Condo Is Coming to São Paolo, Adding a Fifth Location to the Popular Art-Fair Alternative

On the eve of Condo London, the founder of the gallery-share model reveals it is testing a single-venue Condo Unit in April.

Lydia Okumura, installation shot "dentro o que existe fora." Courtesy Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo. Photo: Ding Musa.

The gallery-share event Condo, which opens its third edition in London this weekend, is heading to São Paulo in April, artnet News has learned. Condo’s founder, the art dealer Vanessa Carlos, tells us that she plans to take a smaller version of the art-fair alternative to Galeria Jaqueline Martins in the Brazilian city. This will be a single-venue event called “Condo Unit,” as opposed to simply “Condo,” which is usually spread across an entire city. The São Paulo gallery will host around six visiting galleries.

Carlos hopes to bring this scaled-back format to cities that perhaps aren’t suited for the full Condo treatment. “This would be a smaller and occasional offshoot [in places] where it doesn’t make sense to organize a full-blown Condo across the city but it’s still exciting to have an element of exchange and community,” she says.

For Condo London, 46 international galleries are presenting exhibitions hosted by 17 spaces, which include Sadie Coles HQ, Maureen Paley, König London, and Hollybush Gardens, during the four-week-long event (January 13-February 10, 2018). 

The Brazilian gallery due to host the experimental offshoot of Condo, Jaqueline Martins, is developing the project alongside Carlos and Stefan Benchoam of Proyectos Ultravioleta in Guatemala City. Jaqueline Martins is also participating in Condo London this year, bringing work by Lydia Okumura to König London.

The Condo model gained in popularity instantaneously, as it offers a cost-effective way for galleries to show their artists abroad and reach new collectors (the host galleries provide their space rent free). The inaugural New York edition took the city by storm last June, and editions in Shanghai and Mexico City are due to launch later this year, under the auspices of, respectively, Edouard Malingue Gallery’s Lorraine Malingue and Ana Castella of joségarcía.

Carlos has also spoken about taking Condo to the Middle East and Africa. She says that New York, Shanghai, and Mexico City were chosen because of their “vibrant gallery scene, large existing audience, and exciting museums and foundations—so that the visiting galleries would definitely get a lot out of spending some time ‘in residence’ there.” As for the hosts, she says, the exchange brings new vibrancy as local gallerists “come together to generate an energetic event that would serve them too.”

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