FOREIGN GALLERIES TRUST MORE AND MORE IN ART MADRID

Although the main desire of Art Madrid is the promotion of Spanish contemporary art, it is true that the fair has become the favorite setting for many foreign galleries to show their proposals. And they come from Germany, France, China, Mexico or Ukraine. To all of them, thanks for the trust.

Veronika Veit

Survivertrophy, 2015

Plastic, fabric, paper and acrylic

57 x 25cm

The Schmalfuss gallery (Berlin, Germany) is one of the veterans of Art Madrid, a fair in which it has already participated eight times. Originally founded in Marburg in 1998 and with a second location in Berlin since 2011, it is directed by Michael W. Schmalfuß and Liane von Plessen who have brought to our fair the influences of northern Europe linked to its most characteristic lines, realism, figurative painting and sculpture. Schmalfuss gallery represents artists whose work, through individual expression, is an example of the artistic transition from the 20th to the 21st century, building bridges towards the future. In Art Madrid'18 they participate with the work of Oliver Czarnetta, Jürgen Paas, Willi Siber, Luzia Simons and Veronika Veit.

Luzia Simons

Stockage 83- 3/5, 2010

Scanogram

180 x 126cm

We highlight among them Luzia Simons, dedicated to the construction of images through photography and video as well as performance and installations. More than a decade ago she began to use the scanner as a working tool and she developed her own mode of production with which she achieved the representation of the object with a lot of detail and sharpness, almost getting to dissect the poetics of the forms.

Rusudan Khizanishvili

Temperance, 2017

Acrylic on canvas

130 x 100cm

Another of the galleries that works on Art Madrid for years is the Parisian Norty (Carrières-sur-Seine, France), directed by Dominique Guerin. And it is a very pleasant surprise because his style, heartbreaking and raw, has always been one of the most risky at the fair and, nevertheless, it has seduced collectors, being one of the obligatory stops for connoisseurs. The Norty gallery was founded in 2013 and represents emerging artists, mainly painters, selected for their committed and risky work, dedicating itself enthusiastically to its international projection. Norty promotes a new vision about the art world, proposing Expressionism and Art Brut as a new artistic line. On this occasion they present the recent work of Rusudan Khizanishvili, L'homme Jaune, Adlane Samet, Carmen Selma and Pierre Sgamma.

On other occasions we have highlighted the work of the Spanish Carmen Selma, so this time we will talk about another woman, Rusudan Khizanishvil, a young artist who works in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. With influences from great artists such as Gauguin and Cézanne, the work of Khizanishvili visibly recognizes the history of painting and the works of the great masters. Her brilliant use of color, combined with a palpable and sensual handling of oil painting, demonstrates her enormous pictorial maturity. "The canvas - explains the artist- is a way of escape or connection with the world of my imagination. I see the canvas as a door. I create interdimensional portals in my painting, and I use the image of animals as a symbolic key between cultures, nations and identities. My animals are a reflection of past life to the present."

Daniel R. Collazo

De la serie Cartas a la Luna, 2017

Charcoal on canvas

160 x 132cm

Daniel R. Collazo

De la serie Dibujos Fotogénicos, 2017

Charcoal on canvas

230 x 160cm

From Cuba, the Collage Habana Gallery (Havana, Cuba) visits us for the 8th year. Directed by Eduardo Pupo Laffita, Collage Habana is the gallery that leads the promotion and commercialization of the Visual Arts within the Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets. Through the network of galleries that operate under its direction, it brings together a diverse group of creators, from national awards such as Manuel Mendive and Roberto Fabelo, to novel artists who win each year the Post-it contest, designed for emerging creators. In this sense, they are responsible for the diffusion of the aesthetic plurality of Cuban art.

For this edition of Art Madrid the gallery has decided to bet on the work of three young artists: Roldán Lauzán Eiras, Andy Llanes Bultó and Daniel R. Collazo. Their works share technical skill in the treatment of drawing and painting, and even though they are different from each other, they coexist harmonically in the same space. We stayed this time with the spectacular charcoals of Daniel Rodríguez Collazo, city and country landscapes, unstructured as a kaleidoscope in grayscale.

Guim Tió Zarraluki

Cavall Blanc, 2017

Oil on linen

89 x 116cm

Guim Tió Zarraluki

Hamaca, 2017

Oil on linen

27 x 35cm

Yiri Arts (Taipei, Taiwan), with Orton Huang as director, was founded in 2014 with the spirit of creating a "Museum of everyday art" for art to enter and enrich the lives of people. Through curating, exhibitions, publications and attendance at international art fairs, the gallery presents inspiring works full of vitality. They have 3 locations but, in addition, it has four multidisciplinary venues in Taipei that combine art, books and gastronomy. At Art Madrid, they participate with the work of Taiwanese artist Lai Wei-Yu and one of our favorite artists, the Catalan Guim Tió Zarraluki.

Guim treats human beings with humor, irony and a strong degree of provocation, reflection of a society full of taboos and subjected to the visual tyranny of television, advertising and of course, fashion magazines. From his intervened portraits, stained and veiled, he now moves to almost empty landscapes, huge plains of pure color in which the human figure is a milestone due to its absolute presence and concomitant fragility.

Venske & Spänle

Schnoepp, 2017

Marble

33 x 19cm

Venske & Spänle

Palermo, 2016

Marble

35 x 27cm

This group of galleries are joined this year witn newcomers such as the German gallery Robert Drees (Hannover), currently the most important contemporary art gallery in the state capital of North Germany. Robert Dress is located in an impressive industrial space of more than 300 square meters and its program is oriented towards artists already established in the international art market and emerging talents, to which they dedicate collective exhibitions that connect classical media such as painting and sculpture with photography, video and installation art. In Art Madrid'18 they present works by Sabine Dehnel, Mikael Fagerlund, Jürgen Jansen, Pepa Salas Vilar and Venske & Spänle.

To the Spanish Pepa Salas, to her almost monochromatic scenes, apparently innocent between realism and surreal fiction, we have already referred to on other occasions (outstanding projects of Art Madrid'18) so we will now highlight Venske & Spänle, artists duo formed by Julia Venske and Gregor Spänle, known for their Smörfs, sculptures made of marble capable of transmitting movement and life. The material adopts light shapes and appears malleable and soft, light and fluid. Venske and Spänle have held numerous solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Spain, the United States and Denmark.

Andrei Zadorine

North wind, 2016

Watercolour on paper

63 x 95cm

Andrei Zadorine

Daughter, 2013

Oil on canvas

120 x 180cm

Nebo Art Gallery, from Kyiv, Ukraine, is directed by Valeriia Ivanova and represents artists from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and the United States. It has become a platform for independent projects in two branches, NEBO BOOKLAB PUBLISHING, a publisher specialized in fiction for children, poetry collections and books on art; and NEBO ART SCHOOL, an educational project that brings together painting classes, workshops and excursions in various areas of art. It is one of the most personal proposals of this year's fair, with the painter Andrei Zadorine and his almost photographic paintings in homage to the Spanish filmaker Victor Erice, an exotic and poetic combination.

Linet Sánchez

Sin titulo, 2012-2014

Digital print

100 x 150cm

Linet Sánchez

Sin titulo, 2012-2014

Digital print

150 x 80cm

With venues in Cancun (Mexico) and in Havana (Cuba), Alterna Studio gallery is oriented to the support, dissemination and promotion of recently graduated Cuban emerging artists. In Art Madrid we will see the proposal of Carla Maria Bellido de Luna, Linet Sánchez and Yoxi Velázquez, 3 women whose work in different disciplines (photography, sculpture, installation ...) is characterized by the power of their images and their questioning of the status quo. In her painting, Carla María Bellido reflects on concepts such as subjectivity, truthfulness or imagination and wonders what builds us and what precedes us as creators. Yoxi Velázquez uses resin in his human and animal figures to generate questions about injustice, cruelty or abuse. Some of her art pieces for Art Madrid are a collaboration with the artist David Madruga. Linet Sánchez, on the other hand, presents empty and rarefied spaces, models where human presence is felt but not visualized and where only loneliness, isolation and introspection inhabit.

We will dedicate a separate chapter to the galleries that have come from Portugal, to which we have been paying special attention in Art Madrid for years. In Art Madrid'18 we will count on visit the Art Lounge and Art Peripheral galleries, both in Lisbon, and Paulo Nunes Arte Contemporânea, in Vila Franca de Xira. Within the One Project Program, Art Madrid will have the participation of the Portuguese gallery Nuno Sacramento, of Ílhavo, who participates for the second consecutive year in the fair. The foreign representation ends up with the Brazilian RV Cultura e Arte, of Rio de Janeiro and Pantocrator Gallery, based in Suzhou, China.

Buying the first work of art always instils respect. A difficult feeling to define that mixes vertigo with adrenaline. But over uncertainty and caution, a pleasurable sense of connection, understanding, and desire prevails. That work that, once seen, stays in the mind, reappears in the memory several times a day and seems to tell you that it is willing to be part of your home, is the perfect candidate to make the decision.

In the first steps, many collectors do point out that one does not start from an established plan, but rather that one acquires pieces based on taste and the connection one feels with them until, after time, they realise that the volume of works that accumulates can be labelled as a "collection". For example, this is how Alicia Aza explains it:

“I was not aware that I was collecting until many years later when a third party named me as a collector and talked about my collection. In 2005, I became aware of what collecting means and decided to articulate a collection with an identity of criteria and formats”.

Marcos Martín Blanco, co-founder, with his wife Elena Rueda, of the MER Collection, shares this same opinion:

“Collecting has been a passion, driven by a visceral state that encourages you to do so. The collection, in terms of acquisitions, has not been particularly complicated because, let's face it: it is easy to buy because they are all beautiful things and you have some clear idea of where you want to go, but at first those preferences were not so clear. It is with the time that a criterion is being formed”.

It is not always this way, of course, but for the buyer who starts out on this path, the personal connection that entails the first piece is essential. There it is the germ of a lasting relationship that is not limited to a simple aesthetic question but is an open window to knowledge, to exploration, to a world that is often unknown to us and awakens our fascination. The seed of that connection is purely sentimental, and it is precisely this impulse that determines the first acquisitions. The first piece is never forgotten.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Ana Maqueda

Exceeding the usual recommendations made by advisers and agents, rare is the occasion when the art lover decides to buy by pure investment. These paths usually open later, when the volume of pieces is large enough. In addition, there are those who are a bit against this classic concept of the traditional collector, approached from an eccentric, elitist and little accessible vision. On the contrary, art buyers are, above all, art lovers, sentient beings and permeable to creative stimulus who, at a given moment, decide to deepen the relationship they already have with art to take a piece home.

It is not that hard to overcome that small psychological barrier that turns the visitor into a buyer if one approaches the matter from a more personal and intimate perspective than from social consideration. Small-format works, graphic work or serial photography are of great help for this, whose price range, generally more affordable, allows a closer comparison to the daily basis expenses. In this way, the purchase of art falls within the range of feasible activities and becomes something close and possible.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Marc Cisneros

At that moment, a different relationship with art begins, based on pure experience and coexistence with the acquired piece. Perhaps it can be seen as an act of daring, but on many occasions, it is more a matter of necessity and transformation. Collectors also agree that the acquisition of an artwork is an exercise on personal analysis and opening up to a new field of knowledge that was previously alien to us. Alicia Aza explains that the reason she acquired her first piece of video art, by Sergio Prego, is because she did not understand it and because she saw it as a challenge and an opportunity to self-improve. This open window to knowledge creates new connections and bonds with creators, as one of the most fascinating parts of the process. Candela Álvarez Soldevilla explains that

"I think the most interesting thing in the art world is talking to artists. They are people with a special sensitivity to listen and understand.”

And Alicia Aza also says:

"I can share the satisfaction of being able to count on many artists in my circle of close friends today, and that is a long way to go."

Thus, with works that seem acceptable within the horizon of expenses that each one considers affordable, it is easy to find a piece that catches us. Since then, our home also evolves into a space in which art has a permanent place and presence, and there is no doubt that this transforms us inside.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Henar Herguera

Jaime Sordo, owner of Los Bragales collection and founder of the 9915 Contemporary Art Collectors Association, has always defined his relationship with art as a true passion and a vital necessity. For buyers who start on this path, he has the following recommendation:

“It is an essential condition that they feel the need to live with their passion to enjoy the works. Another very important aspect is that before making decisions for purchases, they are informed, so it is necessary to read specialised newspapers and books, visit exhibitions and museums and a lot of contact with galleries, which is an important and very specific source of information of the artists they represent. Finally, the presence in national and international art fairs. All this generates information and training.”

Indeed, fairs have become a good place for discovery because they condense a wide offer and allow diverse and global contact in a concentrated way. For this reason, many new generation buyers start in the context of an event such as Art Madrid, whose closeness and quality constitute a unique opportunity to meet, soak up and feed the passion for art.

(*) quotes taken from various interviews published in public media between 2013 and 2019.