See The 7 Best Booths at ARCOMadrid

Don't have time to see the fair's 218 stands? These are the ones you can't miss.

Michael Müller’s solo presentation, presented as a collaboration between the two Berlin-based galleries Thomas Schulte and Aanant & Zoo,
Michael Müller’s solo presentation, presented as a collaboration between the two Berlin-based galleries Thomas Schulte and Aanant & Zoo,
ARCOMadrid 2015Photo via GQ

ARCOMadrid 2015
Photo via GQ

ARCOMadrid, Spain’s top, oldest, and biggest contemporary art fair, launched its 34th edition yesterday with 218 galleries from 29 countries. As the doors opened to VIPs, the aisles were busy, but the mood quiet and expectant. No heated rushes like at Frieze or Art Basel here. ARCO is a fair where, in true Spanish laid-back style, browsing and thinking is encouraged, and long-breaks in the VIP area, customary.

This year, it’s all about Latin America. Colombia is the 2015 edition’s guest country, and its presence can be felt not just at at the fair but all over the city, with numerous exhibitions devoted to Colombian artists in local galleries and institutions. Contemporary Colombian art poster boy Oscar Murillo is showing both at the fair, with the gallery Carlos/Ishikawa, and at the new Centro Cultural Daoíz y Velarde, which is hosting the artist’s first solo show in Spain (see Oscar Murillo Installation Censored by Overzealous Museum Guard in Madrid).

Overall, the presence of Latin American galleries has increased a whopping 52 percent this year, to a total of 47 galleries from 10 different countries. But there’s more to ARCO than Latin America, and the tantalizing selection of European galleries featured in this edition—Air de Paris, Southard Reid, Carlos/Ishikawa, Aanant & Zoo, and Jocelyn Wolff, to name but a few—are testimony to ARCO’s renewed ambition to hold its own within European art fairs’ top tier.

See below seven booths that truly stood out in the 2015 edition of ARCOMadrid:

1. Michael Müller’s solo presentation, staged as a collaboration between the two Berlin-based galleries, Thomas Schulte and Aanant & Zoo, was as an absolute joy to behold. Müller’s mix of Greek-style marbles, organic ceramics, and automatic painting, framed in fuchsia walls and carpet, stole the show.

Michael Müller’s solo presentation at Thomas Schulte and Aanant &amp; Zoo<br>Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Michael Müller’s solo presentation at Thomas Schulte and Aanant & Zoo
Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

2. Another shared booth, this time between the Madrid-based gallery Heinrich Ehrhardt and the Frankfurt-based Bärbel Grässlin, features works by Günther Förg, Heimo Zobernig, Andreas Slominski, and a hilarious cupboard-shaped sculpture by Tobias Rehberger, which passers-by were invited to enter.

Works by Gunter Förg, Heimo Zoberning, Andreas Slominski, and Tobias Rehberger at the shared booth of Heinrich Ehrhardt and Bärbel Grässlin<br />Photo: Carlos Álvarez

Works by Gunther Förg, Heimo Zobernig, Andreas Slominski, and Tobias Rehberger at the shared booth of Heinrich Ehrhardt and Bärbel Grässlin
Photo: Carlos Álvarez

3. Air de Paris was much praised for the dialogue it staged between Mexican artist Adriana Lara and Portuguese Leonor Antunes. Their shared use of organic materials (leather, wood, and fabric) and references to Modernism and craftsmanship, made for an eye-catching display.

Works by Adriana Lara and Leonor Antunes at Air de Paris<br>Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Works by Adriana Lara and Leonor Antunes at Air de Paris
Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

4. In the fair’s Solo Projects section, the revelation was Argentinian artist Adriana Minoliti at the Panama-based gallery DiabloRosso. Her installation Sexy Metaphysics explores the intersections of geometry, sexuality, the avant-gardes, and the jungle in riotous and vibrant paintings.

Adriana Minoliti’s <i>Sexy Metaphysics</i> at Diablo Rosso<br>Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Adriana Minoliti’s Sexy Metaphysics at Diablo Rosso
Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

6. At the Opening section, devoted to young, emerging galleries, Paris-based Antoine Levi and Sultana delighted with their shared presentation of the exquisite Latvian artist Ola Vasiljeva and the Mexican Pia Camil, which combined their interests in the exploration of surreal objects and the staging of everyday life.

Works by Ola Vasilijeva and Pia Camil at the shared booth of Antoine Levi and Sultana<br>Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Works by Ola Vasiljeva and Pia Camil at the shared booth of Antoine Levi and Sultana
Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

7. The mighty Helga de Alvear, one of Spain’s largest and most reputed galleries, went big with a humongous booth divided in two, showcasing solo presentations by Candida Höfer and Katharina Grosse. The latter presented a huge floor sculpture, which looked like a fallen tree gone digital, framed by several paintings.

Works by Katharina Grosse at Helga de Alvear<br>Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Works by Katharina Grosse at Helga de Alvear
Photo: Lorena Muñoz-Alonso


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