Art & Collectors MADRID

ARCOmadrid and its 37th edition

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performance related to the installation of Jordi Colomer (Proyectos Especiales) of Galería Juana de Aizpuru

What is going to happen is not ‘the future’, but what we are going to do”: ARCOmadrid Fair opens its 37th edition today with this Jorge Louis Borges’ quote chosen by the guest curator Chus Martinez. Because ‘The Future’ is the central concept this year, permeating boldly both the content – through the careful selection of artists and gallery by the curators [and also by Art Super ARCOmadrid Collectors Guide 2018] – and its shell: a modular and comprehensive architecture signed by Andrés Jacques. A concept aimed to make us all “looking into the future of our actions and responsibilities in art and culture”, posing us the challenge to cope with the economy, the nature, the technology, the instruction. In other words, an ode to face with bravery what it’s truly at the heart of our society.

What About The Current State of The Spanish Art Market

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The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport present their agreement to donate for their Latin-American art of Ella Fontanals-Cisneros to be exhibited at La Tabacalera de Madrid in a new large space.

ARCOmadrid was founded in 1982 by the Spanish government during ‘La movida’: a brief moment after Francisco Franco’s death when Spain knew a cultural spring both in the general economy – thanks to the European Commission’s funds – and in the art market – thanks to the government’s efforts. In those years, Madrid was indeed very attractive, becoming an exciting point of convergence for curators, collectors, art dealers, critics and artists from all over the world. Although Spain has been playing as a strategic bridge between the European and Latin American art markets, today the role its politics is having within the general cultural framework is undeniably holding slightly back the situation. The Spanish regional governments – the autonomias – are supposed to be the main supporters of the national art market by funding museums, exhibitions, and any other cultural projects. Although because Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao and its success, the major investments appear to have been directed to the architecture, better if signed by archistars. Another point to take into consideration is the encouragement of conceptual art and new media production – installations, video and performance– by museums, cultural centers and prizes: these may be not expensive to create, but at the same time, they are not collectible.  There are many things which could be done on an official level to stimulate the Spanish art environment,: from allowing private patrons to deduct contributions to museums from their taxes with the approval of the ley del mecenazgo to the creation of artists’ districts through low-rent zones on the SoHo – NYC model, allowing the avant-garde to thrive, just to name a few.

What About The Spanish Art Collectors Scene

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(Not only) On the contemporary art market side, Spain is a country of deep contradictions. It gave birth to several international art stars but, at the same time, there are so few residents and important collections of modern and contemporary art. The major art collectors are foundations of banks and insurance companies – legally obliged to spend a percentage of their funds on ‘social projects’. But what about the private art collectors? The general economic setback, the average high taxation on the art sales, the absence of a ley del mecenazgo to make the art investment attractive and a general inclination towards uncollectible art expressions make the entire panorama quite difficult to explore.

ARCOmadrid has a rich agenda of events especially designed for art collectors, to be explored. Like the Collecting Forum, sponsored by Fundación Banco Santander, where there will be discussions on a wide range of levels and about several experiences relevant to art collectors, with Estrella de Diego. Or like the International Council which will give voice to international art collectors. There will be also the #mecomprounaobra campaign which the precise aim of creating new art collectors. We will see the outcome of these efforts after this 37th edition of ARCOmadrid.


February 21–25, 2018


Avda. del Partenón, 5

28042 Madrid