Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Collectors & institutional buyers buttress optimism at Madrid's ARCO

Fewer galleries but better sales.

That may sum up how some Spanish gallerists view Iberia's largest fine arts festival, ARCO, which ended 20 Feb. in Madrid.

Gallerist Rafael Ortiz of Galeria Rafael Ortiz in Seville, told Europa Press today that he and others like him were "satisfied" with this year's feria, which hosted 197 galleries from 21 countries.

According to Art News, 29 percent of these were Spanish, 71 percent foreign.

Although exhibited, Antonio Lopez's "Madrid desdeTorres Blancas," which sold for 2.74 million Euros at Christies in 2008, was not on offer, window dressing and a compelling attraction at the Marlborough Gallery.
Madrid desde Torres Blancas by Antonio Lopez

Collectors who joined institutional buyers who fueled hot sales at Sotheby's in London recently, no doubt were among the150 VIP ARCO collectors.

Madrid cultural advisor, Carlos Urroz, who took over as ARCO director last spring, has re-energized the international fine arts fair's scope and focus.

For the first time, it staged two regional art exhibition centers for emerging Russian and Latin American galleries and their respective artists.

ARCO may seek to regain some key collectors of Latin American art that Miami Beach's Art Basel may have poached.

Yet, despite optimism and brisk public traffic, prices falling into the satisfaction zone, are reported at between 25,000 and 55,000 Euros.

The exception apears to be Marlborough Gallery, its spokesperson disclosing it had its best year at ARCO since 2008.

Marlborough sold to European collectors a Manolo Valdes painting for 368,000 Euros and another by R.B. Kitaj for 197,500 Euros.

Many fewer North American galleries showed this year while ARCO said Spanish galleries increased participation.

Rock on and practice peace and love.

You can see ArtTraveler videos on YouTube or follow Dutch walkers Rob and Joost on their 1,000-kilometre pilgramage from Seville to Santiago de Compostela (Via de la Plata).

Considering a walking holiday in our mountains of Andalusia?

Or a week-long mosaic or sculpture workshop, please see: www.Spanjeanders.nl and www.competafinearts.com. These are good and most talented and trustworthy people.

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM).

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