The fair reached a zenith toward the end of the decade, ahead of economically straitened times in the global economy and in Spain, particularly. An even greater breadth of international collectors and artists emerged alongside the growth of the Spanish property bubble, which saw astronomical hikes in prices at the turn of the millennium.
“The economic situation in Spain evolved very positively, but it was also a kind of artificial development with a lot of speculation,” said François Dournes, a director at Paris’s Galerie Lelong
. “Between 2000 and 2007 the sales were very good.” He also observed a healthy presence of medium-sized galleries, like his, at this time.
However, when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, the global economy hit the buffers, and sales slowed. “But in 2009 there were still Spanish clients,” added Dournes. “And ARCOmadrid had an international spectrum of collectors, meaning we still sold artworks. We have never missed any year of the fair.”