ARCOmadrid 2018: Welcome to the Future

Eduardo Navarro, Untitled, 2017
Courtesy the artist


This weekend the International Contemporary Art Fair ARCOmadrid opened its doors. Part of this year program is What is going to happen is not “the future”, but what we are going to do curated by Chus Martínez, Elise Lammer and Rosa Lleó in their galleries selection, making of ARCOmadrid 2018 a space that allows us to imagine, produce and propose a vision of the complexity that awaits us.

NERO has published the book related to the project, including texts by several contributors and works by Hugo Canoilas, Salvador Dalí, Patricia Domínguez, Eva Fàbregas, Regina Giménez, Petrit Halilaj, Maryam Jafri, Barbara Kasten, Július Koller, Pedro Neves Marques, Ad Minoliti, Eduardo Navarro, OPAVIVARÁ!, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Lin May Saeed, Teresa Solar, Ramaya Tegegne, Goran Trbuljak, and Álvaro Urbano.

ARCOmadrid will once again host numerous events for art world professionals as part of the Forum and Professional Meetings programme. These will include the Museums Forum, led by Ferran Barenblit (Director of MACBA, Barcelona) and Julieta González (Artistic Director, Museo Jumex, Mexico City), which brings together directors of museums and art centers from around the world; and the Collecting Forum, sponsored by Fundación Banco Santander, with Estrella de Diego where art market specialists discuss issues relevant to contemporary art collectors across a wide range of levels and experience.

The reinvigorated Spanish art market and the high quality of the institutional context is the most suitable frame for galleries that participate for the first time at the fair and others that renew their tinterest in ARCOmadrid like Hauser & Wirth, Thaddaeus Ropac, König, Alexander & Bonin, Chantal Crousel or Team. ARCOmadrid 2018 will continue to use its unique position as a bridge between the European and Latin American art worlds in order to offer a platform for Latin American art and its market, and to do so by emphasizing the work of leading Latin American artists—including those based in other parts of the world—presented in stands of major Latin American galleries.

As ARCOmadrid celebrates its 37th edition this coming February, the city of Madrid will play host to a related series of contemporary art exhibitions, several featuring leading Latin American artists and art collections, while the fair will once again serve as a gathering place for art world professionals from around the globe. In this way the vibrant Spanish capital will continue to consolidate its role as a key stop on the contemporary art circuit and a unique bridge between the European and Latin American contemporary art scenes and art markets.

As in past editions of the fair, this year’s extensive programme of professional activities will bring together leading artists, curators, critics, museum directors and other art world specialists to participate in a wide-ranging programme of panel discussions and meetings. This year’s participants in the Forum and Professional Meetings programme will include artist Julieta Aranda, collector João Carlos Figueiredo Ferraz, philosopher Timothy Morton, philanthropist Han Nefkens, artist Trevor Paglen, curator Mari Carmen Ramírez and Martin Bethenod, director of Palazzo Grassi and Pinault Collection. In addition, the 7th Meeting of European and Iberoamerican Museums: Rethinking the Nineties, directed by Ferrán Barenblit and Julieta González, will count on the participation of curators and museum directors such as José Luis Blondet, Catherine David, Pablo León de la Barra, Adriano Pedrosa and José Roca. These acclaimed events offer a broad spectrum of art world figures an opportunity to discuss projects and debate ideas, so that ARCOmadrid functions as a platform where art discourse and the art market converge fruitfully and dynamically.

In line with its vocation for constant research and innovation, this year the Fair will not hinge on a guest country, but rather on a concept: the Future; an exhibition programme and a unique design, that will encompass galleries and artists from different generations and geographic areas.

According to Martínez, the concept of “The Future” at ARCOmadrid 2018 “is not a speculative exercise into the future of the art market, but rather into the future of our actions and responsibilities in art and culture… Our idea is to create a space that will allow us to imagine, produce and propose a vision of the complexity that lies in wait for us.” In keeping with this approach, the title Martínez has chosen for the curated section of the fair is a quote from Jorge Luis Borges: “What is going to happen is not ‘the future’, but what we are going to do.”

What is going to happen is not “the future,” but what we are going to do, will take physical form at the fair through a selection of 20 artists and galleries carefully chosen by the curators, spanning various generations and geographic regions. The same concepts will be explored on a theoretical level through a series of presentations, lectures and panel discussions during a full-day interdisciplinary seminar of leading international curators, critics, philosophers and scientists.

ARCOmadrid 2018 will bring together a total of 211 galleries from 29 countries, 160 of which make up the General Programme, in addition to the curated sections: “what is going to happen is not “the future”, but what we are going to do”, with a selection of 20 galleries; Dialogues, with 14 and Opening, with 19.

While the Spanish art market clearly shows recovery and particularly dynamic sales, ARCOmadrid 2018 will continue to project its unique position as a Latin American benchmark in Europe. In fact, Latin America will be one of the main international presences given that of the 67% international participation, one third will be from the American continent, with the participation of 35 galleries from 10 countries in the region, among which Brazil, with 15 galleries, particularly stands out. All of these parameters confirm the Fair as a meeting point and forum for exchange between Europe and Latin America.

In line with ARCOmadrid’s increasingly innovative character, the 2018 edition will hinge not on a country or a region, but on a concept: “what is going to happen is not “the future”, but what we are going to do”, with the collaboration of CNP Partners. A special programme of exhibitions and events curated by Chus Martínez, Rosa Lleó and Elise Lammer, that will also enjoy the participation of 20 carefully selected galleries and artists, covering different generations and geographic areas; from New York—Bortolami, Rio de Janeiro—A Gentil Carioca and São Paulo—Nara Roesler, to Paris—GB Agency, Berlin—Gregor Podnar and even Vienna—Emanuel Layr. The galleries of this section will offer collectors, professionals from the artworld and visitors a personal vision of the future with artists who have addressed the subject in the past, including Salvador Dalí and Július Koller, dystopian visions from Lili Reynaud Dewar, Maryam Jafri and Eduardo Navarro, in addition to a framework to cover the art of the future with creators such as Teresa Solar Abboud or Eva Fábregas.

Another of ARCOmadrid 2018’s innovative aspects will be the layout of this section, in a space designed by the architect Andrés Jaque that will not present individual stands but a more fluid model, better adapted to the art fairs of the future.

As in previous editions, ARCOmadrid 2018 will also present curated sections. The Dialogues programme will include 14 galleries handpicked by María de Corral, Lorena Martínez de Corral and Catalina Lozano, the stands of which will both generate new contents and offer an in-depth presentation of the oeuvre of artists such as Carlos Garaicoa and Juan Araujo—Luisa Strina; Armando Andrade Tudela and Tamar Guimaraes—Fortes d’Aloia & Gabriel; Ryan McGinley and Tabor Robak—Team; Emilly Wardill and Laure Prouvost—Carlier Gebauer; Latifa Echakhch and David Maljkovic—Dvir.

The Opening section, focused on galleries that have been open for maximum seven years, will be made up of 19 galleries, with one or two artists per stand, selected by Stefanie Hessler and Ilaria Gianni. A programme with an exploration that goes beyond the usual focuses, including galleries such as El Apartamento—Havana; Grey Noise—Dubai; Sindicato—Santo Domingo; Dürst Britt & Mayhew—The Hague; Car Drde—Bologna; Eastward Prospectus—Bucharest and Tiro al Blanco—Guadalajara, Mexico.

This afternoon, 23 February 2018, at the Auditorio Foro (Pavillion 9), the seminar EL FUTURO: MÁS ALLÁ DE LA BOLA DE CRISTAL curated by Chus Martínez, Elise Lammer and Rosa Lléo, with Santiago Alba Rico, Ana Vaz, Timothy Morton, Julieta Aranda, Trevor Paglen, Nina Power and Ramaya Tegegne–will take place from 12am to 19pm.


La Bola de Cristal, RTVE, 1984–1988


ARCOmadrid 2018
21–25 February 2018

IFEMA, Feria de Madrid | Avenida del Partenón 5, Halls 7 and 9
Opening times: 12am–8pm