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.

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.