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ARCO '06


Last Tuesday (07/02/06), in the company of a couple of collectors and very few media representatives, we participated in the opening of the first edition of Art Madrid; some taking this opportunity to make initial acquisitions in the hours of ARCO’s construction. (It should be mentioned that a great number of museums and public collections yesterday built their stands in the same pavillon as these galleries.) Hardly three hours before the doors opened for experts, some red dots could already be spotted and they seemed to multiply in the course of time. A promising start for Thaddaeus Ropac who had to fetch a new sculpture of Tony Cragg from the storehouse – his first sale. Similarly, works by SEO and Bisky were quickly sold at the stand of the German gallery owner Michael Schulz, as well as works by Alicia Martín, Rosa Brun and the young artist Ruth Gómez at the stand of Oliva Arauna. Meanwhile, at the stands of Madrid-based Helga de Alvear and Juana de Aizpuru, it was almost necessary to take a number and wait for the chance to speak to the gallery owners.

Fúcares - work by Candida Höfer

About 300 galleries and altogether 3000 artists from around the world opened the 25th edition of ARCO. Although entry was only granted to professionals, the corridors were surprisingly crowded, thus creating a wonderfully festive ambiance. Apart from the usual presence of Spanish and Portuguese collectors, an astonishing number of Germans, Austrians, Frenchmen and North-Americans also attended the fair. But it was the presence of numerous Spanish collectors – among these of course Manolo Escobar – which most delighted the invited galleries. “Each time, they buy more and more and they are better prepared”, commented the directors of Joan Prats. Perhaps more importantly the collectors have a considerable interest in international artists, observed Cristina Guerra and the directors of Haunch of Venison.

Michael Schultz - works by SEO and N. Bisky

Without reaching the hysteria evident among collectors at the last editions of Art Basel and its branch at Miami, the success of this 25th edition of the fair can be measured on the basis of the demonstrated quality of works and the already completed sales. It is a fair with great diversity, for in addition to very interesting Spanish artists, a large selection of international artists were presented, commented German Michael Schulz. “Although it seems impossible, every edition yet surpasses the standard of the previous edition” (Joan Prats). “Absolutely fantastic,” resumed Yvon Lambert.

Text: Raúl Martínez Fernández
Translation: Armi Lee

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