High hopes at ARCO Madrid

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Madrid’s major contemporary art fair kicks off on February 18 with a new focus on the work of artists represented by some of the world’s best galleries. The imminent VAT reduction in Spain and the increase in the number of visitors bring high hopes for all those involved in this art event.

The huge pavilions of IFEMA – Madrid International Trade Fair will be once again the main stage of the 33rd edition of ARCO, a huge art fair attracting over 120.000 visitors every year. Finland is the guest country of this edition with a delegation of 13 galleries and a number of events in the whole of Madrid, probably the biggest Finnish art delegation outside this northern country”; Fermin Lucas, director of IFEMA said today in Lisbon. One of the novelties in this edition is “Solo/Duo”: In order for buyers and public to get to know better the work of a certain artist under this motto galleries were asked to present not more than two artists represented by galleries, along with FocusFinland whereby each Finnish gallery will present only the work of a single artist. Arco Kids which is there to attract the younger audiences and a section dedicated to Art publications are just some of the attractions of this fair relying this year on the presence of 219 galleries. Despite the cuts and austerity measures afflicting the Iberian Peninsula, ARCO is confident on the economic success of this edition, particularly considering the announced VAT reduction which is fuelling hopes of more business in this art fair.

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 Portugal, Spain’s neighboring country west of the Iberian Peninsula and the third biggest presence in terms of galleries after Spain and Germany, will be present once again in Madrid with 13 galleries. “Portugal has a wide-ranging presence in this edition in all areas”, Carlos Urroz, ARCO director added in a press conference held today in the capital of Portugal, a country where art lovers and Portuguese galleries take on a regular basis to this art fair. “ArcoMadrid is a true reference for Portuguese galleries”, D. Fermin Lucas commented on this. Portugal and Spain, two countries needing to get to know each other better beyond the commonplaces, engaged these days in a close collaboration between the Prado Museum and the Ancient Art Museum, whereby the Madrid Museum brought paintings by Rubens, Brueghel and Lorrain for an exhibition in this Lisbon museum under the name “The Nordic Landscape from Prado Museum”. This collaboration will certainly be debated in the Museum’s Forum, a series of talks between a number of museums from all over the world and which is there to discuss future collaborations.