ARCOmadrid 2018: Welcome to the Future

Dec 21, 2017 4:01PM

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.  With a total of 211 galleries from 29 countries, 160 make up the General Programme, in addition to the curated sections: “The future is not what’s going to happen, but what we’re going to do”, with a selection of 20 galleries; Dialogues, with 14 and Opening, with 19.

Courtesy ARCOmadrid

The introduction of a concept, ‘The Future’, as a point of departure for exploration, along with the quality of the contents and the consolidation of the fair as a hub for the discovery of new talents, will constitute the essence of ARCOmadrid 2018 which, organised by IFEMA, will hold its 37th edition from February 21st to 25th.  

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 andOpening, 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.  

ARCOmadrid will again revolve around its General Programme, made up of 160 galleries selected by the Organising Committee. Particularly worthy of mention is the return of galleries such as Alexander and Bonin and Team, from New York, and Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, in addition to other important names with a continued interest in the Fair, such as Barbara Thumm; Chantal Crousel; Hauser & Wirth and Michel Rein, along with new incorporations including Guido W. Baudach; König Galerie; Monitor and Van Doren Waxter.

Courtesy ARCOmadrid

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-.  


Courtesy ARCOmadrid


ARCOmadrid will again set its buyers’ programme in motion, drawing over 250 collectors from over 40 countries to Madrid. In addition, it will also offer the Young Collectors initiative again this year, inviting around thirty young international collectors, who will equally contribute to renewing and driving collecting in the main Spanish art market platform.  

Along the same lines, Fundación ARCO will also incorporate a new International Council, to represent the international collectors and acknowledge the work of private patrons in the creation, diffusion and preservation of the art of our times.  

In conjunction with the first purchase advisory service offered during the Fair, First Collector by Fundación Banco Santander, Fundación ARCO will also promote a new project: #mecomprounaobra, that also aims to create new collectors. This action will make a series of works from the participating galleries of the next edition available to interested parties, for purchase in the month of December.  

For its part, the virtual platform will provide the opportunity of exploring the Fair and the works present at the same on its Web and on the free Artsy App.  



ARCOmadrid enjoys the distinction of having been the first fair in the world to incorporate the voices of contemporary art professionals, thus consolidating it as a point of meeting, exchange and essential knowledge for critics, institution directors and other professionals. Attendance by collectors and other players linked to art makes it possible to offer an intense programme of debates that, in turn, constitute a platform for reflection.  

The broadly consolidated Collecting Forum, with the support of Fundación Banco Santander, includes sessions directed by Estrella de Diego and by Judith Benhamou-Huet. In addition to these, there will also be three cases of emerging collecting, organised by Fundación ARCO. On this occasion, the Museums’ Forum will be directed by Ferran Barenblit –director of MACBA- and Julieta González –artistic director of JUMEX-, while a conference will be offered by Mari Carmen Ramírez, curator of the Latin American art collection of MFAH The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  

On the other hand, the curators of the new section, Chus Martínez, Rosa Lleó and Elise Lammer will be responsible for directing the Seminar Caressing the future.  A tribute to the great Bola de Cristal; a day of theory with presentations, conferences and debates, presented by international curators, critics, philosophers and scientists who will raise the visibility of relevant research to bring us closer to the future, in a setting created by the artist, Álvaro Urbano.  

The Professional Meetings, one of ARCOmadrid’s trademarks, will again establish a stronger link to the Fair contents with a view to promoting synergies between critics, galleries and artists. These work sessions will be directed by Catalina Lozano, Rosa Lleó, Ilaria Gianni, Stefanie Hessler and Mouna Menoukar, who will put forward their contents proposals and guest selections.  

The Fair will again host the Museums Working Session, co-organised by AC/E, ADACE, EUNIC andHablarenarte, drawing around 30 museum directors and representatives to Madrid. Along the same lines, for the seventh year running, the European and Ibero-American Museums Meeting will be held, directed by Ferran Barenblit and Julieta González.  



The Fair will dedicate three days -23, 24 and 25 February- to art enthusiasts and the general public, offering them certain services and facilities to ensure they get the most out of their visit. Among these, with the aim of making access available to more visitors, in the month of December there will be an advance sale of tickets online for 20 euros.  

Again this year, ARCOmadrid will enjoy the support of private patrons and important corporations such as Fundación Banco Santander; AECID; AC/E Acción Cultural; CNP Partners; Audemars Piguet; Turespaña; American Express; illycaffè, Solán de Cabras; Ron Zacapa; Alhambra; NH Collection; DKV; Sushita and Ruinart, sponsoring different areas or activities at the Fair.  

ARCOmadrid 2018, organised by IFEMA, will be held from February 21st to 25th, in halls 7 and 9 of Feria de Madrid. Opening times will be noon to 8pm.

Courtesy ARCOmadrid