This May the art world converges in Buenos Aires for the 23rd edition of arteBA; at the ready, the fair is prepared to welcome an annual audience of some 100,000 visitors, with a rich fair program and works by over 500 artists. With a particular emphasis on art emerging from Latin America, the fair has become a renowned cultural attraction in Buenos Aires.
1. When? Where? How?
arteBA takes place May 23–26, at the city’s main exposition venue, La Rural, in the Blue and Green Pavilions (2704 Sarmiento Avenue, Buenos Aires). Tickets may be purchased in person at the fair or online, and they include a free audio guide.
2. Why visit?
Not only is arteBA a fantastic platform for emerging and under-represented artists and galleries, it is known as a dynamic presentation that caters to a variety of visitors from collectors and museum professionals to the general public. Located in the vibrant cultural beacon that is Buenos Aires, the fair offers a spectacular vision of contemporary Latin American art today.
3. How is it organized?
In addition to the Main section, which includes a variety of international, established galleries, the fair is divided into several specialized sections that offer diverse and engaging presentations that include a broad range of galleries and artists. Exhibitors in the Main section this year are chosen through a selection committee including Sonia Becce, Eduardo Brandão, Henrique Faria, and Orly Benzacar. Specialized sections are outlined below.
Within the Main fair section, the Cabinet section offers a selection of booths dedicated to solo presentations featuring a single major work, or a series of works. The advisory board who oversees the 2014 edition of this section includes Sonia Becce, Victoria Noorthoorn, and José Roca.
In its first edition, the Dixit section will house an exhibition developed by an invited curator, which is meant to serve as a response to a critical hypothesis that incorporates a relevant issue in the contemporary art world today. Curator, writer, and scholar Andrea Giunta is the first curator of Dixit, and she presents the exhibition “When Does Contemporary Art Begin?”
6. U-TURN Project Rooms
The U-TURN Project Rooms section engages galleries from outside of Latin America in order to present a vibrant, international presentation of contemporary art. Galleries are invited to contribute a single project, which can involve works by up to three artists. This year’s U-TURN is curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio.
7. Solo Show Arcos Dorados of Latin American Painting
This Solo Show section, curated this year by José Roca, is an invitational competition in which six Latin American artists are invited to show one painting. The winning artist, chosen by the curator, wins the Latin American Painting Competition and receives a prize of $15,000.
In the Photobooth section, a single curator invites a selection of galleries to showcase presentations of historical and contemporary photography. Premiering at the fair this year, the first edition of Photobooth is curated by Octavio Zaya.
9. Barrio Joven
The Barrio Joven section spotlights new galleries that focus on showing Latin American artists. There is a focus on new and recently created works realized through unconventional and innovative practices. The 2014 selection committee includes Akio Aoki, Mariano Mayer, and Marina Reyes Franco.
10. Banco Ciudad Young Curators Program
To inspire and foster the rising generation of young curators, artBA dedicates 100-square-meters of the fair venue to an exhibition created by the winner of the Young Curator Program competition. Months before the fair, young curators are called to propose ideas for exhibitions, and a team of established curators choose a winner; this year’s jury includes Manuela Moscoso and Javier Villa. The winner is given AR$50,000 to realize a project.
11. Patio Bullrich Acquisition Program
Each year museums, institutions, and private companies make important acquisitions at the fair through this program. This year participating institutions include Tate and MALI of Peru.
12. Proargentina Networking Program
To aid in the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and to encourage new introductions, arteBA hosts a networking program where international collectors, curators, and art professionals are able to meet major players in the Argentine art scene.
13. Open Forum
arteBA’s talks program, Open Forum, is organized by curator Abaseh Mirvali, and presents a series of panels, one on each day of the fair. This year’s panels are:
PANEL I: “Independent spaces: the need to balance artistic agenda and public expectations,” Friday, May 23rd, at 6:30 pm.
PANEL II: “Collecting as an active practice,” Saturday, May 24th, at 6:30 pm.
PANEL III: “Tool box for a contemporary art museum,” Sunday, May 25, at 6:30 pm.