THE NEW ARRIVALS AT ART MADRID

Nine galleries are released in the Art Madrid'18 General Program: 5 from Spain, from Madrid (although one of them is also based in New York), Bilbao and Valencia; and 4 foreigners from Germany, Portugal, Ukraine or Mexico. Art Madrid always takes care of the participation of national galleries and artists but it is also the perfect setting for more and more foreign galleries that trust the fair.

Among the Spanish newcomers we find Fucking Art (Madrid), an alternative space created in 2015, managed by a group of artists, bringing the perspective of the creator to the gallery experience. Fucking Art presents at the fair works by: Atauri, Isabel Alonso Vega, Carlos Regueira and Alfonso Zubiaga, artists whose works leave an unmistakable trail of reflection, search and innovation either through painting, photography, sculpture and objectual art.

Atauri

Rara avis pajaritas, 2017

Mixed media

100 x 100cm

Atauri

Rara avis ovillos, 2017

Mixed media

60 x 60cm

Mª Ángeles Atauri is a graphic designer at the La Nave Gráfica studio where she develops her activity for different projects and also, since 2010, where she develops her artistic production, a kind of poetic objects based on simple and intimate ideas, on universal feelings with which all we identify.

Isabel Alonso Vega is one of the founders of URGEL3, an alternative space in which they exhibit but also they disseminates art outside conventional networks, leading artists from the first creative process to the final state of their work. Vega's works, capsules of methacrylate in which she seems to have captured clouds, powers and geniuses, are between conceptual and sculptural and they speak about the intangible. For his part, Alfonso Zubiaga, training economist and artist by vocation, and Carlos Regueira, who is also a creative and art director in well-known advertising agencies, they propose new ways of doing and seeing photography. If Zubiaga plays with images that are deconstructed to be reconstructed in visual narratives with new meanings of the same reality; Regueira produces a expanded painting to the field of the photo, an hybrid between both techniques.

Reinhard Gorner, “Altenburg Abbey Gallery”, fotografía, 2017.

The Soraya Cartategui Gallery (Madrid-New York), directed by Soraya Cartategui and Bárbara Cartategui, opened its first headquarters in the neighborhood of Chelsea, New York, in 1994, specializing in conceptual art and performances by emerging artists. After four exciting years working with the new talents in the Big Apple, she settled in Madrid to devote herself to his specialty: Dutch and flemish art of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, pioneering the introduction of the Dutch Golden Age in the Spanish market and thus becoming a reference for many collectors. This wide vision of art has made its curatorship is based on the concept of "cross-collecting", the crossing of works of all media and periods to create a personal and intimate dialogue between works and objects. For their first participation in Art Madrid'18 they have chosen the work of Juan Genovés, Reinhard Gorner and Isabelita Valdecasas. Valdecasas, Sevillian painter, has experimented with all the techniques, squeezing their artistic possibilities, began with small works, disparate things, without any concrete order or thread; experimented with oil, watercolor, pens, pastel ... to evolve into a materic abstraction in whose works the artist uses elements found in nearby nature such as moss, sand, earth or tea grounds to create surreal worlds.

A very different proposal comes from the German photographer Reinhard Görner, whose images of architectures and monumental rooms transmit intimacy, depth and mystery at the same time. Görner became interested in architectural photography in 1982 and, with his large-format camera, since 2008 has photographed more than 50 libraries around the world such as Trinity College in Dublin, the Lello Library in Porto or the public library in Stuttgart, among others. His work has been present in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Paris, London and Berlin.

Cristina Iturrioz

Instalación "Colors" (detalle), 2018

Acrylic, digital and methacrylate

50 x 50cm

Cristina Iturrioz

Instalación "Colors" (detalle), 2018

Acrylic, digital and methacrylate

50 x 50cm

In Madrid there is also Mercedes Roldán Art Gallery (Madrid), a gallery that is involved with its artists from all points of view, advises them to direct their career, provides them with assistance and marketing services. Her involvement with emerging artists is visible in the selection she has made for Art Madrid'18, in which she has: Irene Cruz, photographer and video artist, one of the young artists with the most projection and of whom we have already spoken in this news section; the photographer and filmmaker Alexander Barrios, trained in documentary photography and whose work seeks the simplicity and the genuine nature, architecture, forms ... and the painter Cristina Iturrioz, fundamentally self-taught and whose work is characterized by manipulation and research with the materials and colors to achieve textures. Her artistic beginnings were oriented towards drawing, graphic design and figurative painting, with nature as a motif, with reality as a model, to evolve into a personal abstraction that shapes in multiple formats as painting, photography or sculpture.

Miquel Navarro

Edificio con asas, 2014

Grey iron

99 x 27cm

From Valencia, it comes Shiras gallery, directed by Sara Joudi and located in the historic center of the city. Shiras Gallery was born to offer an intergenerational proposal of national art whose speech is complemented by the voice of emerging avant-garde artists, always taking into account both the artistic quality of the projects and their plastic languages. The fundamental pillar of its programming is betting on projects of painting, sculpture, drawing and installation, being a current window towards the most avant-garde contemporary trends. At the Art Madrid fair they participate with Javier Chapa, Miquel Navarro, José Saborit and Horacio Silva.

Among them we would like to highlight the work of Miquel Navarro, one of the outstanding representatives of what is known as New Spanish Sculpture although he began his career as a painter, since 1972 he is exclusively dedicated to sculpture. Tireless, universal and in constant evolution, the idea of beauty for Miquel Navarro is closely linked to his idea of the classics, foundation and point of reference of the avant-garde of the beginning of the century. In 1986 he receives the National Prize of Plastic Arts and the National Prize of the Association of Art Critics ARCO 95, among others. Likewise, he is declared an Academician of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

Juanma Reyes

Escalera, 2015

Bobins, threads and loops

126 x 42cm

We jump north, to Bilbao, where MH Art Gallery (Bilbao) comes from. This space wants to present to its city and all the Basque Country a selection of artists of international prestige that will complement the current cultural and artistic offer that Bilbao already has, being a benchmark city in Europe for its commitment to art and design / architecture. Its program includes young "emerging" Basque artists with creative talent that the gallery projects in artistic spaces outside of the Basque Country. Its premiere at Art Madrid is done with a powerful international proposal that features the delicate ink drawings and pigments of the Korean female artist Joo Eun Bae; the mixed techniques that mix the oriental and Arab cultures of the Moroccan artist Khalid El Bekay; the collages and urban chaotic scenes of the Cantabrian Martín Carral; and the unclassifiable work of the Malaga-born Juanma Reyes, an eloquent way of capturing the thin line between the living and the dead, between waste and art, between tenderness (his works are woolly, soft, fluffy ...) and brutality (. ..and at the same time they are sharp, dismembered). Its objects, structures that could be sculpted drawings, are objets-trouveés assembled by Reyes to talk about the multiple forms of art.

Among the novelties of Art Madrid we also have 4 foreign galleries: the German Robert Drees of Hanover, Paulo Nunes Contemporary Art of Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal, the Ukrainian gallery Nebo Art Gallery (Kyiv) and the Carbo / Alterna gallery, with venues in Cancun, Mexico and Havana, Cuba. We will talk about all of them in upcoming news and we will highlight some of their most representative artists.

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.