ARCO 2018: A CONTROVERSIAL FAIR

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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.

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