February 27, 2009 - ARCOmadrid - Closes its doors and bucks the market
February 27, 2009

Closes its doors and bucks the market

ARCOmadrid closes its doors and bucks the market


On February 16th, the 28th ARCOmadrid organised by IFEMA closed its doors with much better results than initially anticipated notwithstanding the palpable sense of tension owing to the worldwide recession. The key to the positive outcome seems to have been the excellent quality of this year’s edition together with a consensus among participating galleries to bring cautious art programmes, important pieces, young emerging talents with promising careers, consolidated artists, and a carefully orchestrated display.

ARCOmadrid_2009 has thus dispelled the looming clouds of economic slowdown with good sales and widespread satisfaction after the first big international contemporary art fair in 2009. The cautiousness which is the general tonic on the international market, with a stabilisation of prices and an evidently prudent approach in acquisitions by public and private collectors, was clearly in evidence at this year’s ARCOmadrid. The situation offered a good opportunity for buyers, who reacted positively to the good quality offered by galleries, who in turn were capable of conveying a sense of confidence and serenity to a market which has never been under such a watchful eye by all the agents involved and by the Spanish and international media.

Without the shadow of a doubt, the positive results have an even greater value, if we take into account the low expectations caused by the uncertainty of the moment. They also proved useful in strengthening the spirit of the galleries, pleasantly surprised by the contacts made and the deals struck, admittedly with slighter lower sales, yet regarded by most of the participating galleries as excellent given the present circumstances. In this context, ARCOmadrid wanted, more than ever, to gauge the feeling prevailing at the fair. According to a survey carried out among exhibitors, there is practical unanimity in praising the quality of the fair and a very positive view of its organisation and spatial design, an aspect they consider has improved every year.

Emerging markets, with India in the lead, were particularly highly valued by the galleries as a differentiating feature at ARCOmadrid and as a demonstration of the growing weight of Asia in the international art scene. The satisfaction was palpable in the hall dedicated to India. In general, the galleries selected by Bose Krishnamachari were glad to have taken part at ARCOmadrid_2009. They were contacted by major Spanish and international collectors, and clearly noticed the public expectations India’s participation had generated. Many of them came to the fair with little expectations of selling and with the main goal of raising awareness about Indian art among the Spanish audience.

Many private, corporate and public collectors bought artworks at this 28th ARCOmadrid. They include the Reina Sofía Museum, the authorities of the Spanish regions of Madrid, Murcia and Cantabria, the cities of Pamplona and Alcorcón, the governments of the provinces of Cadiz and Malaga, the CGAC, the Es Baluard museum, and foundations of important companies like Unicaja, Coca-Cola España and Mapfre, among others, as well as the Asociación Colección Arte Contemporáneo, whose collection is on loan at the Patio Herreriano Museum of Valladolid.

An overview drawing a hopeful profile for ARCOmadrid, and confirming its ranking as a market platform. Quality will continue paramount in maintaining this level, as demonstrated by this edition, as well as adapting to market trends and demands. The main goals for 2010 include a reorganisation of the size of the fair, with less participating galleries and a new project that will focus on large cities. Los Angeles in ARCOmadrid_2010 will mark the beginning of this new strategy.

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