Paradoxes refer to situations or reasonings that escape the logic of common sense, producing an effect of contradiction and uncertainty that our subconscious rejects as true. Art has also worried about this issue and some creators have wanted to deceive our senses with impossible images and visual tricks. The success, in these cases, is that the resulting works are perfectly real, but the ideas expressed are implausible and oblige us to pay special attention to what we see.

Escher, “Ascending and Descending”, 1960

The games of perspectives and the optical illusions feed on the schemes that our mind has, after years of observation and interaction with the environment. We tend to classify the things that we see within the patterns of normality and frequency that our senses dictate to us. Thus, if we analyse a cube-like shape, our brain reconstructs the faces we do not see to create a mental image of the figure. It is precisely these mechanisms what allow visual paradoxes, impossible perspectives and false appearances.

Anamorphic Art by István Orosz

This is also an extensive field of expression for mathematical calculation and geometric games. In many of these riddles, there is an imperceptible trap that deceives our reason and prevents us from seeing reality. Nothing is what it seems. And our logic is not used to being confused with pranks and tricks. However, this may be a good boost to promote alternative thinking and force us to face things from new points of view.

Frame from “Inception”, by Christopher Nolan, 2010

Although the use of these resources seems more typical of the traditional circus and magic, conceived to distort reality, it is still an element of deep impact that, when used cleverly, produces a great effect. So did Christopher Nolan in the film Inception, where the protagonists had to work out their imagination to create visual labyrinths from which to flee when needed; like the circular stairs that rise infinitely, something, obviously, impossible.

Paradoxical Art Sculptures By Nancy Fouts

Escher has largely worked this idea. His work is full of visual games that confuse the viewer and that defy the laws of gravity and our (predictable and known) three-dimensional space. That is the advantage of drawing, which allows to depict these optical illusions without any limitation on paper. Other artists explore the field of conceptual paradoxes, and create pieces with opposing ideas in artworks that often hide a humorous reading of reality, because contradictions also serve for that (what, if not, irony or sarcasm are?). A true gift for the senses.


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