ARCOmadrid brings together this year a total of 130 galleries from 26 countries, of which 105 form part of the General Programme. The fair is ongoing until the 11th of July.
Here’s our selection from galleries
Abdelkader Benchamma´s drawings are not only delicate and highly sophisticated technical creations, but they also contain a deep reflection on the states of matter and the relationship of humans with the physical and metaphysical environment. The aesthetic evolution of his compositions goes hand in hand with the contents he explores and thus a transformation that goes from the figurative to the abstract and from the individual to the cosmic, can be seen. Benchamma proposes an expanded drawing that overflows the boundaries of the paper to occupy the exhibition space, creating a new dimension that surrounds the viewer.
Rebecca Horn is a German visual artist who is best known for her installation art, sculpture and film. The objects used and specially made for her installations such as violins, suitcases, batons, ladders, pianos, feather fans, metronomes, small metal hammers, black water basins, spiral drawing machines and huge funnels together build the elements for kinetic sculptures that are liberated from their defined materiality and continuously transposed into ever-changing metaphors touching on mythical, historical, literary and spiritual imagery.
By blending photography, painting and text, John Baldessari’s work examines the plastic nature of artistic media while offering commentary on our contemporary culture. Through a diverse practice that includes paintings, sculpture and installations, the artist shaped the Conceptual Art landscape alongside Joseph Kosuth and Hans Haacke, garnering early acclaim for his signature use of colourful dots atop photographic images.
Already shown during the gallery’s first participations at ARCO, notably in 2015, Sophie Ristelhueber’s photographs have not been exhibited again since. This year, the booth presents her last seminal series Sunset Years almost in its entirety. Consisting of photographs of the Dead Sea taken from the sky and details of Parisian sidewalks, the artist focused this time not on human types of warfare but on ecological ones. The gallery presents one of the most emblematic and rare works of Ristelhueber, a monumental photograph form the Every One series. This historic series was a real feat as the 3m tall dimension corresponds to the largest possible dimension that a silver print can technically have. Each work is a unique print, that is not even accompanied by an artist proof, bringing it closer to a painting than a photographic image per se.
Carlos Garaicoa developed a multidisciplinary approach to address issues of culture and politics, particularly Cuban, through the study of architecture, urbanism and history. He focuses on a dialogue between art and urban space through which investigates the social structure of our cities in terms of their architecture. Through a wide variety of materials and media, Garaicoa found ways to criticise modernist Utopian architecture and the collapse of the 20th century ideologies.
The gallery presents a special project conceived by British sculptor Antony Gormley. The artist has created four new sculptures to form a unique experience, using the simplified vocabulary characteristic of his SLABWORKS series. Exhibited together with a group of drawings, these sculptures test the limits of balance, appearing as precarious stacks of blocks. Based on scans of the artist’s body, these blocks barely seem to support each other, sometimes outlining a void at the core of the body, yet achieve a cohesive whole. On the one hand, the sculptures give the impression of a ‘house of cards’ that replicates the fragility of a temporary balanced structure while, on the other, they reference the stone arches of Stonehenge and other megalithic structures.
Diana Fonseca is a creator interested in dismantling, almost obsessively, the simple things of life, and everyday events. Perhaps for that reason, or because of the lyrical propensity of her work, she catches varied images of reality and interconnects them in narratives that talk about disparity and inconsistencies; about contemporary life and visual saturation; about emptiness and banality.
Anastasia Samoylova moves between observational photography, studio practice and installation. Samoylova’s work is not about disaster and catastrophe. She explores and evidence the complex relationship between the nature and human society. Samoylova’s photography plays around the collective memories and the narratives of geography. By playing self-consciously with the familiar motifs and palette of the region, her photographs work as complex allegories. They pick out scenes, situations and details that compress multiple meanings and implications, bringing to the surface the many ways in which the fate and self-understanding of South Florida is bound up with its self-image. Photography is key in the making and remaking of collective memories and imagined geographies. FloodZone is a contemplation of this, at a moment of significant transition.
Three-dimensional constructions, production related to painting and relations with the area of sound form the framework of João Ferro Martins’ artistic practice. He also develops various actions that include spoken word, performance and video. His work is concerned with processes where ideas, memories, symptoms and other immaterial aspects find their substance, their particular physical existence, through the manipulation of objects from everyday life and musical culture.
Teresa Solar’s work revolves around heterogeneous practices that materialise in audiovisual and sculptural works, in which the languages of the two disciplines connect and interact. Her sculptural works are closely linked to her audiovisual projects. Many of the elements she uses, such as sets and props, for her films, are later used as sculptures and vice versa.
The information is extracted from the press releases of the galleries.