ARCOmadrid_2011 exhibition view. Photo: Ilze Žeivate

The Balance at ARCOmadrid_2011: In Numbers and Impressions 0

Marta Pallo
12/05/2011 

From February 16-20, the Spanish city of Madrid hosted the international art fair ARCOmadrid_2011, one of the oldest art fairs in Europe. Ilze Žeivate, an art historian and director of Māksla XO, one of Riga’s largest art galleries, once again traveled to Spain to visit the fair. She spoke to us about the power and heritage of Spanish art, the Russian pavilion, and the prevailing confusion in painting.

ARCOmadrid celebrated its thirtieth anniversary this year. The fair took place in February, and was the first to unveil the European art fair season. There’s an ancient belief that the way in which a year begins determines how the rest of it will be spent. Under what sign did one of the most unique European art fairs take place? What was surprising at the art fair? What were the main elements at the fair, and what are the newest tendencies in both the Spanish and the European art markets? What were the most significant features at ARCOmadrid this year? To answer these questions, I invited art historian Ilze Žeivate, director of the art gallery Māksla XO, for a discussion. Žeivate’s relationship with Spanish art has lasted for several years, and has now become an established tradition; she has visited ARCOmadrid every year since 2007. Since that time, Žeivate has found her personal favorites amongst Spanish artists, and travels to the fair with a specific goal in mind: to compare the galleries’ offerings, to observe the latest tendencies, and, most of all, to meet once again with her beloved artists.

On Spaniards, Healthy Patriotism, and Self-Confidence in Art

The ARCOmadrid fair differs from other European art fairs because it mostly features Spanish art. This year, a total of 190 galleries participated in the fair; these included galleries from other countries—such as America and Japan—though more than a hundred of them represented Spain. “This is what makes ARCOmadrid so interesting, because you can go there to look precisely at Spanish art. 

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