Madrid (EFE).- More than two hundred Spanish and foreign galleries, 400 collectors and 200 professionals from all over the world; and the Mediterranean as the main theme, ARCO 2023 starts today surrounded by expectation and with the aim of recovering the 90,000 visitors prior to the pandemic.
ARCO today opens the doors of its 42nd edition for the press and professionals, tomorrow the Kings will officiate the official opening and from Friday from 3:00 p.m. until Sunday at 6:00 p.m., the general public will be able to access (previous purchase of tickets at the Ifema website).
This edition, ARCO does not have a guest country, but a whole territory, the Mediterranean. In it you can see galleries from Greece to France, passing through Croatia, Italy or Turkey, and always around the common culture that unites the region.
There will be two other curated programs, already veterans: “Opening”, which brings together the youngest galleries, and “Never the same. Latin American Art”, with proposals from Latin America (11 galleries).
In parallel, Madrid hosts an endless number of exhibitions and parallel fairs such as Sam, JustMad, UVNT Art Fair, Art Madrid, Hybrid Art Fair and Drawing Room, which will fill the capital with contemporary art.
Greater international presence
The number of participating galleries rises to 211 -189 in 2022-, due to the rise in international galleries (66%). Of this percentage, 29% are Latin American, a sector that until this year has seen its presence affected by the pandemic.
The general feeling is that of a return to a fair much like the pre-pandemic euphoria and the Ukrainian War, which broke out last year on the same day the fair began. Coincidentally this year, for the first time, a Ukrainian gallery is at the fair, Voloshyn Gallery, with a recovery project by a Ukrainian artist.
The barrage of applications to participate has been such that the fair has tried to maintain the “balance between supply and demand”, as explained by López.
This year, galleries that have not been at the fair for years, such as Capitain Petzel, Contemporary Fine Arts, David Zwirner -representing the legacy of Juan Muñoz-, Mendes Wood DM or Timothy Taylor, are back, and they join those that repeat year after year, such as Perrotin , Chantal Crousel, Giorgio Persano, Lelong Krinzinger or Thaddaeus Ropac.
In the Spanish section they repeat key names such as Helga de Alvear, Elvira Gonzalez, Juana de Aizpuru, Mayoral, Jose de la Mano, Maisterravalbuena or Sabrina Amrani.
One of the keys to the expectation of the fair is the number of participants in the International Buyers Program, which this year will bring nearly 400 collectors and 200 professionals from 40 countries to Madrid, a record for the fair.
No spaces dedicated to women
The Artist Projects, a space that in the last two years was dedicated to women’s works, this year will no longer have that requirement. It is a series of spaces distributed throughout the fair in which the galleries exhibited more complex projects.
The initiative tried to respond to criticism of the lack of representation of female artists, who in 2018 -the latest available data- only 19 percent were women.
“The presence of women is something that is increasingly incorporated into galleries, especially young ones (…) there is still a long way to go, but it has been shortened,” explained Maribel López, director of ARCO, during the presentation of the fair .
This year there will be only 20 spaces – last year there were 30 – and they will be allocated to works by 15 women and 5 men, including authors Jan Zöller, Pae White, Cristina Mejias, Diana Larrea, Manolo Gil or Teresa Margolles.
Consecrated and new
As every year, in halls 7 and 9 there will be no shortage of established artists who usually monopolize the most expensive pieces such as Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Joan Miró, Antoni Tapies, Canogar, Chillida, Miquel Barceló, Sonia Delaunay, Dalí, Francis Bacon, Team 57, María Blanchard, Richard Serra, Joan Miró and Lucio Fontana.
There will also be contemporary artists such as Olaffur Eliasson, Chema Madoz, Antonio Lopez, Soledad Sevilla, Blanca Munoz, Juan Munoz and young national panorama values such as June Crespo, the controversial Eugenio Merino, Carlos Bunga, Sara Ramo, Teresa Solar or Asunción Molinos Gordo.