Archive for “Madrid”

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Poor outlook for Spanish art market

Madrid, 13 November 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Spanish art market has suffered enormously as a result of the economic crisis, with the latest Artprice report announcing a 62% decline in revenue from the sales of contemporary artworks. Now, newspaper El País has interviewed Spanish art experts on the matter.

The report was picked up by French publication Les Échos, which quoted Idoia Fernandez, director of a Madrid-based gallery. Commenting on the negative trend, Fernandez said: “increasing the VAT to 21% was very damaging [and that] all indications are that the situation is only going to deteriorate” – words which do not inspire optimism. Speaking on their experience at Madrid’s ARCO fair, Gallery Nieves Fernandez deplored the fact that they have sold only a single work, purchased by a Spanish collector for $5,000.

Whilst 70% of artworks did not find any buyers in Spain in 2012, according to Artprice, the rate of VAT leaves buyers with little incentive to buy works, meaning sponsorship cannot be developed – a factor which could be vital to market health.

Travel diaries at the Prado Museum

Madrid, 7 November 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

An exhibition, entitled “Roma en el bolsillo (Rome in your pocket)” is on display at the Prado in Madrid until 19 January 2014.

The exhibition is focuses on Spanish arts students who, between 1758 and 1764, received grants from Real Academia de Bellas Artes in San Fernando, allowing them to travel to Rome to perfect their technique. Through a selection of 51 works, the exhibition offers an overview of the artistic practices which were prevalent across Europe at the time. Sketchbooks, or taccuini in Italian, illustrate the artistic practices, but are also act as travel diaries, offering an insight into the artistic, cultural and social context of the late 18th century.

Egusquiza and Wagner’s “Parsifal” at the Museo del Prado

Madrid, 30 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), with an exhibition dedicated to works based on his last opera, Parsifal. Pieces on display are produced by Cantabrian painter Rogelio de Egusquiza (1845-1915), as part of an exhibition entitled “El Mal se desvanece. Egusquiza y el Parsifal de Wagner en el Museo del Prado” (Evil vanishes. Egusquiza and Wagner’s Parsifal at the Museo del Prado), to run from 5 November 2013 until 29 June 2014.

Egusquiza was a fervent admirer of the composer, who was originally from Leipzig. The museum is to present a selection of the artist’s paintings, drawings and prints collected by the artist, exhibited at the Prado for the first time. Donated to the museum by the artist in 1902, the works are an example of European Symbolism, and respond to the intensity and heroism of Wagner’s works.

As a painter, sculptor and engraver, Spanish-born Egusquiza was a disciple of Francisco Mendoza. He moved to Paris to join the École des Beaux-Arts in 1860 and, by 1876, after numerous trips, had developed a passion for Richard Wagner and his work. In 1879, he went to Munich to assist in a performance of Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of Nibelung). Upon his return to Paris, he joined a group of Symbolist artists and Wagnerian enthusiasts, beginning a series of works in which he used art as a vehicle to explore mysticism and the sacred.

Miguel Ángel Blanco’s “Natural Histories” at the Prado

Madrid, 11 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Between the 19 November 2013 and the 27 April 2014, the Museo del Prado is to present “Historias Naturales. Un proyecto de Miguel Ángel Blanco”. Centred around natural history, the exhibition features a project created by the Spanish artist, who was born in 1958.

The Museo del Prado first opened its doors to the public as the Museo Nacional de Pinturas y Esculturas on 19 November 1819. Commissioned by Charles II I in 1785, the neo-classical building, designed by Juan de Villanueva, was originally home to a natural history collection. On the 194th anniversary of the museum’s foundation, and to mark the 200th anniversary of Villanueva’s death, Blanco’s project pays tribute to the history of the Prado and its little-known origins as a Natural History Museum.

Born in Madrid, Miguel Ángel Blanco is one of most prominent Spanish artists to have produced works which directly engaged with nature as a theme. Focusing on the museum’s past as a centre for natural history, the artist’s 21 installations, located in the gallery’s permanent collections, seek to fuse art with nature. Pièces selected by Blanco have been sourced from Spanish natural history collections, held at institutions such as the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, the Real Jardín Botánico and the Museo de la Farmacia Histórica; displayed alongside the sculptural works of the Prado, these pieces aim to promote a dialogue, “performing” to produce a new “scientific-artistic” genre of exhibition.

Reporting from the first edition of SUMMA Art Fair, Madrid

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.

Sabrina Amrani gallery presents Zoulikha Bouabdellah in Madrid

Madrid, 13 September 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 19 September to 2 November 2013, the Sabrina Amrani gallery is offering “Bizarre”, an exhibition of works by artist Zoulikha Bouabdellah.

Two years ago, the artist launched the gallery with the exhibition “Mirage”. This year, Bouabdellah is returning to Madrid to present works which highlight the relationship between the beautiful and the strange.

Bouabdellah, of Algerian origin, was born in Moscow before moving to France at the age of sixteen. She has won various awards, notably the Prix Meurice pour l’art contemporain (Paris), the Abraaj Capital Prize (Dubaï) and the prize Villa Médicis Hors les Murs (Cape Town).

The artist’s work is also to be displayed at the forthcoming Apertura.

The Astarté gallery presents Florentino Díaz at the 2013 Madrid Apertura

Madrid, 13 September 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

“Apertura 2013″ is taking place in Madrid from 19 to 22 September 2013. There are to be around fifty contemporary art galleries simultaneously opening their exhibitions at the time of the event. This year, the Astarté gallery is putting Florentino Díaz to the forefront, an artist who is exhibiting at the gallery from 19 September to 9 November 2013.

“La Casa Desolada” (“Bleak House”) is both the title of his exhibition, and the title of a Charles Dickens novel. The Dickens tale depicts social decadence in the context of a malfunctioning British legal system. Díaz uses not only the title of the novel but also the themes, in order to present a social critique. The artist places words of social and political truths on bases made of traditional materials such as wood, rubber, stainless steel, as well as basic furniture such as beds and armchairs.

Díaz constructs little “sanctimonious” houses, in which humor and irony become weapons of social criticisms. Also found in the exhibition is a map of Spain made of recycled wood, seemingly in a state somewhere between construction and demolition, by virtue of the use of recycled materials and rubbish to create the piece. On the map can be read “prevarication national” and “corruptions”. The artist clearly and insistently declares his anger towards the current situation in Spain.

William Christenberry at the Fundación Mapfre

Madrid, 29 August 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Madrid’s Fundación Mapfre is to present an exhibition dedicated to works by artist William Christenberry, to take place between 24 September and 24 November 2013.

Christenberry is considered to be a significant American photographer, known for his unique representations of traditional landscapes in America’s deep South. His work is frequently described as evocative, exhibiting a preference for simplicity which takes on a monumental character.

Every year since 1961, William Christenberry has returned to the same locations in order to produce images which show the gradual degradation of forgotten or abandoned things. From 1974, the artist began to produce intricate sculptures inspired by photographs taken during the 1960s. Despite the proportions of these sculptures, the artist considers the works to be independent pieces as opposed to a form of maquette.

William Christenberry has been the subject of a number of exhibitions in museums across the world. The exhibition in Madrid is to be accompanied by the publication of a new catalogue which is to feature over 300 photographs, the majority of which were taken between 1960 and 2007. The show will also present nine sculptures, to be situated in the Klan Room.

New Goya museum struggles in Spain’s current economic climate

Fuendetodos, 12 August 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Building work on a museum devoted to the life and work of Goya (1746-1828) came to an abrupt halt in July, with a report released in The Art Newspaper revealing that the project has run out of funding.

The cost of building work for the museum was expected to be around €7m. Currently, the walls of the building – designed by Madrid-based architects Matos Castillo – are complete, but the inside remains unfinished. The building is situated in Goya’s hometown of Fuendetodos, a small town with a population of under 170. The region already offers tourists the opportunity to visit the artist’s birthplace, the Casa Natal Goya, but would benefit greatly from the income which the half-built museum could generate.

Commenting on the situation, the Mayor of Fuendetodos, Joaquín Gimeno, said: “The [ministry], the organisation that has helped us the most to realise the museum, told us that there is no funding for museums in construction in 2013. The day we get funding again we will keep working on the project.”

New book by Olafur Eliasson launched with Madrid exhibition

Madrid, 12 August 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Madrid’s Ivorypress Space is to present an exhibition previewing “A view becomes a window,” a book by Olafur Eliasson presented in 9 unique editions.

The show is to be launched with the artist present on 19 September 2013 at 7:30pm, with the exhibition then running until 28 September 2013. Upon the exhibition’s close, the work is to be incorporated into Ivorypress’s permanent display of artists’ books, which can be visited by appointment every Wednesday.

Eliasson’s book is composed of glass and light, with coloured glass sheets filling the publication’s leather binding in lieu of pages. Commenting on the work, Eliasson stated that “A view becomes a window is an homage to the book as a space in which we find ourselves… The space and the reader are reflected in the deep, glassy surfaces in which ultimately you—the reader—are read by the book.”

Olafur Eliasson (Copenhagen, 1967) studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen between 1989 and 1995. In 2003, he represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale, and has exhibited internationally at institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, and Tate Modern in London. “A view becomes a window” is the 11th book to be published by the artist through Ivorypress since its foundation in 1996.

Surrealism and the Dream at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Madrid, 16 July 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The event titled “Surrealism and the Dream” will be held at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, from 8 October 2013 to 12 January 2014.

It will allow visitors to familiarise themselves with surrealism, which is not only an artistic movement among others, but also a way of life that greatly influenced artistic creation. This exhibition thus reveals how this transformation of modern awareness found its origins in the profound connection between dreams and images, thanks to surrealism.

The event will feature paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures as well as photographs created by artists such as Breton, Magritte, Masson, Ernst, Arp, Cahun, and Nougé. The exhibition is organised under the commissioning of José Jiménez. The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), a book written by Freud, was crucial for surrealists in the way they approached the world of dreams. For them, this book represented more than an inspiration. Dreams were considered as experimentation subjects that were different from real life, and knowledge of this world was essential for the enrichment and expansion of psyche.

Summa Art Fair: a new, ambitious fair in Madrid. Interview with Enrique Polanco

Madrid, 27 June 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The first edition of Summa Art Fair, dedicated to contemporary art and photography, will take place from 19 to 22 September 2013 in Madrid. Art Media Agency met with the President of the Fair Enrique Polanco, in order to know more about this new event.

The first edition of Summa Art Fair will be held in September, what makes the event stand out from others ?

Firstly its atmosphere. Summa is an intimate event which exists outside the mainstream, or more renowned fairs and festivals. We attract an emerging collector who is curious, cosmopolitan, interested in innovation, and who wishes to invest – we want to offer a forum for this type of buyer, so that they don’t disappear from the market.

Secondly, the organisation of the fair differentiates us from other events. The committee responsible for curating the event consists of five international galleries (Baudoin Leon y Mor Charpentier from Paris; Filomena Soares from Lisbon; Oliva Arauna y Espacio Mínimo from Madrid) with very different aesthetics. The event merges their approaches, giving the whole event its own, unique personality.

Finally, the fair offers a varied programme which places a focus on projects whose ambitions are precise and innovative.

What are the guidelines for artists/galleries participating in the fair? What are the selection criteria?

We do not want curiosity cabinets but an artistic space in which every gallery can highlight its artists. The ideal participant would present a solo project, featuring only one artist. The selection of participants was based on presented projects, and favoured those which were focused on contemporary artists and recently produced works.

Could you give us some more information about the ‘Transversal’ and ‘Emerging Transversal’ programmes which are held during the fair?

These projects were created with the help of international curators including Agustín Pérez Rubio, former director of the MUSAC and Alexia Tala, artistic director of the Plataforma Atacama. They both managed to create very different projects with strong individual characters. Tala invited artists whose works are linked with to a specific place, whilst Pérez Rubio, paid tribute to female artists over 65, who had not received renown during their careers, but whom he felt deserved international recognition.

You have decided to exhibit contemporary art alongside photography, and are integrating Madridfoto into the new fair – how do you feel the two disciplines link together?

Both events focus on contemporary art, and have sections devoted to both established and emerging galleries – it seemed natural to join Summa Art with MadridFoto. Over the past five years, MadridFoto has seen artists produce both still and moving works which act as vehicles for artistic expression – with many of these artists having revolutionised the medium. Some of MadridFoto’s most interesting participating artists are to play a part in our fair.

Do you think working in partnership with a pre-existing fair will allow you to attract more members of the public? Do you think that this partnership will allow you to further establish your credibility?

Summa has to be seen as an event that started from scratch. We want to establish our own character and be independent from any other art fair or similar event. Previous editions of Summa were focused exclusively on contemporary art, in the same way that JUSTMAD focused exclusively on emerging artists and MadridFoto focused exclusively on photographers. Summa was about filling the hole between them and becoming a relevant feature in Apertura at the beginning of the Spanish capital’s art season. Summa is a long-term project.

Who is your target customer? What is the price range of works in your participating galleries?

Summa’s ambition is to become a benchmark event in the international art market calendar – not just the Spanish one. We put a lot of effort into making sure this goal is realised. Lots of collectors are attracted to the idea of coming to Madrid in September, especially emerging collectors who are always at risk of disappearing – our event is really tailored to them.

We also began with the intention of changing the relationship between the gallery owner and collector, providing a meeting platform for both of them. We don’t set any guidelines on prices, so it’s possible to find artworks starting from around €2,000.

Some might say it is risky to launch a new fair given the current economic climate. Is there still a solid demand for art in Spain, or do you mainly rely on international customers?

The crisis deeply affected Spain and, consequently, a lot of collectors, but they do still exist. There are still people interested in art who are able to invest. Likewise, we are interested in international collectors, and very much value the attention they give our projects. We very much rely on their participation.

What is the price for a sqm of exhibition space?

Around €140 for one square meter.

Have you received a lot of applications from participants?

Yes, we are very pleased, even surprised, with the number of applications. The selection committee has a lot of work on its hands to select participants! We are a small, but high-quality art fair.

The fair is to coincide with Galleries Week end Apertura. Have you planned to collaborate with either of these events? Or do you hope to benefit from running at the same time as these events? What’s your relationship with Arco Madrid?

Our timing is not a coincidence: both events are very important for the capital’s arts scene. Eventually, we would like to work together so that Madrid becomes a real hub for contemporary art in September. ARCO is aware of our intentions, but Summa has nothing to do with ARCO. It is a small event with a different character: we wish it to be a focal point for contemporary art during Apertura in Madrid, and the timing of the fairs is perfect.

There are quite a few new fairs being created at the moment – the first edition of Est Art Fair, for example, is to be held in Portugal in Spring 2014. Do you think the market is big enough for all of these fairs to exist together?

The contemporary art market is now more international than ever and it is very interesting to organise events, get out there, and to meet curators, artists and galleries. We certainly have seen the number of art fairs multiply, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It merely represents the art world’s ongoing desire to develop and find new ways of selling art. Collectors are travelling too, and understand that a deal at an art fair is different from a deal in a gallery. It is collectors who create a standard. And, in the end, the events that survive will be the most interesting ones.

Summa Art Fair, the new contemporary art and photography fair in Madrid

Madrid, 24 June 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 19 to 22 September 2013, the first edition of the SUMMA Art Fair, a new fair dedicated to contemporary art and photography, will be held in Madrid. The organisation of SUMMA coincides with APERTURA 2013, an open day weekend for galleries in Madrid, which will be organised by gallery association Arte Madrid.

The event will welcome 70 exhibitors and include the MadridFoto fair in its programming, which will itself be celebrating its fifth edition. Along with MadridFoto, a section titled UP will be reserved for galleries that have been around for less than 7 years, and another section will be devoted to Design.

In addition, two programmes titled Transversal and Transversal Emergente will feature the works of a large panel of artists, of all ages and practices, creating original links between the different sections of SUMMA.

Five gallery owners will form the selection committee of the first edition of the SUMMA Art Fair: Baudoin Lebon – Paris, Espacio Mínimo – Madrid, Filomena Soares – Lisbonne, Mor Charpentier – Paris, and Oliva Arauna – Madrid.

On the occasion of this event, the Comunidad de Madrid-MADRIDFOTO prize will be awarded, which is a grant of €10,000. Since 2010, this prize has been awarded to one or several artists presented at the MADRIDFOTO section, without theme or technical limits. Applications are submitted by the exhibitors. The winning pieces are then acquired by the Comunidad de Madrid and included in the contemporary art collection of CA2M, the 2 May Art Centre.

The SUMMA fair will be held in MATADERO Madrid, the former municipal abattoir, and will occupy two of the cultural centre’s halls, not far from the Reina Sofia museum.

74 exhibitions scheduled for the 16th edition of PHotoEspaña

Madrid, 7 June 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 5 June to 28 July 2013, the sixteenth edition of PHotoEspaña (PHE), an international photography and visual arts festival, is to take over the city of Madrid. For this year’s edition, no less than 74 exhibitions are scheduled, presenting 328 artists from 42 different countries. In his last year as the curator of the festival, Gerardo Mosquera has chosen the theme ‘Body, Eros and Politics’, which will look at the diverse ways in which photographers have presented the human body.

In spite of a tough economic context, Gerardo Mosquera has managed to maintain the event’s prestige by encouraging participation from various partners in order to allow Spain to continue hosting one of the biggest festivals devoted to photography. Further supporting this development is the presence of other international cities –  including Prague – which have joined PHE, confirming the international dimension of the event.

First exhibition of works by Pissarro at Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Madrid, 4 June 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 4 June to 15 September 2013, the Thyseen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, is to host an exhibition devoted to works by Camille Pissarro.

The exhibition is to be the first exhibition in Spain devoted to works by the Impressionist painter, and will gather 79 pieces loaned from museums and private collections across the world. It is to focus on landscape, which served as the main theme for many of Pissarro’s works. Paintings will be displayed in chronological order, allowing visitors to follow the artist’s travels over the course of his career.  Whilst rural scenes form the focus of many of Pissarro’s pieces, the exhibition also includes his depictions of urban landscapes and life in the city.

This exhibition is curated by Guillermo Solana and Paula Luengo. It will be on display at the CaixaForum in Barcelona from 15 October.

Cildo Meireles at the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

Madrid, 28 May 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in the Palacio Velázquez, Parque de El Retiro, Madrid is to present a solo exhibition of works by Cildo Meireles , open until 29 September 2013. The exhibition is organised in partnership with the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal and HangarBiccocca in Milan, Italy. It is curated by director of the Museo Reina, Sofia, João Fernandes.

Since the end of the 1960s, Cildo Meireles has produced works which aim to re-define conceptual art. His pieces seek to engage with the sensory capacities of his viewer, and examine themes including: the critical use of ideological systems, theories of economic circulation, and ethically-viable means of engaging with the world. The exhibition at Museo Reina Sofia presents a collection of new works, as well as some earlier, lesser-known pieces.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1948, Cildo Mereles has exhibited broadly at international art fairs including Documenta in Kassel and Venice, and the São Paulo Biennale. He received the Velázquez Prize in 2008, awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in recognition of the work of a single fine artist.

 

Annie Leibovitz chosen laureate of the Prince of Asturias Prize

Madrid, 28 May 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

American photographer Annie Leibovitz has won the Prince of Asturias Prize. The artist became famous for her portrait work, namely thanks to her portraits of naked John Lennon and pregnant Demi Moore.

The Spanish prize saluted the work of Annie Leibovitz as “one of the driving forces of the world of photojournalism.” The Prince of Asturias Prize rewards works in the field of art, science and technology, communication, social sciences as well as international cooperation.

Annie Leibovitz also won the Wexner Prize in September 2012.

The work of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov at the Ivorypress Gallery in Madrid

Madrid, 30 April 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 9 April to 18 May, the Ivorypress Gallery in Madrid is exhibiting the works of artistic Russian couple Ilya and Emilia Kabakov.

The artists, who are presently living in the United States, are presenting “Vertical Paintings and Other Works.” This selection of works deals with the history of art and literature. Their work is filled with Soviet sociocultural references, a universe in which they grew up. But the themes used in their works, such as utopia, fantasy, fear and dreams, are universal. The Ivorypress Gallery is exhibiting works produced between the beginning of the 1990s to nowadays.

Among the works exhibited, The Dark Spot Forgotten by Malevitch (2006), an ironic reference to the work of the great Russian painter. According to the Kabakovs, among all his geometrical paintings, Malevich “never painted a dark spot,” an omission that they have corrected through this piece. Another major work is The Palace of Projects, two white wings hanging from their back, “the time to think for a few minutes every two hours on the course our daily lives have taken, which is the secret to kindness and to becoming better persons and increase our creativity.”

Ilya and Emilia started working together in 1988 and got married in 1992. The entirety of their work is collaborative and adopts a critical position in regards to the post-Stalin political regimes and the social conditions of the Soviet Union in which they grew up. They are now very famous, as much in Russia (the first retrospective devoted to a living artist at The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg was dedicated to Ilya in 2004) as abroad, with numerous prizes and exhibitions throughout the world. They are presently residing and working in Long Island in the United States.

Sentencing of Chinese art trader Gao Ping

Madrid, 18 April 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

A Spanish court has decided to sentence the Chinese art trader to a preventive detention, as he is strongly suspected to have headed a network of massive money laundering in Spain.

The court thus sentenced the trader to return to prison. He was arrested in October 2012 along with a dozen Chinese suspects in the framework of the investigation “Operation Emperor” launched by the police. But the court released him on bail the month following his arrest, for reasons regarding the procedural irregularities relating to his detention. The Spanish Supreme Court, the highest criminal court, ordered his return to prison on Tuesday 16 April 2013 in order to prevent him from trying to leave the country, but mostly because of the importance of the crime he is suspected to have committed. He is in fact suspected of having laundered €300,000 in one year, committed tax frauds and bribed civil workers in order to obtain official documents. During this operation, the police also seized €10m in cash as well as 200 cars and some weapons, jewellery and artworks.

Gao comes from Zhejiang in the northeast of China and owns art galleries in Madrid and Peking. The date of his final sentencing is unknown for the meantime.

Exhibition “Concrete Incention” at the Museo Reina Sofia

Madrid, 18 April 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The event is scheduled from 23 January to 16 September 2013. It is organised in collaboration with the Cisneros Foundation and under the curatorship of Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, the director of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, and Manuel J. Borja-Villel.

The exhibition is centred on the development of abstract geometry in Latin America, namely from the 1930s to the 1970s. Despite the fact that this type of abstract art started in Europe, certain South American artists adopted it, especially in the towns of Montevideo, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Caracas. These artists considered this art as the language of a cosmopolitan and progressive future. Geometrical abstraction thus became the vehicle of expression of an emerging continent that was occupied with the exploration of new political and cultural ideas in the middle of the 20th century.

Many of the artists whose works are exhibited took the time to write down their theories on issues developed in newspaper articles or controversial statements in which they described the characteristics of this new artistic language that, in spite of its universal inspirations, has various meanings according to the context in question. The works are presented according to their year of creation and follow the affinity criteria of the artists. All of the works presented come from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, one of the most important contemporary art collections of Latin America.