Madrid Roundup
              Arielle Bier
              In 2015, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy declared that the financial crisis, which began when global markets collapsed in 2008, was over, but that its legacy still endured. When recession hits, luxury goods dealers are among the first to panic, and the art market is no exception; luckily for Spain, government funding has kept cultural initiatives afloat. Even ARCOmadrid, the country’s main fair, which is one of the best attended in the world and comparatively hosts the most expensive VIP program, only managed to sidestep the recession because it is heavily subsidized. But beyond the temporary glamour and inflated sales reports, net profits on the global fair circuit are often meager, especially for small or mid-size galleries. This model is proving hard to sustain and puts the squeeze on gallerists to look for alternatives. This year, the seventh annual edition of Apertura Madrid Gallery Weekend, organized by the Art Galleries Association Arte_Madrid, substantially expanded its program in an effort to put Madrid’s gallery scene on the international map, bringing in for the first time collectors, curators, residency organizers, and journalists to visit over 43 solo and group exhibitions across the city. Conversation about local versus global art networks arose multiple times …

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