Swab Art Fair

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Virginie Barré, Le rêve géométrique, 2017, ADN Galeria

The 11th edition of the Swab Barcelona Art Fair takes place from September 27-30. Consolidated as one of the leading independent art fairs, this year it comes with four novelties: The Desert and the Cactus, a new program curated by renowned independent curator Omar López-Chahoud who gathers together six galleries from the Brooklyn painting scene; a collaboration with Diputació de Barcelona to create Performance, a program featuring the work of six Catalan artists or artists living in Catalonia, selected by a jury made up of Alexandra Laudo, Imma Prieto and Joan Morey.

This space will remain active after the fair as a performative platform for resident artists to show their work. Curated by Caterina Almirall, Ephemeral is now an established platform for artists that this year is joining Barcelona’s art factories Hangar, Fabra i Coats and La Escocesa with the aim to create a circuit of international collectors and to enlarge Barcelona’s creative fabric. In this edition, Swab goes a step further by incorporating gastronomy as an art discipline thanks to a new collaboration with elBulli Foundation.

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Swab’s 2018 edition will also see the opening of Reading, a space showing the fair’s interest for all art disciplines in the form of a publishing concept store featuring art in book format. The General Program, present in every edition, includes prestigious galleries such as Angels Barcelona, ADN, Rafael Ortiz, Rocio Santa Cruz, Ana Mas, Ronaldo Anselmi, Drawing Room, and Heinrich Ehrhardt, among others. Other programs in the fair include On Paper, which focuses on paper as a contemporary technique creating an artistic language.

Swab also supports young artists, galleries and independent spaces through the MYFAF and Seed programs. The first grants a scholarship to three galleries with less than two years of life that have never attended an international art fair, helping them enter the international circuit. Seed is a program aimed at new gallery spaces and artist collectives using new platforms and formats.

The Desert and the Cactus

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Harold Berg, Somewhere in Valle de Copiapó, Chile. August 2016

Swab Barcelona presents The Desert and the Cactus featuring six prestigious New York galleries that will take us on a tour around Brooklyn’s new painting scene. On show there will be works by American artists expressing a growing interest in preserving nature and in ritualistic ways to return to the basics and be in contact with nature. The cactus symbolizes the adaptation to the most extreme conditions. The Desert and the Cactus is curated by Omar López-Chaoud, one of the most respected names in contemporary art.

Exhibitors: Deli Gallery, NY // False Flag, NY // Dutton, NY // Rawson Projects, NY // 321 Gallery, NY // American Medium, NY

Swab Performance


Imma Prieto, Joan Morey and Alexandra Laudo are the Swab Performance jury

Swab Performance opens its fourth edition with a collaboration with Diputació de Barcelona that aims to give visibility to Catalonian talent (artists born and/or living in Catalonia) in performative arts, as well as to become a platform for experimentation and international exchange. The section’s exceptional jury will choose six proposals / artists discussing fundamental issues on the current social context, using spatial and physical resources: : Ariadna Guiteras, Bartomeu Sastre, El Palomar, Julia Mariscal, Victoria Macarte, y Lolo & Sosaku. The jury is formed by Imma Prieto (Barcelona), art critic, independent curator and professor of Contemporary Art and New Media at the EU-Eram University of Gerona. Inma also writes for different magazines and has directed the documentary Eco de Primera Muerte (GAC Award for Art Criticism 2018). Joan Morey (Sant Llorenç Donis Cardassar, Majorca) is an artist whose work focuses on the artistic representation of new devices of power through performance. In 2017, he won the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona de Artes Visuales. Alexandra Laudo (Barcelona) is an independent curator and art critic, as well as the founder of Heroínas de la Cultura, devoted to developing and curating different artistic projects. Between 2017 and 2018, she curated the cycle The possibility of an island at Espai 13 in Fundació Joan Miró, as well as the exhibition Una Certa Foscor at Caixa Fòrum.


The Ephemeral program aims to interact with visitors. Supported by Icub, it has created the Softbodies exhibition. Curator Catarina Almirall will select interactive installation projects reflecting on our place in a globalized and fast-paced system through issues such as sustainability and the near future. Ephemeral will also show projects from Barcelona’s three art factories—La Escocesa, Fabra i Coats and El Hangar. This program aims to create a circuit of international collectors and to enlarge Barcelona’s creative fabric.

On Paper

Curated by Carolina Diez-Cascón, On Paper seeks to uncover the possibilities offered by the contemporary use of paper as an artistic language, as well as a conceptualization transcending its nature as a support.
Galleries: Ángeles Baños (Badajoz), Anne-Laure Girard (France), Galería Nordés (Santiago de Compostela), Ibirapi (Lisbon), La Carbonería (Huesca), Set Espai d’Art (Valencia), 55-SP (Sao Paulo).


Reading is a new program that exemplifies the fair’s aim to encompass all art disciplines. It is a publishing concept store showing art forms in book format. This edition will feature a / b Books, a Swedish independent publisher focusing on the rural and the urban, recurring motifs in their publications, which combine text, photography and collage. Paranoia Publishing was established in Estonia but has offices worldwide. Responsible for releasing “the most abnormal products on the contemporary art market”, they are committed to overcoming conventions and to ‘the destruction of reality’. Paranoia Publishing reformulates the meaning of the book by turning turn it into a concept in itself, into content and ideas.

Swab Seed

For the fourth consecutive year, Swab Barcelona hosts a selection of independent spaces devoted to art creation and exhibition with experimentation as a common denominator. It is increasingly common for new creatives to be organized in independent spaces, artist collectives, pop up galleries and online galleries. These alternative models focus on contemporary issues such as globalization and digitalization and meet the needs that traditional art spaces don’t cover. The aim of this program is to give visibility to this type of young platforms that are shaking the contemporary art scene.

Participating galleries: Mutt Collective -New York, USA // Satélite -Ciudad de Querétaro, Mexico // Square Projects -London, UK // 101 Estudio -Bogotá, Colombia // The Switch -Lisbon, Portugal // Arcade + One’s Room -Okinawa, Japan // CAMPUR RASA -Bali, Indonesia // Nottwins – Barcelona

My First Art Fair (MFAF)

Every year, Swab hosts a selection of three contemporary art galleries less than two years old representing artists born in 1975 onwards which have not yet participated in any international fair. The fair offers this space for free with the aim of promoting young galleries and giving visibility to emerging artists. Portugal, Germany and Poland are the guest countries in this edition.

Participating galleries: Las Palmas – Lisbon // Storage Capacité – Germany // High Gallery – Poland Swab and Gastronomy Swab supports products made in Barcelona for their quality and creativity. Again this year, there will be a gastronomic area highlighting exquisitely executed products, from the innovative Tibidabo beers to classics like the legendary Flash Flash restaurant, founded by photographer Leopoldo Pomés. Barcelona’s gastronomy is synonymous with innovation and art, and that is why Swab wants to devote a space to it by collaborating with elBulli Foundation, an alliance that seeks to create new projects and promote unlimited art.

Swab Awards

As every year, Swab will also give a series of awards with the support of several organisations, including Banco Sabadell Foundation Award for the best gallery, the DKV Award for Best Spanish Artist, the MANGO Award for Best Emerging Artist, the Grisart Photography Award, the Marset Idea Art Award, and the Diezy7 Collection Drawing Award.

Art Super Collectors Guide

Art Super will be Media Partner of Swab Art Fair 2018. From September, 28th will be available on our platform our special collectors guide with the best galleries and artists worth collecting.

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