113,000 people; 18, 000 square meters; 5 days. These are some of the figures of what, according to art critics and journalists, was the best edition ever of arteBA Contemporary Art Fair.

arteBA ’07 brought its 16th edition to a close with the full satisfaction of having produced an event which resulted in a first class art show, with a very large number of visitors and an outstanding success in sales.

The true protagonists of this Fair were the art galleries, with undoubtedly daring proposals of a high quality as well. 40% of the galleries came from abroad, mainly from Latin America –which, thus, showed a wide panorama of the best productions in the contemporary art of the region.

One of the acmes of the art fair was the first edition of the OPEN SPACE, a space devoted to large format works and installations. It became a great attraction both for visitors and art buyers and a must for the media in general.

Other works of a great impact were those coming from what was meant as the Tribute to the Great Masters, sponsored by Banco Galicia. arteBa and Banco Galicia paid their homage to Delia Cancela, Dalila Puzzovio, Juan Stoppani and Edgardo Giménez, celebrating these masters’ creative genius –a creativity which in the 1960s made them rise as referents of Pop Art. Visitors to the fair had the chance to talk with the artists, learn about their lives and enjoy their main art productions. Every artist was assigned a space in the fair –one which, strategically placed, allowed for the exhibition of an emblematic work of his or her production.

The stage of this Fair counted also on 16 spaces for the Barrio Joven Chandon. These “young art quarters” produced presentations that were really outstanding for their boldness, originality and quest for new experiences (not ignoring the art market). There were also 9 spaces that belonged to the project Caja Negra Cubo Blanco (Black Box White Cube) –a Space for Videos sponsored by Converse that showed the best of an expressive language always on the growth. Last but not least, the art fair included the participation of 31 institutions and companies related to art and of 18 specialized publications –Argentinean and foreign- as well as the ever controversial arteBA – Petrobras Award for the Visual Arts.

Catalina León received the First Prize (Acquisition). The artist received a $30.000 grant for her installation called “Patio” – this work will be part of the permanent collection of Fundación arteBA. The second prize, a $10,000 grant, was awarded to Diego Bianchi, for his work “Wikipedia – Catálogo de Recursos” (“Wikipedia, Catalog of Resources”)

arteBA ’07 was visited by over 250 guests especially invited and coming from abroad; important art collectors and patrons, museum directors and curators of international collections, art critics and representatives of the media and the most influential institutions in the field of the visual arts were present in the fair.

Purchases got started the very day the fair was being set . Chandon, for the seventh year in a row, became the first purchaser of a work “behind closed doors” within the premises of arteBA ’07 through its “Chandon –arteBA Award”.

Chandon selected and acquired three works by three artists that exhibited their works in the Barrio Joven Chandon. The selected works were: “RL 1-6”, by Leandro Comba, produced in 2007, exhibited in the Proyecto Nodos space –a work made of painted melamine on a 183 x 99 cm canvas.; “Retazos del Paraíso” (“Scraps of Paradise”), by Ananké Asseff, produced in 2007, exhibited in the art gallery Corazón Cordobés, a diptych direct photograph (125 x 135 and 16 x 135 cms); and “Hotel Viena” (“Vienna Hotel”), by Hugo Aveta, produced in 2007, from the art gallery Corazón Cordobés, a diptych direct photograph (125 x 135 y 16 x 135 cms). With each edition of the fair a representative museum of Argentina is chosen as host for the work to be acquired. In this case, the awarded work will be donated to the MAMBA, Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires.

The following day, the third edition of the Matching Funds arteBA – Zurich Program was launched. This enabled five museums purchase an art piece to eugment their collection. The Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan B. Castagnino (Rosario) chose Jorge Demirjián’s Sin título (Untitled) from his Serie de los Deportistas (Sportspeople Series), 1978, acrylic on canvas, 162 x 130 cms. (Galería Agalma Arte). The Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA) chose Marta Minujín’s Imaginando el estupor (Imagining amazement), 2003, small mosaiques on glass, 210 x 110 cms. (Galería Loreto Arenas). The Malba-Colección Costantini chose Liliana Porter’s Fox in the mirror. Concert 2007. New York, a digital video, 20' 19" (Galería Ruth Benzacar). The Museo Rosa Galisteo de Rodríguez (Santa Fe) chose Remo Bianchedi’s N° 7, Serie Los Inocentes (Innocents` Series), 2000, mixed technique on paper, 187 x 98 cms (Galerías EspacioCentro). The Museo de Bellas Artes Juan R. Vidal (Corrientes) chose for its collection a work by Carlos Silva called Polinya 1967, enameled wooden plaque, 60 x 60 cms. (GC Galería de Arte).

The premises of the fair and its exhibits were visited by the enthusiast members of the International Acquisitions Program: Luis Pérez Oramas, The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, from the MOMA (New York) together with Estrellita Brodsky, the honored guest for this edition of the fair; and Julián Zugazagoitia, director of El Museo del Barrio from New York. The MOMA acquired three etchings by Eduardo Stupia exhibited at van Riel Gallery and also showed a strong interest for an installation by Alejandro Puente (Galería Ruth Benzacar). El Museo del Barrio bought two videos for its collection, one by Liliana Porter, “Fox in the Mirror” and “Streamline” by Jorge Macchi, both from Galería Ruth Benzacar.

For the first time and with great success the “Programa American Express / + arte para el bellas artes” (American Express Program / + art for the Fine Arts Museum) was carried on. This aims at enlarging the public patrimony of the museum. During the fair, the purchase and donation of two works “La familia numerosa” (The numerous family) by Horacio Zabala, and “Naturaleza y niño” (Nature and child) by Juan Del Prete, from the Asociación Amigos del Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (AAMNBA), were carried out. Both art pieces were chosen by a Selecting Committee whose members were Luis F. Benedit, Alejandro Puente and Adriana Rosenberg.

Success was reflected not only in the figures of the art sales. The program developed at the arteBA Auditorium is an outstanding, original event as regards non scholar spaces.

LATIN AMERICAN CIRCUITS / ART COLLECTING CIRCUITS: Interaction, roles and perspectives was the name chosen for this last chapter in a cycle of three. The Prime Time (6 pm) was devoted to the Program and these sessions were attended by prestigious agents from the field of art collecting. The participation of directors and curators of museums and international foundations in the program was highly positive since they favor strong policies so as to build first class collections of Latin American and International art; as well as the presence of private art collectors, beyond the weight of their own acquisitions, that cause the expansion of the cultural field.

Full house debates reached real peaks. There were four round tables and each was conformed by art collectors and Argentinean as well as foreign agents for the visual arts: Julián Zugazagoitia (Director, El Museo del Barrio, New York), Luis E. Pérez Oramas (The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York), Marcelo Pacheco (Chief Curator, MALBA - Colección Costantini), Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro (Latin American art curator, Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art / The University of Texas at Austin, Austin), Eduardo Costantini (President, MALBA - Colección Costantini), Jorge Helft (Art Collector, Buenos Aires), Estrellita Brodsky (Collector; member of the Latin American Acquisitions Committee, Tate Modern, London; and member of the International Council, The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York ), Sebastián López (Director, Daros Latin America - Rio de Janeiro), Juan Cambiaso (former president of arteBA Fundación, member of Malba Board , member of the Managing Committee of the Asociación de Amigos del MAMBA, Buenos Aires; international patron for the Asociación de Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid), Justo Werlang (President, Fundación Bienal del MERCOSUR, Porto Alegre), Carlos Cruz Puga (Art Collector, Santiago de Chile), Juan Carlos Verme (Art Collector and President, Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Lima), Ilona Katzew (Latin American art curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles), Natalia Majluf (Director, Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Lima), Abaseh Mirvali (Executive Director, Fundación/ Colección JUMEX, México DF) and Ariel Jiménez (Curator, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, Caracas).

While the gates to this sixteenth edition of arteBA were being closed, everybody agreed as to the fact the art fair had taken a long, unique jump while foreseeing next year edition´s challenge.

+ imágenes de la feria

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