteria to decide and develop them, while the ruling class still wants to control the contents of cultural institutions so that they become spokespersons for the ideology of the party in power. Meanwhile, we, the palace jesters, endow them with “controlled cultural offer”: they see us as necessary (and needy) programmers who go through (almost) all the hoops because of that hardship situation. A situation imposed by the rulers that manage to dissociate us as a sector, causing us to accept works that do not comply with the deontology that, in social networks and other forums, we all defend (but that we do not always apply).

 

We know that the cultural sector maintains its almost inherent precariousness even though we are experiencing an extraordinary period of artistic hatching. Artists reinvent themselves and strive to continue creating. Do you think there has also been an evolution in public perception when approaching contemporary art? What can art fairs do in this approach to the general public?

The processes in contemporary creation always have to do with the society that welcomes them and the changes it experiences. The public (but also the artists), while having access to more media and information, appear overwhelmed by this same excess. We all have a concentration defect, it is harder for us to pay attention, time, effort, depth, especially when our role is that of the public. As we have said before, there is only one solution, an answer that, after so much repetition, is becoming harmless, empty of content: we need education, establish pedagogies and intermediations that generate a critical and cultured mass, that makes us evolve towards a society interested in current creation.

 

The work of a curator is primarily to generate discourse and content around creation to raise issues open to society. Many contemporary artists have reoriented their lines of work towards more reflective projects where the discourse has a priority charge in the work. How is this tension channelled between the reflexive impulse of contemporary creation and the pressing lack of time and the super information that the individual lives in the society of our time?

That situation can be a stimulus. Artists are intellectuals sensitive to everything around them. However, in most cases, this lack of time, basically the result of our professional precariousness, and that over information, ends up being more a problem than a means or motivation. There are many artistic careers that are buried under this precariousness of excess.

 

What do you think are the common lines that young artists are developing in the process of growth?

The truth is that there are multiple differentiated lines of research, many of them very stimulating. In line with the last questions of our conversation, I can tell you that I am interested, among other topics, in those artists who are referring to their own work, to the creator's own professional performance, to their economic, social and work situation, to the consideration of themselves and their work. A self-reference that is becoming a very accurate, tragic, ironic expression of the situation of culture in general and of the visual arts in particular. On this, I am preparing a project entitled “The sterile works” that will be presented next year at La Regenta of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with the participation of artists such as Verónica Ruth Frías, Cristina Garrido, Cyro García, Núria Güell, Nauzet Mayor, Adrián Martínez, Eugenio Merino, Rosell Meseguer, PSJM, Avelino Sala, Amparo Sard, Pelayo Varela and Marcelo Viquez.