It is not the first time that we talk about the use of alternative plastic techniques to let imagination and creativity run. This is the case with threads and embroidery, which transform on this occasion into a refined form of artistic production far from its immediate use in the world of sewing. All these pieces require infinite patience and give an example of tenacity, of love for things well done, of dedication, devotion and the search for new narrative discourses that deviate from expected in the field of visual arts.

Detail of the artwork by Cayne Zavaglia (image from

Undoubtedly, sewing is a task linked to women since time immemorial. A quick search in any compendium of art history throws many works in which women appear sewing, most of the time by hand, in customary scenes. These images compose an imaginary fueled by ideas such as care, attention, dedication, until they become concepts almost inseparable of femininity. Today, many women artists (because that is still the case, the female creators are the ones who opt for these techniques) use these resources with an intentional value, to allow re-readings on this type of work and give a second life to threads and needles beyond the servilism traditionally associated with these domestic tasks. At the same time, some people do an exercise of abstraction to build a more subtle message and contribute to the empowerment of women by showing the potential of these techniques in the field of artistic creation or by hiding a story that demands attention in the visitor, invaded by an infinity of visual proposals.

Louise Bourgeois, “Maman”, 1999 (image from

Louise Bourgeois started sculpting spiders as a tribute to her mother, to whom she was very close. She ran a workshop for sewing and repairing tapestries, a reconstruction work in which Bourgeois began when she was barely 12 years old. This figure represents the working and dedicated personality of her mother, because spiders can re-weave their own net, to build threads that reinforce it, to overcome adversity and continue their meticulous work with transparent silk.

Artwork by Cayne Zavaglia (image from

Although Louise Bourgeois opted for sculpture, numerous artists pick up the sewing materials to create their works. In an exercise of skill and artifice, Cayce Zavaglia (Indiana, 1971) is able to create these incredible portraits using canvas and coloured wool threads. The result is a work that simulates the small touches of a brush on a neutral fabric, to give all the depth, volume and texture of a real painting. With constant colour transitions and changes of direction in the stitches, her pieces are proof of the expressive capacity of these materials, with surprising versatility.

Ghada Amer, "Snowhite without the dwarves", 2008 (image from

In other cases, the use of the needle and thimble seeks to convey a message that transcends and breaks the moulds established on social roles and the tasks entrusted to each gender. The artist Ghada Amer (El Cairo, 1963) decided to close a personal wound caused by her experience when she was rejected in a painting course in which the teacher only selected men, with a work that ridicules the vision that the male gender has spread about women. She found her inspiration in the stereotyped female representation he found in erotic and fashion magazines and animated children's films. The result is a work embroidered with coloured threads in a reinterpretation of pop art transformed on canvas that excludes the man from the scene and shows women-shapes responsible for their own pleasure.

Raquel Rodrigo, “Arquicostura” (photo © Julián Jiménez, via

In another way, the work of Raquel Rodrigo (Valencia, 1985) is developed through her project "Arquicostura". Her purpose is to embroider the walls of stores with cross-stitch compositions and make everyday life more beautiful for everyone. She has interventions in Valencia, Fanzara (Castellón), Salamanca, Zaragoza, Buñol (Valencia), Madrid, Bristol, London, Milan and Qatar. It is also a way to rescue domestic art that all women used to decorate their homes. Taking it to the streets and offering the world this job means putting it into value and appreciating it for what it really is.

Kumi Yamashita, Left: “Constellation - Mana, nº2”, Right: “Constellation - Sachi”, 2013 (image from

Finally, we highlight the work of the Japanese artist Kumi Yamashita (Takasaki, 1968), who makes amazing portraits with a hybrid technique that intertwines a monochrome thread on a plot of nails to create the shapes, shadows and depth of the faces portraited. Although this is not the only discipline that she works at, the impact of these works has earned her broad recognition worldwide.


If you are a contemporary art gallery and would like to be part of Art Madrid'25, you can now apply to participate!

The 20th edition of Art Madrid will take place from 5 to 9 March 2025 in the Galería de Cristal del Palacio de Cibeles. This privileged location, good communications and the quality of the project have always been guarantees of success for an event that reaches 20,000 visitors in each edition.

Art Madrid has been held during the capital's Art Week for the last twenty years, consolidating itself as an interdisciplinary fair of new artistic trends, in which nearly 40 national and international galleries participate, working with painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, installation and digital art of recent production.

Partial view of Art Madrid'24. Contemporary Art Fair. 19th edition, 2024

Art Madrid carries out a series of programs designed by curators, consultants and cultural experts with the fundamental objective of encouraging collecting, promoting cultural dialogue and making the most recent trends in art accessible to the general public. These initiatives are always focused on the constant improvement of the visitor's experience at our event, always seeking to enrich their interaction with contemporary art.

Partial view of Art Madrid'24. Contemporary Art Fair. 19th edition, 2024


Gallery Program

Art Madrid's Gallery Program is the heart of the fair. In each edition of Art Madrid, the program consists of around 40 national and international exhibitors.

Parallel Activities Program

The Parallel Program of Art Madrid'25 will have as its main axis the concept of the Territory City. The public space, the city and the territory will serve as a link to the artistic practices that take place in the "imagined spaces" and revitalize the cultural geography of Madrid.

Collecting Program

Art Madrid offers a specialized consulting service for galleries and the public interested in acquiring works of art.

Support Program for New Entries

Through a specific communication package, new entries to the fair will be presented and given special visibility.


The program will include a series of activities that will take place throughout the month of February and during Madrid Art Week at the Galería de Cristal del Palacio de Cibeles. Likewise, the parallel program will maintain the 2nd edition of the Open Booth, the Performance Cycle, Lecturas: Curated Walktrhoughs by Art Madrid, and the Interviews Section curated by Art Madrid.

Partial view of Art Madrid'24. Contemporary Art Fair. 19th edition, 2024


Best Booth Award

Award that will be articulated around the gallery with the best booth set up at the fair.

New Entry Award

Award will be given to the newly incorporated gallery with the best booth setup and exhibition proposal at the fair.

Emerging Artist Award

Our sponsors, as part of their line of action to promote contemporary art, will offer a prize to one of the revelation artists participating in the fair.

Partial view of Art Madrid'24. Contemporary Art Fair. 19th edition, 2024

Our support for art and culture extends throughout the year and responds to a global vision in which constancy and commitment to the galleries are essential to achieve our objectives of disseminating contemporary art within and beyond our borders; to create new audiences and interest in art and culture in all sectors of society; to strengthen and promote artists, especially young talent; to value art and culture as essential elements of social development; and to create spaces for cultural visibility and communication that are accessible, open and dynamic.

Relevant information

Applications for the 20th edition of Art Madrid'25 can be sent to the following e-mail address: until October 7, 2024