ARCO Madrid unites 185 galleries for Spain’s largest art fair

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Art collectors return to Madrid for the ARCO art fair which opens on February 23 at the IFEMA centre.

The annual event was delayed last year due to the pandemic and took place in July rather than February, but now the exhibition has returned to its early spring slot.

There are a total of 185 galleries from 30 countries; 159 galleries included in the “General Program”, in addition to 42 others in the organized programs, exhibiting painting, sculpture, installations, photography, video, new media, drawing and prints.

Participating galleries are up 40% from last year, when travel was more restricted and stricter coronavirus measures were in place.

The largest and most important art fair in Spain

The fair started in 1982 and celebrates its 40th anniversary.

“This 40+1 anniversary, this edition of Arco is a very important edition. Every year is (important) but thinking about everything that happened in these two years, the fact that we could not be together there were so many of us, that we really like to talk about art, to see art, so this edition is going to be very special because all the galleries are here,” says Maribel López, director of ARCO Madrid.

Spanish gallery owner Guillermo de Osma has participated in all events since 1993.

He says “I think that, in the Spanish scene, Arco has played a fundamental role in the creation, firstly, of a hobby, secondly, by bringing the public closer to modern and contemporary art, and thirdly, by supporting the art collection and its creation. Because I always say that in Spain there is less art collection than there should be.”

López, says that face-to-face meetings and real presence are very important: “people come to Arco to discover, to investigate, to learn, and I think that’s very special about the fair”.

Presentation of a diversity of works of art

Besides ARCO Madrid’s main ‘general programme’, the fair also includes many other smaller individual sections, which aim to highlight a specific artistic subculture.

For example, a section called “Never the Same” presents a selection of Latin American artists from 10 international galleries, curated by Mariano Mayer and Manuela Moscoso.

And continuing the initiative launched last year, the “Artist Projects” section will be exclusively dedicated to women.

It aims to contribute to strengthening the Latin American positioning of the fair through galleries from different countries.

ARCO Madrid takes place February 23-27 at Spain’s largest exhibition complex, IFEMA.

Watch the video above for a preview of ARCO Madrid 2022

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