If you’re planning to be where the modern art world is over the next few days, then no doubt you’ve already got your ticket to ARCOmadrid, the International Contemporary Art Fair. This legendary gathering, loved by many and loathed by some, brings gallery owners, artists, experts, individual collectors, art dealers and the curious to the Spanish capital, from 19 to 23 February. A rendezvous to reveal the trends that are shaping the modern art world, its state of health and the prices the works can command.

Foto: Elena Alonso

In this year’s edition, galleries are presenting their works to 250 collectors from around the world, 150 special guests, art fans and the general public. There will also be forums, courses analysing design as well as how to build a collection, and reflective areas near the works exhibited.

But if you want to get off the ARCO beaten track, Madrid has much more to offer, offering you the chance to enrich the ‘official’ modern art event, or give it a miss. One alternative is a selection of contemporary works of art being exhibited by architect Joaquín Torres, of A-cero studio, along with his associate Rafael Llamazares, in their gallery on Calle Castelló, in parallel with ARCO. The exhibition contains works from artists such as Jesús Curía, Tony Cragg, Salvador Cidras and Mercedes Rodríguez.

For more ideas, there’s the photo gallery of 10 things not to miss at OFF ARCO, just published by newspaper El País [text in Spanish, which includes the latest work from Lara Almarcegui at the gallery Parra & Romero, the exhibition ‘Pensar bien y dibujar mal’ (literally ‘Think well and draw badly’) by Fran Meana or the project ‘Beyond’, an installation by Pep Vidal, which portrays a marine microcosm that evokes submarine scenes from science fiction.

Foto: ‘Beyond’ Pep Vidal

Some of Madrid’s leading museums and art centres, as well as private collections, are exhibiting their finest works to coincide with ARCOmadrid. And Finland, the guest country, is making a special effort to put contemporary Finnish art on the map, at museums and galleries; among them the Reina Sofia National Art Centre, La Casa Encendida, Matadero, or the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum.



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