ARCO 2018: A CONTROVERSIAL FAIR
Madrid, during the month of February, becomes the epicenter of contemporary art, since during the same week various fairs are held: Arco, Art Madrid, Urvanity Art, JustMad, Drawing Room, Arrow, Hybrid Art and Arslibris. Here I will only refer to Arco.
Arco is considered one of the most veteran and important contemporary art fairs in the world. To date, thirty-seven editions have been held, indicating its full integration into the international circuit. From my point of view, I have always considered that either a fair and any other artistic contest, a prize or a scholarship, in order to be considered as consolidated, must meet at least ten years of existence. Arco meets that to spare.
Two hundred and eight galleries belonging to 29 countries have participated, of which 35 haqve been Latin American, 66 Spanish and 15 Portuguese. That is, half of the galleries present are part of the Iberian-american arch. On the other hand, the absence of the Asian continent is marked, since there is no country represented, neither China, nor Japan nor Korea, which have a great weight in contemporary art. Likewise, from the United States only seven galleries have been present, considering it is a country that brings together a large number of collectors.
With regard to other editions, the spotlight has been switched from photography and installations to painting and sculpture.
To conclude, I would like to comment on the unprecedented decision of Ifema, head of the fair, to ask the Galeria Helga de Alvear to remove the work Presos políticos en la España contemporánea, Santiago Sierra (1966) from its stand. Internationally, a country like Spain and a renowned fair such as Arco has seen its image severely damaged.
Making a final balance of Arco, it had a high rate of sales, similar to the years before the crisis. In total, a hundred thousand people have visited it.