arteBA, Buenos Aires (Argentina): Latin-American art fascinates international galleries and museums

Artsy Editors
Jun 30, 2014 7:49PM

The art trade show arteBA represents one of the most well-known contemporary art exhibition primarily focused on the Latin American art production, and takes place annually at the fairground of La Rural, in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

At its twenty-third edition, arteBA attracted 81 national and international galleries and more than 100.000 attendees.

Alec Oxenford, president of arteBA Foundation, underlines the importance of strengthening the internationalization of this exhibition, with the purpose to transform arteBA as a meeting point for international galleries’ directors, artists and curators. At the same time, the exhibition aims to enhance its Argentinian heart by presenting new sections, thematic seminars and conferences, and galleries meetings.

This year’s edition attracted 81 galleries, of which half international, with an overall presence of more than 500 artists from all around the world. The participating galleries have been carefully selected by art experts, with the purpose to enrich the quality of the exhibition itself.

Also, arteBA fascinated a record number of international galleries and museums which bought artworks during the exhibition. More specifically, Argentinian and international artworks are now owned by the Tate Gallery of London, the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofia of Madrid, the Guggenheim of New York, and the MALI of Lima, just to cite a few.  

A series of different sections were presented during arteBA this year: new sections combined with the historical ones, were curated in order to satisfy the various visitors’ and exhibitors’ profiles which attended the exhibition. 

More specifically, the sections I visited at this art trade show are: 

● Sección Principal.

Sección Principal represents traditional galleries carefully selected from art experts with the purpose to identify few high-quality galleries. The selection was performed by Sonia Becce  (freelance curator, Buenos Aires, Argentina); Eduardo Brandão (Vermelho Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil); Henrique Faria (Henrique Faria Fine Arte, NY, USA and Henrique Faria, Buenos Aires, Argentina); Orly Benzacar (Ruth Benzacar Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina).

● U-Turn Project Rooms by Mercedes-Benz

U-Turn Project Rooms by Mercedes-Benz aims to represent art as a continuum between the traditional artists of the past, the artists of the present and the new talents of the future. The curator of this year U-Turn Project is represented by Agustín Pérez Rubio (historian, art critic, freelance curator, and former director of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain).

● Cabinet LAN.

Cabinet Lan represents a new section, which shows artworks from established artists together with young talents. The purpose of this section is to show important and unique artworks by modern and contemporary artists. A selection committee defined by arteBA evaluated the artworks and selected 14 of them.

The selection committee of Cabinet LAN is represented by Sonia Becce (freelance curator, Buenos Aires, Argentina); Victoria Noorthoorn (director of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Argentina). José Roca (Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at the Tate Gallery of London and artistic director of FLORA ars+natura, an independent space for contemporary art in Bogota).

● Barrio Joven Chandon.

Barrio Joven Chandon focuses on new Latin American art galleries. The aim of this section is to accost collectors and visitors with the artists, creating a sort of live laboratory. This art section saw the participation of several cities from Argentina, but also from Puerto Rico, Belgium, Ecuador and Colombia.

The 2014 selection committee is represented by Akio Aoki (Vermelho, São Paulo, Brazil); Mariano Mayer (poet, art critic, and freelance curator, Madrid, Spain); Marina Reyes Franco (independent curator and director at La Ene; she works in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and San Juan, Puerto Rico).

● Photobooth City

Phobooth City aims to show various forms of photography production, technique and developments as well as its theoretical foundation. The objective of this first edition is to represent photography as a critical instrument for our culture, as a form of art and of communication.

This section is curated by Octavio Zaya (curator and editor of art publications).

● Solo Show Arcos Dorados

Solo Show Arcos Dorados attracted six Latin American artists to compete for the Latin American Painting Competition, a prize of USD 15.000. The winner of this year competition is José Hidalgo-Anastacio

This section was curated by José Roca (Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at the Tate Gallery of London and artistic director of FLORA ars+natura, an independent space for contemporary art in Bogota).

● Dixit Petrobras.

Dixit Petrobras represents a new section of the exhibition which shows several artworks selected by Andrea Giunta, Argentine curator, writer and researcher. With the title “When Does Contemporary Art Begin?”,  Dixit Petrobras wants to discover the beginning of the contemporary art and at the same time identify the symptoms of this transition.

(*All the images of this article are courtesy of arteBA foundation)

(**This article has been written by Ilaria Raniero, Co-founder of; it is not allowed a partial or total reproduction of this article, without giving credit to the author)

Artsy Editors