The saying goes that ‘the 30′s are the new 20′s’ and if we consider this in light of ARCO’s 30th anniversary this year, we find that the Madrid-based fair is as youthful as ever. After last year’s controversial edition (many galleries boycotted the fair due to its unbridled growth), ARCO seems to have regained its old-time mystique. Stricter parameters for the fair’s gallery program translated to more spacious stands, a more relaxed viewing experience and reportedly more sales.
Galerie West, Installation View
One of the highlights of the fair was Opening, a selection of young European galleries that included Galerie West (Amsterdam), and Arrazia Beer (Berlin), among others. Also, as part of the ubiquitous Latin American focus this year, works by Argentinian artist Margarita Paksa at Henrique Faria, Mexican artist Alejandro Almanza at Magnan Metz and André Komatzu at Vermelho made the Latin American section worth taking a look, even if it was highly unrepresentative of the region’s contemporary practice. But even so, it was better than the Armory’s ‘Focus’ on Latin America, which included only a handful of galleries relegated to a corner of Pier 94. Regardless, ARCO’s section of Latin American galleries lacked the plural artistic practices of the region, per usual. In any case, it is seemingly impossible to define a whole region that contains such diverse practices. Latin American art is a hot topic right now, but it seems people are getting it all wrong. Nonetheless, both ARCO and the Armory Show prove that even though the ‘focus’ has been temporarily re-shifted to Latin America, there is still much to re-discover and re-learn. And it hasn’t been showcased on either fairs. Time to keep researching.
Margarita Paksa at Henrique Faria
Marlon de Azambuja
Nikolaus Utermöhlen (1990) @ Opening Section of fair
Alexander Apóstol at Distrito Cuatro
Gamaliel Rodríguez at Espacio Mínimo
Jason Mena and Juan Navarro Baldeweg at Luis Adelantado