The Artsy Guide to ARCOmadrid
By Artsy Editors
Feb 11, 2014 2:42 pm

Now in its 33rd edition, ARCOmadrid returns to the Spanish capital with a special focus on discovering new contemporary artists and engaging an international lineup of guest curators. This year promises 219 international galleries, 60 of which have opted to showcase just one or two artists, plus the specialized #SoloProjects and #FocusFinland sections respectively paying homage to individual artists and this year’s guest country at the fair.

1. When? Where? How?

ARCOmadrid is open to the public February 21st–23rd, in Halls 7 and 9 of the city’s convention center, Feria de Madrid. Visitors can look forward to a new spatial layout designed by Andrés Jaque. Tickets may be purchased online, here.

2. What will I see?

ARCOmadrid brings together a range of galleries showing works from the 20th century avant-garde to works by international blue-chip contemporary artists. Visitors will encounter painting, sculpture, installations, photography, video, new media, drawings, and prints. This year offers even more opportunities to get an in-depth look at individual artists.

3. Who attends?

ARCOmadrid is an annual meeting place for collectors, curators, and directors of institutions and biennials; as such, this year the fair has dedicated two days prior to the fair’s opening for these specialized individuals to engage in discussions, talks, and tours of the fair. Guests will include Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of The Serpentine Gallery, London; Simon Castets, director of the Swiss Institute, New York; Adam Szymczyk, Curator of Documenta 14; Ruba Katrib, curator at the Sculpture Center, New York; and Irene Hofmann, director of SITE Santa Fe. Find out more, here.

Additionally, ARCOmadrid hosts the Third Meeting of European and Iberoamerican Museums. Directed by Joao Fernandes, Jesús Carrillo, and Rosario Peiró of Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, the meeting’s attendees include directors from over 30 art institutions and museum representatives from over 15 countries.

4. What is #FocusFinland?

In honor of ARCOmadrid’s 2014 guest country the fair presents a section dedicated to 13 Finnish galleries, selected by curator Leevi Haapala of the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki. Visitors will be able to explore the work of artists including Elina Brotherus, Heta Kuchka, and Antti Laitinen, Finland’s representative at the 55th Venice Biennale.

5. What will I see at #SoloProjects?

This year’s section dedicated to solo presentations focuses on Latin American artists and explorations of cultural exchange between Latin America and Europe. The section is organized  by renowned Latin American curators Marcio Harum of Brazil, Magali Arriola of Mexico, Sharon Lerner of Peru, and Tobias Ostrander of Mexico. The 21 galleries participating will present projects created specifically for ARCOmadrid, by artists including Elena Damiani, Carlos Motta, Luciana Lamothe, and Pablo Rasgado.

6. What is #Opening?

#Opening includes 29 international galleries that have been operating for less than seven years. The section is selected by curators Manuel Segade and Luiza Teixeira de Freitas. Juliana Borinski, Olve Sande, and Raphael França will be among the artists highlighted in this section.

7. What talks does the fair offer?

The fair organizes an annual FORUM agenda of talks and discussions. This year, FORUM includes a focus on collecting (in collaboration with Fundación Banco Santander), talks related to Finnish art, and artist talks directed by Maria Inés Rodríguez, director of Bordeaux CAPC. Find the full calendar, here. Highlights include:

Artists’ Talk: Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck and Fernando Bryce. Friday, Feb. 21st, 6pm.

Open Forum: The View from the Other Side: International Arts Organizations Engage with Latin America. Saturday, Feb. 22nd, 6pm.

8. What other programming is offered by the fair?

For the third year running, the Lázaro Galdiano Museum partners with the ARCO Foundation to present Collecting Seminars; this year’s theme is Intervene in the Collection / Collect the Intervention.

The ARCO GALLERYWalk initiative also returns for its third year, offering a series of guided tours of art galleries around Madrid, free of charge.

A collector-focused initiative “Artists reveal hidden places” is also in the mix, where Spanish artists—including Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Montserrat Soto, and Daniel Canogar—will introduce guests to unique art spaces in Madrid, such as the José María Castañé Foundation, the Teatro Real, and the art storage facilities at the Museo Reina Sofía.

9. Who are the winners of the “A” Prizes for Collecting?

The Friends of ARCO Association will award the annual “A” Prizes for Collecting for the 18th year running. This year’s winners are: the DKV Collection, for the Corporate Collecting category; the Zabludowicz Collection, for International Collecting; and Carlos Vallejo (CV collection) for Private Collecting.

10. What are ARCOkids and ARCOgames?

A dedicated, child-friendly programme, ARCOkids offers a series of workshops to engage younger generations with contemporary art. The initiative is designed by the Pequeño Deseo Foundation and promoted by DKV Seguros.

A new feature at this year’s ARCOmadrid is a free app, ARCOgames, designed by Mr. Garamond, that will offer visitors a new way to interact with the fair through memory games, puzzles, quizzes, and more.

Photographs courtesy of Pablo Mesegar/IFEMA.

Explore ARCOmadrid on Artsy.