ArtMadrid 2010 -- An Independent Collector's Recollection

ARCO MADRID : an artfair, a social event, a small network of collectors ARCO Madrid is the largest fair of spain. It used to be the best art fair in Europe because of a great gallery representation a large, a wide choice of exciting art, and a unique VIP program. I wouldn’t say the same this year for many reasons. Spain is under huge economic struggle as the real estate market is collapsing, therefore many major galleries decided not to come. The fair got almost cancelled as there was a dispute between the board of gallerists and the company hosting the event. As the board made every effort to maintain a high standard of selection for the exhibitors, the company cared only about selling space and admitted many exhibitors who were refused by the board of admissions. This was a big press scandal in Europe and therefore many “big” collectors didn’t even bother to come. Still it was an interesting art fair as it was an opportunity to discover new artists, which I did. Amongst the young artists, I noticed the work of Abulnasser Gharem from Saudi Arabia at Brigitte Schenk and, especially his stamps paintings http://abdulnassergharem.com/artwork/stamp-paintings/men-at-work/ At Alexander and Bonin I was quite intrigued by the work of Michael Buthe http://www.alexanderandbonin.com/artists/Buthe/buthe.html , a german painter died of aids. As there is no fair without the scandal, it came by artist Euginio Merino who made a huge sculpture representing a Muslim praying on the floor with the bible who is carrying on his shouders a priest on his knees holding the Torah, while a Rabbi is standing straight on the shoulder of the priest holding the Coran. Immediately after the fair opened the ambassador of Israel to Spain demanded that the work was removed : http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/Habla/Israel/nombre/judios/elpepisoc/20100222elpepisoc_1/Tes Los Angeles was the invited city, so it was an opportunity to see again many galleries from LA. Regen project showed and incredible wave and surfer of Raymond Pettibon http://www.regenprojects.com/artists/raymond-pettibon/ Margo Leavin had a great show of Baldessari http://www.margoleavingallery.com/artists/1, 1301 PE showed a great work of Kistern Evenberg : http://www.1301pe.com/artists/images.asp?aid=18 En tout cas.. des petites scandales avec des grands bonheurs! -- Philippe Dutilleul-francoeur