Guide to peek into the new season of art galleries

It’s rare to see new people in art galleries. His parish is made up of a floating but almost unalterable population of collectors, critics and friends of the house, most of whom usually show up on the day of the premiere and then say goodbye until the next relay. For the rest, the public queuing to feed the star exhibitions of museums considers that its natural place is not in a private gallery. Some kind of elitism is associated with them, although in principle it should not be an economic elitism, because admission is free there, contrary to what happens with those large museums that fill up in the evenings and on weekends. On the other hand, there are many who predict that the days of the physical gallery model are numbered, and that soon all collectors will be buying their pieces (not necessarily physical ones either) at the click of a button.

That’s why galleries have long been striving to attract a wider audience by organizing coordinated events at the start of each new season. In our country, the associations of Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Palma de Mallorca take advantage of the September start-of-year effect to offer programs that include guided tours, concerts, performances and some of the best exhibitions that can be seen in the coming months . They are called gallery weekends: the model was invented by Berlin in the mid-2000s, although for example the Nit de l’Art in Palma de Mallorca, which has been converging towards the same pattern, already existed at that time.

Bombon Projects 2021.

Cecilia Diaz Betz

Nerea Fernández, president of the Arte Madrid gallery association and director of NF/Nieves Fernandez (which now presents the work of the New York artist Danica Phelps), insists on the economic advantage that its sector offers the visitor: “It is important to remember that the galleries are open to the public and that we offer one of the few cultural activities that are 100% free throughout the year. We want people to know and be encouraged to participate”. It is more or less the same message transmitted by his Barcelonan counterpart, Quico Peinado, from the àngels Barcelona gallery, who, on the other hand, recognizes the image of elitism that surrounds them: “But we think that coming to the galleries is a plan, and what surprises us is that more people do not come”.

In this sense, the ARCO fair is one of the most popular in the world. And yet, a large part of its public does not even conceive of the idea of ​​visiting the same galleries that present their stands there. According to Peinado, a fair is not the most appropriate place to catch up on what artists are doing today: “In your gallery you play at home, and that is why you can allow yourself to be more risky and offer something more interesting than at a fair. But you also welcome people better.”

Let’s see how the art galleries in the main centers of our country will receive us this September.

Madrid: overwhelming offer

“Come out of galleries!” is the motto with which the association of Madrid galleries of modern and contemporary art, Art Madrid intends to attract the public to its cause in this 13th edition of Apertura Madrid Gallery Weekend, which will last from September 8 to 11. In addition to extended hours for visitors, and the possibility of joining the ARCO Gallery Walks organized by the ARCO Foundation, a program has been organized during these days that includes activities in the galleries themselves, meetings on contemporary art in various bookstores of the city, visits to the Bankinter building on Calle Marqués de Riscal (one of the unknown jewels of the city: designed by rafael moneo Y Ramon Bescosthe lobby ceiling has a fresco by the painter Pablo Palazuelo) and a dance piece by the Brazilian choreographer Polyana Lima, Things move but they don’t say anything, which will be performed in the Reina Sofía auditorium (in this case, you can only attend by strict invitation).

Rhinoceros, by Rosa Torres.



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