Madrid, 3 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).
Madrid’s has hosted the first in this year’s series of European art fairs. Whilst the fourth edition of Apertura – the art fair which features exhibitions from around 50 contemporary galleries – ran between 19 and 22 September, the town’s ancient abbatoirs, the ‘Matadero Madrid’, hosted the first edition of Summa Art Fair. Integrating Madrid Foto, organisers sought to propose an international forum for specialists in both contemporary art and photography.
Enrique Polanco, director of the fair, told us “Madrid is a perfect city to attract collectors in September, especially new collectors who, in our view, are becoming increasingly endangered. Our event is really dedicated to them. We also intend to change the relationship between gallerists and collectors, by providing them with a platform on which they can meet and talk”. Even in the very first edition of this event, part of this wish would appear to have been realised.
Based in a superb setting, which combines history with modernity, and which is now permanently dedicated to exhibitions, Summa Art Fair joined an international collection of 64 galleries – placing a particular focus on Latin American institutions – and welcomed a total of around 10,000 visitors. Whilst the excitement around the inaugural edition of such an event is perhaps to be expected, the gallerists present underlined their satisfaction with the organisation of the fair, and the number of collectors present. Besides the sales which took place at the fair, a number of gallerists appreciated the event as an opportunity to establish new connections, and appreciated the enthusiasm of collectors, who attended in large numbers.
The Parisian Gallery Alberta Pane, which presented the work of Austrian artist Fritz Pankerm, the French artist Marie Denis, and Portuguese artist Jaoao Vilhena, confirmed: ’This first edition has been incredibly promising. A number of collectors have really responded to the event and we hope to see good things as a result of having participated. We’d really like to congratulate the organisers, both for having welcomed us, and for having selected such an excellent group of galleries to participate in the event.” This was a sentiment that was echoed by a large number of galleries, who appreciated the presence of the great number of collectors, present at the opening of the event on Thursday.
Véronique Jobin of the Wolkonsky Gallery insisted on the ‘very good – in fact very elevated’ quality of the fair. The gallery, which is based in Munich, used the occasion to present videos by Willi Bucher, with works by Eok Seon Kil (a Korean artist who lives in Madrid), being presented in a second space, alongside pieces by Udo Rutschmann (a German artist, who hails from Augsburg). The gallery also emphasised ‘new, quality contacts’ and the event’s general capacity to retain the attentions of the visiting public – who were in general art specialists, open to discussion. The Wolkonsky Gallery revealed that each of its presented artists had sold pieces between €5,000 and €15,000 – purchases which were made both by private collectors and by international public institutions. A work by Udo Rutschmann had been ordered, and the gallery had received offers to produce exhibitions of their artists’s works in galleries in Spain and Portugal. In addition to this, large institutions in Madrid and Barcelona have begun discussion regarding the possibility of hosting exhibitions of works by Willi Bucher and Eok Seon Kim.
The American Black Square Gallery, which is based in Miami, presented works by photographers Vitaliy and Elena Vasilieva. After having sold a piece for €2,000 and another for €5,000, the gallery left the fair satisfied, stating that, despite the significant number of collectors present, clients who were interested by the most expensive pieces on offer were relatively few and far between. Echoing the general opinion of those present at the event, the American gallerists praised the positive atmosphere of the event.
Whilst Summa Art Fair welcomed a relatively large number of exhibitors, the fresh appeal of a first edition, the superb setting of the ancient abbatoirs, and the production designed by architects Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano dissipated any sense of suffocation, occasionally present at similar events. It was in this professional, ambitious, yet convivial atmosphere, that the Saboreal Arte programme took place. Aiming to create original links between contemporary art and culinary creation under the skilled direction of Mario Sandoval, the component of the event only reinforced its jovial atmosphere.
Open to a large number of disciplines, including photography, painting, sculpure and video, the new event offers galleries an affordable exhibition space, costing around €140 per square metre. A number of South American galleries travelled to take part in the event – often rendered possible by partnerships with larger public institutions - an aspect of the event which allowed artists rarely exhibited in Europe to encounter a new audience of visitors and collectors.
A series of conferences entitled ‘Punto de Encuentro’ were organised by Rosina Gomez Baeza, Lucia Ybarra and Arianne Gaazenbeek, with a special focus place upon the influence of Spanish art in an international context, and on the nature of being a collector in both Spain and in countries with emerging art markets.
Summa Art Fair also hosted two prizes. Marta Mellado and Xavier Fontanet received the Konecta Foundation Social Architecture Prize for their project Se Vende, whilst the Comunidad de Madrid-SUMMA prize, which recognises the work of a single photographer, was awarded to Roseel Mesguer Mayoral, represented by the Espai2Nou2 Gallery. His work is to be exhibited in the contemporary art collection of the Communidad de Madrid, at the CA2M Art centre, from 2 May 2014.