LOS ANGELES, Guest of Honor Panorama: Los Angeles at ARCOmadrid 2010
Los Angeles and its artists are the focus of the special exhibition at ARCOmadrid, marking the first time in the fair’s 29-year history that a city, rather than a county, is being recognized as the Guest of Honor.
Seventeen galleries and an exciting exhibition program give the Spanish public an overview of the diversity and wealth of art from this major US city
Galleries, collectors and other contemporary art players will be travelling from all over the world to Madrid, the capital of Spain, for ARCOmadrid_ 2010, the International Contemporary Art Fair, from February 17th through 21st. Given its growing influence, this annual fair is one of the world’s major art market events and turns Madrid into an exciting world capital for contemporary art.
The most noteworthy new introduction at the upcoming edition of the art fair is the focus on Los Angeles, one of the world’s epicentres for art right now, as the fair’s special invited guest. In its PANORAMA program ARCOmadrid_ 2010 is inviting a city, instead of a country as was the case before, and L.A. was chosen for the dynamic creative diversity that has earned it a place at the top of the art market ranking. This is the beginning of a number of editions of the fair that will bring to Madrid the very best of what’s happening in contemporary art worldwide, focusing not only on countries as it has done up until now, but also on major regions or urban centres in a globalised world that is increasingly more diverse and plural, overstepping national boundaries.
With a selection of 17 galleries, curated by Kris Kuramitsu and Christopher Miles, the visiting public will be given an overview in the Panorama: Los Angeles of a sample of artists and galleries demonstrating “a huge variety of works in terms of technique, genre and leaning”, as the curators point out. Works created by “artists coming from different generations, backgrounds and degrees of fame” in a selection that is primarily looking for “vitality in all shapes and forms and trying to be as faithful as possible to the idea of offering a panorama of the city”, despite the fact that L.A. “constantly surprises us and that it is impossible to come up with any totalising viewpoint”, explained Kuramitsu and Miles.
L.A., a city for art
“As a city for art, Los Angeles has become, and continues to be, a key centre for production, distribution and discourse at a time when centres are increasingly losing control and lacking in any kind of dominant school or movement”, the curators tell us. The movements that once defined cities, “have been replaced here by a plurality and promiscuity of activity that forecloses a monolithic identity”.
In point of truth, and as one will see at ARCOmadrid_ 2010, “though the history of art in L.A. is unquestionably shorter than that of many other cities, it is nevertheless dense and complex, mirroring an art scene that has reached adulthood –and we are not just speaking of artists, but also of its schools and museums, its alternative spaces, patrons and galleries– at a time of transition between the end of the modern age and postmodernism, determined by its own diversity and the plurality of an art practice that is predicated on the big changes that took place in the arts, academia and society as a whole”.
More specifically, one might well say that this 21st century metropolis “has an artistic culture with a huge cross-generational wealth, largely thanks to its influential position over the last few decades, its network of private art school and academies, as well as the art departments in public and private universities”, as the curators of Panorama: Los Angeles put it.
From West Side to Mid-City
This huge diversity is reflected in a selection of galleries that ranges from some of LA’s most veteran spaces to others that opened just a few years ago. A cross-section sampling the whole city, from the West Side to Mid-City and Downtown. “Although the selection of artists in Panorama: Los Angeles cannot be said to be exhaustive, nor would you say that it is reductionist”, claim Kuramitsu and Miles. “Our goal was to present diverse works in terms of media, genre and leaning, produced by artists of equally diverse origins, generations and fame”. A project primarily based on galleries but which, according to the curators, has its eyes firmly set on artists, so that “the section dedicated to LA at ARCOmadrid_ 2010 includes big galleries, but also showcases big artists”.
In fact the process of selection undertaken by the curators, “focused on a search for vitality in all shapes and forms and tried to be as faithful as possible to the idea of offering a panorama of the city that constantly surprises us and is impossible to sum up in any totalising viewpoint”.
Demonstrating the whole diversity of Los Angeles, the biggest and most populated city in California, ARCOmadrid_ 2010 will be hosting the galleries 1301PE, ACME GALLERY and STEVE TURNER, from the East-West quarter and PERES PROJECTS and CHERRY AND MARTIN from Mid City, in the dynamic La Cienega Design Quarter, a magnet for lovers of art and design.
Also travelling to Madrid, this time from Chinatown in LA, are THOMAS SOLOMON, CHINA ART OBJECTS GALLERIES, KATHRYN BRENNAN GALLERY, THE HAPPY LION and REDLING FINE ART. And coming from the mythical neighbourhood of Venice is L.A. LOUVER while Beverly Hills is represented by MARGO LEAVIN GALLERY and REGEN PROJECTS.
Visitors to the art fair will also come away with a good idea of the vitality of the metropolitan area of Los Angeles, which has countless thriving art centres like Culver City, in western Los Angeles county and the headquarters of the US branch of SUSANNE VIELMETTER –which also has a gallery in Berlin and has already exhibited at ARCOmadrid on several occasions. Furthermore, rounding off the selection made by Kris Kuramitsu and Christopher Miles are the galleries from Santa Monica, ROSAMUND FELSEN GALLERY, SHOSHANA WAYNE and CHRISTOPHER GRIMES GALLERY. In fact Christopher Grimes has been a regular at ARCOmadrid over the last few years.
Los Angeles takes over the street of Madrid
ARCOmadrid’s cultural programme oversteps the boundaries of the exhibition centre itself, because, similarly to other years, during the month of February the city of Madrid is a hotbed of exhibitions, performances and other cultural events focused on the fair’s invited guest, this year the city of Los Angeles.
A programme coordinated by the writer George Stolz together with the ARCOmadrid team, and curated by Kris Kuramitsu and Christopher Miles, will add to the vision of LA offered by art galleries. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Matadero Madrid, Las Arquerías de Nuevos Ministerios and Instituto Cervantes are some of the cultural centres and museums which will be hosting various shows and other art events from Los Angeles during ARCOmadrid.