arteBA Contemporary Art Fair closed its 15th edition gates, reaffirming its leadership as a neuralgic center for art in Latin America. arteBA2006 received 150 special guests from abroad, among them, International museums directors, important contemporary art collectors, critics and representatives from the most influential media of the visual arts circuit.
The art galleries, unquestionable protagonists of the Fair’s success, took the challenge and presented in the Fair a proposal of remarkable artistic quality that generated great interest among the local buyers and those from abroad. The argentine galleries as the once from abroad, with a very strong presence from Brazil, exhibited their best works and evocative spaces. The names of artists with a remarkable trajectory where heard at the Fair, joined by the new protagonists presented in Barrio Joven Coca – Cola Light and high risk proposals exhibited in Caja Negra / Cubo Blanco, Video space sponsored by Converse, a wide and attractive offer for well known public and private collections and also for a growing collecting. Almost 100.000 people visited the Fair, who had the opportunity to approach to an impeccable selection of argentine and Latin-American contemporary art of well-earned international recognition.

Eight projects exhibited on the arteBA – Petrobras Visual Arts Prize completed the landscape of the Fair, which in its third edition secured itself as the most waited and controversial price of the media. In this occasion the winners where Eugenia Calvo who presented the Video-installation “Un plan ambicioso”, awarded as a First Prize – acquisition of $30.000.- and Gastón Pérsico with he’s project called “Heavy Mental”, a match between philosophy and the heaviest rock, which was awarded as the Second Prize of $10.000.-
For the first time, four great argentine contemporary alive artists had a distinguished recognition. Luis Benedit, Marta Minujín, Rogelio Polesello and Antonio Seguí exhibited at the Fair their most paradigmatic work and toasted with the public at a tribute that arteBA organized together with Banco de Galicia.

Works from consecrated artists became part of the collections of important museums through the programs created to stimulate art acquisition:

The Matching Funds arteBA – Zurich program was a success in its second edition. According to this program the Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan B. Castagnino from Rosario acquired the work “No Title” by Clorindo Testa, 1961, exhibited at Ruth Benzacar gallery; the Malba – Colección Constantini Museum chose for its collection the work “Osos Patchwork” by Alfredo Prior, 1982/88 exhibited at Vasari gallery; the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Emillio A. Caraffa from Córdoba takes to this province pieces by Sol Lewit from the series “Cubes in Color on Color”, 2003, exhibited at AYN Centro de Arte gallery from Spain; and a couple of pieces belonging to the series De Niño, by the artist Remo Bianchedi, 1995, exhibited at Espaciocentro gallery from Córdoba. The MAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo from Salta, acquired the work “5 de Abril” by the artist Jorge Abot, 2006, from Palatina gallery, one work from “De Niño” series by Bianchedi and “Diablo Carnavalesco” by the artist Guillermo Rodriguez, presented at the Fair by Isabel Anchorena gallery.

The participants of the International Acquisitions Program where very satisfied. Gabriel Pérez Barreiro, curator of the Jack S. Blanton museum from Austin chose for the museum’s collection the works “Adhsivo 22 (pares de cuadrados)” 2001 by Jac Leirner exhibited at Baró Cruz gallery (Sao Paulo, Brazil), “Estación Central de Roterdam”, 1996 by Sebastián Gordín and “Tres personajes”, 1941 by Juan Batlle Planas, both presented by Ruth Benzacar gallery. Julián Zugazagoitía, director of the Museo del Barrio from New York, walked the Fair with a group of patrons. The works “Tríada”, 2006 by the artist from Venezuela, Elías Crispín, a work that is completed after 7 minutes are part of the museum collection now. This work was exhibited at Cecilia de Torres gallery (USA); “China metálica”, 2006, by the artist Fabiana Imola, exhibited at Trastienda en Bruto space from Barrio Joven and two works by Beto de Volder, no title, presented by Durban Segnini gallery (Venezuela / USA).
For the first time the Programa Arte para la Nación, which stimulates the popular participation on the acquisition of works for the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the most important museum in the country, was presented. With this object, the Asociación Amigos del Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes made a public convocation for subscription, this way it will collect funds (up to U$S 20.000) for the acquisition of the following works, that will be part of the Museum’s collection: “Plus Helicoidal”, 1960, by Marta Boto, from the gallery GC Estudio de Arte and a couple of shocking works by the artist Nino Bruzzone, (a model piece and a photograph) part of the series “Kiss Alive”, 2006, presented at Dabbah Torrejón Gallery.
Chandon, in it’s sixth consecutive year, made the first purchase of a work with the Fair’s gates closed to public. Chose and acquired a work by Pablo Siquier from 1993. The work “No title”, from the gallery GC Estudio de Arte was donated to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes from Neuquen.

Not only is the art market matter of the Fair. The arteBA´s Auditorium Program is an outstanding fact and not seen at non academic ambits, outlined by it’s free access. This year the cycle called Circuitos Latinoamericanos / Circuitos de los Medios: Interacción, roles y perspectivas was made, where the discussion was about the strategies that obstruct or facilitates the circulation of the information, the acknowledgment of the artistic circuits, the development of the art market and the editorial policies related to these matters. With high picks of intense discussion, five round tables took place integrated by argentine and foreign specialists: Olivier Debroise, Andrea Giunta, Cuauhtemoc Medina and Gabriel Pérez Barreiro; Robin Cembalest (Artnews), Jason Kaufman (Artnewspaper), Brian Muller (Contemporary) and Margaret Sundell (Artforum); Celia Birbragher (Artnexus), Rosa Olivares (Exit), Diego Costa Peuser (Arte al Día) and Rafael Cippolini (ramona); Francisco Reyes Palma (Curare), Luis Alarcón (Revista de crítica cultural), Gustavo Buntinx (Márgenes) and Eduardo Villar (Revista Ñ); Angeles García Vargas (El País), Marcos Augusto Gonçalves (Folha Sao Paulo), Alicia de Arteaga (La Nación) and Ana María Battistozzi (Clarín). The 6 pm Auditorium date became a “not to miss” if the Fair, where also cultural icons participated from the public.

While arteBA2006 closed its gates with everyone’s ovation, new challenges where appearing for 2007 arteBA´s edition, an incessant growing Fair.

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Homage to Marta Minujin, Rogelio Polesello, Luis F. Beneditt and Antonio Seguí