What is Condo? Some call it an art fair, some call it a meet-up, but one thing is certain: It gets people into galleries. Whether they come to look or to buy, a diverse cohort of artists, art world insiders, media types, “creatives,” and those with an interest in contemporary art make their way around areas of London, New York, São Paulo, Shanghai, Athens, and Mexico City to see emerging art made both locally and abroad. Later this year, Condo may expand to yet another country, with a Berlin iteration in the offing.
The brainchild of London-based gallerist Vanessa Carlos, Condo is something between a gallery residency program and a decentralized art fair. A group of galleries in a given city hosts galleries from other cities and countries for the duration of an exhibition. A wide range of galleries participate, from major outfits to recently established upstarts, including Sadie Coles HQ
, Greengrassi, Hot Wheels Projects in Athens, Misako & Rosen from Tokyo, and Warsaw’s Wschòd. In London, Condo typically opens in January, which is usually a quiet month for the art world in the city. Its second edition in São Paulo opened earlier this month, with 10 visiting galleries from Athens to the Spanish city of Vigo taking over six spaces in the Brazilian metropolis.
Over the opening weekend, the participating galleries are buzzing, the atmosphere is great, and although sales are made, they are rarely the focus of conversation. Fostering that kind of energy is exactly what Carlos set out to do when she created Condo four years ago.