ARCO 2022 PART I: Madrid Comes Alive Through Contemporary Art
The forty-first edition of Spain’s most important art fair, ARCO, opens its doors on 23 February 2022, sporting a special commemorative tone to properly celebrate its fortieth anniversary—accordingly titled ARCOmadrid 40(+1)—that a reduced pandemic-affected edition moved to July in 2021, was not quite able to give justice to.
From Wednesday until Sunday, all eyes will be on Madrid as this year’s art fair season continues its annual global trek. Unlike some of the other large fairs that have already happened this month, including Zona Maco in Mexico City (9–13) and Frieze Los Angeles (17–20), ARCO was allowed and able to organize a successful, albeit restricted, 2021 edition, and is aiming to offer a bumper rebound experience for galleries, collectors and public this year.
A total of 185 galleries will be participating, hailing from 30 different countries. ARCO divides itself into a main section, known as the General Programme, in which 159 galleries will show their wares. The remainder will be split among the specially curated sections, which this year will be headed by the ARCO 40 (+1) Anniversary section, where ARCO will pay homage to 19 galleries they wish to thank for long-term participation in the fair.
Source: Pasto Gallery – Artists
The self-explanatory Never the Same. Latin American Art section will host 8 galleries—check out Pasto from Buenos Aires, while the Opening by Allianz section will showcase 15 galleries new to the Spanish scene, from Belgrade, the Eugster stand should bring some welcome fresh air.
Among all the innovation and creativity you can expect to see, the Artists’ Proyects programme this year promotes the work of 17 female artists, names to look out for here include Rocío Santa Cruz and Sandra Vásquez de la Horra represented by Senda. Continuing in this vein, the El Pais newspaper’s booth will be taken over by feminist conceptual pioneer Concha Jerez with her Menu(s) of the Day project, that recreates a cinema in order to discuss modern-day forms of censorship.
A quirk of ARCO, the other well-known Spanish daily, El Mundo, also invests heavily in the Madrid art scene, their enormous stand this year will show four works each by thirteen different artists—Isabel Muñoz, José Manuel Ballester, Miquel Navarro, Bernadí Roig, Mar Solís, Karina Beltrán, Arturo Berned, Guillermo Fornes, Hugo Fontela, Julio Quaresma, Juan Garaizabal, Pierre d?Argyll and Pepe Sanleón—that discusses marine life and habitats and the threats they face. Their TV-lighthouse will be unmissable.
The SOLO/DUO programme, designed to promote galleries showing an individual artist’s work or that of two artists in dialogue, will have 24 participants this year: DUO Carlos Rojas and Rodrigo Valenzuela, at the combined Arroniz and Nueveochenta stand, will be representing Mexico and Colombia, respectively. Of the SOLO variety, be sure to check out Pole Marzena Nowak at the stand of the Slovenian-Berlin Gregor Podnar gallery.
The ArtsLibris section, dedicated to art sector publishers and publications, itself celebrates its seventh anniversary and will this year be home to 55 Spanish and international exhibitors’ stands, with Portugal, Brazil and Mexico being especially well represented.
Source: Ifema – Works – General Program
ARCO Madrid 2022 will be open from 23 to 27 of February at the Pavillions 7 and 9 of the Recinto Ferial de IFEMA MADRID. The fair will offer, for the first time, a free virtual assistant service, for more general support, running digitally and using artificial intelligence to help keep your visit running smoothly.
New collectors should note that ARCO reserves access for the first two and a half days to art-world professionals, opening in its entirety to the general public on Friday 25 at 3 pm.
Bear in mind that ARCO offers a free service, known as First Collectors by Fundación Banco Santander, that gives expert advice to newly interested parties on what to buy.