This will be the new edition of ARCO: Covid Passport, more women artists and fewer galleries
ARC celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year, one year later than it is due for the pandemic, with its edition 40 (+1). In it, it will be required for the first time covid passportthere will be a nod to art from women and a number of galleries slightly lower than pre-pandemic levels.
The most important contemporary art fair in Spain celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year after last summer's low edition. From February 23 to 27, Madrid will host the proposals for 185 galleries from 30 countries in halls 7 and 9 of the fairgrounds.
As a novelty, this year the programming will dedicate its section only to women Artists Project. With this initiative, the fair tries to deal with the many complaints about the lack of creations made by women at the fair.
The fair faces its new edition with special emotion, due to the special nature of its anniversary and the complexity of recent years, and has decided implement some of the lessons learned during the pandemic.
“These two years have made us think a lot. We have learned things along the way”, explained Maribel López.
The most important, to endorse the traditional claim of the galleries to become a fair "smaller". In total, you can see the proposals of more than 180 galleries, slightly below pre-pandemic levels (the last edition held normally was 220).
The architecture of the pavilions will maintain the format of the previous year, with wide corridors for improve traffic and the possibility that the galleries have large warehouses -called showrooms-.
The first “restraint exercise”as explained by its director, has been in the curated sections of the fair, which have selected fewer galleries
In the general program, composed of 159 galleries, proposals for names such as Perrotin, Peres Projects, Nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Nordenhake, Heinrich Ehrhardt or Elvira González can be found.
This year's special section, dedicated to its anniversary, named 40(+1), includes 19 galleries, all of them have worked with the fair since its early years and are still linked to the event.
“We are at a time of rethinking the fairs, their future. It is also important to know your past, in order to face that future”, argued Sergio Rubira, one of the section's curators.
In this section you can find international proposals such as Chantal Crousel or Giorgio Persano, but also Spanish ones such as Juana of Aizpuru or Leandro Navarro. The latter dedicates its stand to four realistic women -Maria Moreno, Isabel Quintanilla, Carmen Laffon and Amalia Avia.
"Each stand is like an exhibition in itselfAccording to Ruby.
The section dedicated to the fortieth anniversary has a special presence of women, the male-female artist ratio is 40-60 percent (female-male), a ratio much higher than usual. The fair has not wanted to provide data on the rest of the fair, but the "feeling is that women go up", depending on the organization.
After criticism of the low presence of women in each edition of ARCO, the fair picks up the gauntlet and this year it dedicates Artist Projects -a series of protagonist spaces distributed by the fair- exclusively to women.
Among the most prominent names are the proposals for Liliana Porter, Aurelia Munoz, Inés Medina, Ira Lombardía, Mari Puri Herrero, Clara Sánchez Sala or Marianna Simnet.
ARCO maintains, one more year, its traditional sections dedicated to the art of Latin America, “Never the same. Latin American art” (8 galleries), and another space for young galleries, “Opening” (15).
A fair adapted to the pandemic
"ARCO has been the only international fair that has managed to celebrate its call every year", he recalled Eduardo Lopez DoorsCEO of Ifema.
Following in the footsteps of Fitur, the fair will ask for the first time to access the COVID passport or the QR Spain Travel Health and, in the absence of these two previous ones, a negative test (PCR or antigens) made in the previous 24 hours.
The fair will also have mandatory use of FFP2 mask.
“We have reinforced all the sanitary controls and taken extreme measures so that the fair is held in a sanitary safe sense”, added López Puertas.