Argentina will feature as the guest country at Arco Madrid next year, the art fair announced today (26 February). Since 1994, Arco aims to promote the art of a selected country by offering its galleries sponsored stands. The fair, which opened to VIPs on Wednesday, recently hosted Colombia, Mexico and Brazil.
This year, the guest country initiative was replaced by a curated section celebrating the fair’s 35th anniversary. Titled Imagining Other Futures, the 33 galleries in the section are focusing on artist pairings. Marian Goodman’s booth is juxtaposing John Baldessari’s works with Tino Sehgal’s popular piece The Kiss, which sees well-known art historical kisses being reenacted by performers. At Arco the performance takes place in a pitch-black room. Meanwhile, Mexico’s Kurimanzutto gallery, which like Goodman makes a return to the fair after more than a decade, is presenting specially-commissioned works by Gabriel Kuri and Gabriel Sierra.
Overall, the fair is less spectacle and pomp this year, with a greater emphasis on subtlety, contemplation and conceptual art. Dealers say they are willing to take more risks because of the relative affordability of the fair, the incentives for solo and dual presentations and the presence of international institutions and collectors.
In the Opening section, dedicated to galleries that are less than seven years old, Berlin’s Daniel Marzona Gallery is presenting a solo show of works by Nina Canell, a young Swedish artist whose sculptures made of found and domestic materials are both compact and delicate. Puerto Rico’s Galería Agustina Ferreyra, among the fairs’ newcomers, is presenting works by Irma Álvarez-Laviada and Adriana Minoliti, two different contemporary approaches to the interaction of Modernism and conceptualism in Latin America.
Other lesser-known but rising Latin American artists are also getting considerable attention. Patricia Ready gallery, in the Solo Projects section, has brought a multimedia installation by Patricia Dominguez that “would have been impossible without the internet” the artist says. While Galerie Crone in the main section of the fair has two stands dedicated to young Cuban artists working in Havana. Among them are canvases by Roberto Diago’s made out of rough jute materials and Rachel Valdes immersive installation room with coloured lights, mirrors and her own music composition. Intimate and historic works by Colombian artists, including Johanna Calle, José Antonio Suárez Lodoño and Mateo López, are on view at Bogota’s Casas Riegner gallery.
• Arco Madrid, Feria de Madrid, until 28 Februay