arteBA landed in Punta del Este with clear intentions: to build bridges to the international community and to continue to strengthen the art market. Thanks to the support of Mercedes-Benz, a group of collectors, gallerists, and art lovers were invited to attend a conversation between Spanish curator Agustín Pérez Rubio and Argentine artist Liliana Porter that took place as night fell on Punta del Este last Thursday, January 9.

Agustín Pérez Rubio, curator of the U-TURN Project Rooms by Mercedes-Benz held in the framework of arteBA contemporary art fair whose 2014 edition will take place from May 23 to 26 in Buenos Aires, and Liliana Porter, one of the artists Pérez Rubio has invited to participate in the next edition of U-TURN, conversed informally before some one hundred guests in Agua Verde, Punta del Este, Uruguay.

The relaxed conversation between curator and artist addressed Liliana Porter’s career, beginning with her early years as an artist in New York, where she has lived since she was twenty-two years old. They spoke specifically of her creative process and of her personal relationship with collectors, as well as the connection between contemporary art from Latin America and the rest of the world. At the end of the encounter and before the dinner organized for the event began, the audience had the chance to ask the artist and curator questions.

LILIANA PORTER (b. Argentina, 1941, resides in New York since 1964). Porter’s works have been shown nationally and internationally, most recently at the New Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX;  the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum , CT. Her works are represented in many public and private collections including TATE Modern, London; MoMA, New York,  El Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, The Museum of Fine Art, Boston, and MALBA,  Buenos Aires.

AGUSTÍN PÉREZ RUBIO (Valencia, Spain 1972). Historian, art critic, and freelance curator of exhibitions. He was director of MUSAC, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla and Leon, until February 2013. From 2003 to 2009 he was the Curator in Chief of the same museum, in charge of both the Collection and the programming for the center. Pérez Rubio is a member of various committees in museums and art institutions as well as being a member of CIMAM, AICA, and IKT. He has curated over seventy exhibitions in various national and international institutions, from the MNCARS to the Venice Biennale, and has given lectures and seminars at institutions ranging from the Centre George Pompidou in Paris to ICI in New York. He is now working as a freelance curator and as a researcher for various museums, art centers, institutions and galleries, in projects involving language-related issues; and in studies that attempt to explore artists who generate discourses on gender politics – though his field of activity as a curator may range from museum collections to the most current artists in the international contemporary art panorama.

arteBA Foundation is a non-governmental, not for profit organization founded in 1991 in Buenos Aires, which works to develop and strengthen the art market, encouraging and promoting contemporary art production. It seeks to professionalize the various players in that market, building bridges with the international community, and drawing and committing a new public to the practice of art collecting. Outstanding among the events of the arteBA Foundation is “arteBA” itself, one of Latin America’s most important contemporary art fairs, next set to take place in the month of May in the City of Buenos Aires. Two thousand fourteen will mark the 23rd edition of the fair, which will host approximately a hundred galleries, distributed over the fair’s various sectors.

Mercedes-Benz Argentina is actively committed to art and culture, and will once more be a partner to arteBA, Latin America’s most important contemporary art fair, sponsoring U-TURN Project Rooms by Mercedes-Benz. Within the fair, U-TURN represents an important port of entry into Argentina for contemporary international art, with the presence of galleries and artists that have never been shown in the country. The last three editions featured 24 galleries from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Spain and Switzerland, representing 59 international artists.
The company’s relation to contemporary art is no accident; since the 1970s it has built up one of the world’s major corporate collections, with more than 1800 works by artists such as Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Max Bill, Walter de María and Nam June Paik. Mercedes-Benz is the world’s oldest brand of automobile. In its more than 127-year-old history, which began with the creation of the automobile, the design of its vehicles has always been of prime consideration. It has also distinguished itself as the brand responsible for numerous design icons and for automotive safety.