With the collaboration of the Ministry of Culture of Argentina, the Embassy of Argentina in Spain and arteBA, the Fair will capture something of the thriving art scene of Argentina.
As part of the celebrations for its 35th anniversary, ARCOmadrid, the International Contemporary Art Fair organized by IFEMA, announced that in 2017 it will restore its Guest Country section, with Argentina, “one of the most active art markets of Ibero-America,” invited as guest of honor.
Thus the 36th edition will, from February through 26, 2017 bring together a selection of galleries made by Inés Katzenstein (freelance curator and director of the art department of UTDT, Torcuato Di Tella University), giving Madrid a sampling of current production in our country.
In addition to the presence of galleries in the fair, Focus Argentina will comprise various exhibitions, and the curator Sonia Becce will be responsible for extending contemporary Argentine art to the various cultural spaces in the city of Madrid.
Similarly, other Argentine professionals will take part in the Experts’ Forum (Foro de Expertos), which will allow it an approach to current conditions in the Argentine art market, and offer a vision of what is most relevant concerning collecting, curating and criticism in Argentina.
ARGENTINA CHOSEN AMONG THE VARIOUS INTERNATIONAL ART SCENES
Our country has been chosen as guest of honor, after an in-depth analysis of the various international art scenes, and after a joint study by the organizing committee of the Fair and the directors of IFEMA.
One of the reasons guiding this selection is the quality of the Argentine artists who have taken part in the ArcoMadrid Fair. From historical figures like Alberto Greco, to those established in the ‘80s such as Guillermo Kuitca, and other creators who are now having their retrospectives, such as Leandro Erlich and Jorge Macchi or the photographer Graciela Sacco, among other outstanding names who have been represented at ARCOmadrid by either Argentine or Spanish galleries, so too the present edition, which will bring together artists of the new generation in the Argentine art panorama. Thus on display will be the work of Adriana Bustos, one of whose creations was acquired by the ARCO Foundation in 2012, as well as Pablo Acinelli, Diego Bianchi and Osías Yanov, in addition to other, recently rediscovered figures such as Luis Pazos or Ana Sacerdote. An interesting offering that will also serve as an occasion to show work by other already established artists such as Adrián Villar Rojas, Amalia Pica or Pablo Bronstein.
Another of the core aspects of the choice of Argentina was the support maintained by Argentine galleries throughout the years of ARCOmadrid and their special tie with the Fair. From the historic Ruth Benzacar, the first Latin American member on the Organizing Committee of ARCOmadrid and a great champion for the Europe-America connection in the fair, to gallery dealers like Jorge Mara, who have divided their lives between Madrid and Buenos Aires.
All this is to be accompanied by the special presence of Argentine galleries that the Fair has had over the present edition of ARCOmadrid 2016, thanks to the collaboration of the Fundación Exportar, joining together a total of nine galleries in their different programs: Barro Arte Contemporáneo; Del Infinito Arte; Document Art Gallery; Ignacio Liprandi Arte Contemporáneo; Jorge Mara-La Ruche; Nora Fisch; Rolf Art; Ruth Benzacar Galería de Arte and Slyzmud.
On the other hand, institutional support has also been a key factor. The contemporary art market in Argentina has been propelled and and bolstered by the work done over the last 25 years by arteBA, an established fair that has given visibility to galleries and artists both national and international and whose mutual understanding is crucial for the organization of Focus Argentina at ARCOmadrid 2017.
By the same token, the institutions devoted to contemporary art in Argentina have also been a focus of attraction to the country’s art scene. In addition to those already established, such as Malba – the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires –, Mamba –the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires –; the Fundación Proa; Macro – the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Rosario – ; the Museo Emilio Caraffa, in Córdoba, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Salta, – other emerging institutions are contributing to enriching the country’s art scene.
Some institutions are directed or participated in by curators who, in many cases, have worked with ARCOmadrid, such as Sonia Becce; Victoria Noorthoorn; the Spaniard Agustín Pérez Rubio, art director of the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano; Andrés Duprat, director of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and Javier Villa, curator of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires.
ARCOmadrid has also maintained a long connection with the country’s collectors, many of them collaborators in the Fair, as is the case with Eduardo Constantini, who in the past edition expounded on the process of building his collection and his museum, MALBA, as well as Amalia de Fortabat, Juan and Patricia Vergez, or Anibal Jozami, all participants in past editions, and Ximena Caminos, who will participate in the present edition.
FOCUS ARGENTINA CURATORS
Inés Katzenstein received a master of CCS Bard College (2001), where she studied thanks to a scholarship of Fundación Antorchas and Fondo Nacional de las Artes. She wrote extensively on contemporary art and she cured exhibitions like “Liliana Porter: Fotografía y ficción” (CC Recoleta, Buenos Aires, 2003), “David Lamelas, Extranjero, Foreigner, Ètranger, Aüslander” (Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico, 2005), and co-cured “Televisión, El Di Tella y un episodio en la vida de la TV” (Espacio Telefónica, 2010), among others. She was curator of the Argentine pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennial, where she presented the project “Guillermo Kuitca, si yo fuera el invierno mismo”. She was also co-curator of Zona Franca, Mercosur Biennial, 2007. From 2004 to 2008 she worked as curator at Malba-Fundación Costantini. Among other books, she edited “Listen, Here, Now! Argentine Art of the Sixties: Writings of the Avant-Garde “(New York, 2004) translated into Spanish and published by MoMA in conjunction with Fundación Espigas y Fundación Proa (2007).
She is currently Director of the Art Department at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and she is a member of the advisory board at the magazine Otra Parte and the advisory board at Malba-Fundación Costantini Museum.
Sonia Becce is an independent curator and she lives and work in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2014 she was part of the jury at the first edition of Misol Foundation´s Award for Arts, Bogotá, curator of the Sergio Bazan´s exhibition in Zavaleta LAB Gallery, Buenos Aires and participated in the 3rd. a curatorial intervention of “Alejandra Seeber: Cuadro por cuadro”, at Miau Miau Gallery, in Buenos Aires.
In 2013, she curated the exhibitions AES+F: The Liminal Space Trilogy and Eduardo Navarro: Estudio Jurídico Mercosur III at Faena Arts Center in Buenos Aires. The same year, she was curator of the project Ensayo de situación II “Soy un pedazo de atmósfera”, at the River Plate football stadium in Buenos Aires, organized by Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. In 2012, she was member of the Curatorial Committee at ARCO`12´s Solo Projects in Madrid. Among other projects, she has been curator of “smART”, Freedom Tower, Miami Dade College, “Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Somewhere/Nowhere”, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo MUAC, Mexico City, and MALBA-Colección Costantini, Buenos Aires; and Co-Curator the retrospective exhibition “Gillermo Kuitca” at the Centro de Arte Museo Reina Sofía, in Madrid and in MALBA-Colección Constantini, in Buenos Aires.
She has coordinated the first four editions of the Kuitca Grant for young artists.