March 31, 2010 - ARCOmadrid - ARCOmadrid_ 2010: RESULTS
March 31, 2010

ARCOmadrid_ 2010: RESULTS

Víctor Garrido

ARCOmadrid_ 2010: RESULTS

The results of ARCOmadrid show the first signs of recovery in the art market

The 29th edition of ARCOmadrid, organized by IFEMA, closed its doors on February 21st with positive results, well above all initial forecasts. ARCOmadrid confirmed the beginning of recovery in the art market already intuited in major contemporary art auctions at the end of last year, not long before the fair.

Most galleries in the fair’s various programmes put together a sensible booth with important pieces by young artists already making a name for themselves or consolidated mid-career practitioners, a decision that proved crucial in the positive outcome of this 29th International Contemporary Art Fair, with much better results than anticipated. Therefore, we can safely say that ARCOmadrid_ 2010 was able to dissipate the tension induced by the worldwide economic downturn with good sales and with a widespread positive perception for the first big international contemporary art event in 2010.

Naturally, the uncertainty of the current moment lent special emphasis to the end results and helped raise the mood of the galleries who were pleasantly surprised with the number of commercial contacts they made, with good sales, though most galleries agreed in calling them excellent in the light of the present circumstances.

According to a survey carried out among galleries at the fair, there is virtual unanimity in underscoring the good results, as well as the positive role played by Spanish collectors, both private and corporate, showing notable growth year after year. That is the case of JUANA DE AIZPURU, who declared that she had formalised “much more sales than last year.” The veteran gallerist said that the public “was of a higher quality” and underscored “the role played by Spanish private and institutional collecting, who had bought both liberally and passionately.” The directors of SANDUNGA endorsed that positive outlook, stating that ARCOmadrid_ 2010 “has more than exceeded our expectations,” adding that they sold a large number of pieces, particularly those in small formats and at affordable prices. They closed sales right up to the last day of the fair, and even “had to bring works out of the storeroom.”

Meanwhile, GEORG KARGL underlined “the good professional level of the fair.” For this Vienna-based gallery, ARCOmadrid was a positive experience, “because it is a fair with a high level of exchange, with a large attendance of young people and also because it is a good opportunity to share views and opinions.” This judgment was shared by THADDEUS ROPAC, who made many contacts and sales throughout the fair, as well as by KUCKEI + KUCKEI, who have a highly positive view of the fair in terms of the quality of the visitors and the results obtained; and also by THE PARAGON PRESS, who registered better sales than last year. In turn, the French gallery CATHERINE PUTMAN also made a positive analysis of its participation at the fair, though, according to them, “the financial downturn has made buyers more cautious when it comes to making their final decision.” But they had good sales and received visits from many collectors, “mostly from Spain and France, but also from Portugal and Germany.”

This view was also shared by the galleries taking part in the PANORAMA: Los Angeles section, many of them first-timers at ARCOmadrid. All of them declared good results and an excellent public response and many announced that they hope to come back to the fair very soon.

Many private, corporate and public collectors made substantial acquisitions at the 29th edition of ARCOmadrid. These include institutions such as Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; the regional government of Cantabria’s Dept of Culture, Tourism & Sports; CAC Malaga; the City Council of Pamplona; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Gas Natural-Unión FENOSA; and various foundations such as Unicaja; Coca-Cola España; María Cristina Masaveu Peterson; Picasso; MAPFRE; Aena.

Following the positive results, after the closure of the fair, ARCOmadrid_ 2010, the International Contemporary Art Fair, is already preparing its upcoming 30th edition, rethinking strategies and policies for next year and working together with the organising committee to design the next fair.


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