ARCO returns to Lisbon

Photo: Rodrigo Gatinho

One of the world’s major contemporary at fairs returns to Lisbon from 18 to 21 May. The success of the previous edition, the existence of a booming art scene in Lisbon with new museums and galleries and the fact that Lisbon is now an appealing place for affluent world citizens were some of the reasons behind the decision to host ArcoLisboa 2017.

Lisbon takes center stage once again this year with ArcoLisboa, the second edition of a contemporary art fair that took thousands last year to the main building of Cordoaria Nacional and to a number of galleries scattered throughout the city. ArcoLisboa 2017 relies this year on the presence of 58 galleries from 13 countries, 8 of which are part of a new program under the name Opening and focusing on galleries less than seven years old. ArcoLisboa, which opens to the press and guests on May 17, was preceded one day before by a major open doors event at MAAT, the new museum of art and technology and whose architecture stands out right by the river and opposite to the main building where ArCO takes place once again. The location couldn´t be better, according to the organisation, considering the proximity with MAAT, the Electricity Museum and the exhibition of Oporto’s Museu Serralves collection just a couple of meters away.

Portugal will be rely on the presence of some of the most important galleries in the country from Cristina Guerra, Pedro Cera or Vera Cortês to Murias Centeno, Quadrado Azul, Fernando Santos or Pedro Oliveira along with the international galleries such as Elba Benítez, Juana de Aizpuru, Giorgio Persano, Nueveochenta, Vermelho, Monitor, Zak Branicka among others.

Museums will be represented also in this event by some of its representatives who will meet in a Meeting of European Museums and a meeting of Iberian-American museum directors for the occasion of Lisbon Iberian-American Capital of Culture 2017. This private meeting between directors of some of the world’s most important museums is commonplace at ArcoMadrid, the parent event that takes place every year in Madrid and which relies regularly and since the beginning on a strong presence of Portuguese visitors and Portuguese artists and galleries.

These are just some of the events that will move the city for nearly a week, offering art dealers and buyers the chance to discover some of the most interesting projects in contemporary art on the grounds of ARCO and in a number of galleries and side events taking place in Lisbon.

ArcoLisboa comes at a time when Lisbon is attracting hordes of tourists and affluent world citizens who now seek Lisbon as one of the preferred cities to buy a second or third home. Monica Bellucci, Eric Cantona or Michael Fassbender are just some of the names of prominent artists who are now a regular presence in the city after moving here for long periods of time. Even Madonna was spotted in Lisbon these days and was apparently here when the country celebrated the 100th year of the sighting of Fatima’s Madonna. These artists and the number of affluent people settling here, particularly French, was pointed out by the organisation of ARCO as a factor that could be there to assist the Portuguese art market.

Carlos Tomé Sousa