ARCO is supposed to be the oldest art fair – this is the 27th year – and by far the most heavily attended – more than 2oo,ooo people over six days – of the big international art “trade shows”. there are 25o-ish galleries in 3 pavilions. the range of work is enormous and the quality of the fair and work displayed is really high. the most expensive piece was a 23,ooo,ooo (that’s euros – not dollars) francis bacon painting, but there are two entire sections of the fair that are dedicated to emerging artists. this is the second year we participated. this year we were invited to do a project with jim campbell in the “expanded box” (new media) section of the fair. we took two pieces and installed them in a completely black space. sorry, my photos don’t look like anything, so i’m not including them. i was really happy with the booth, and like this fair a lot, but the location of the “expanded box” section sucked.
the fair is a beating to work. it runs wednesday to monday from 12 a.m. to 9 p.m. a long time on your feet on concrete.
this gallery – paris 1900-2000 – has great material. mostly work on paper – collage, drawing, photography – but also painting. highlights included several hans bellmer pieces.
of course, a lot of the art there is
(like this painting)
and for god’s sake, what’s with julian opie?
ARCO has a series of educational programs and each year has a “guest country” (this year was brazil) ensuring you’ll see galleries and artists that you don’t see at every other fair. when you consider that it’s in madrid, it beats the hell out of art basel miami and all of its satellites…
a really nice fabric piece by louise bourgeois at carolina nitsch:
‘ode a la nieve’ – a bound fabric book – 25 ‘pages’, with embroideredy and appliqués, from an edition of 14. 250,000 – forgot to ask if that was dollars or euros… i would like to live with this (if i had an extra 250k) but am not sure i’d live with it on the wall. you lose the physicality of the piece and the pleasure of having it revealed to you one panel at a time…
truth of the matter is, the art world right now is one international event after another, where insiders meet and schmooze… madrid is a perfect venue.