Arco Madrid opens tomorrow

This year’s edition of Arco Madrid opens to the general public tomorrow, but of course there have already been official private openings and viewings, and El Pais has published a series of articles, photos and videos on the fair, which seems to be positioning itself as something of an antithesis to the glitz of Basel Miami. They are touting their fair as a place where one can find more emerging and “interesting” artists and galleries in addition to more established ones.
This year’s invited country is Colombia and there are a large number of carefully selected Colombian artists whose themes range all over the board and put paid to any preconceived notions of what Colombian art should look like.
The Colombian curator, who seems to have done some amazing work over the years,  talked of how artists early on turned away from work focused on narcoviolence to concentrate on their own artistic concerns. I find this absolutely in keeping with what went on here in Juarez-people outside seemed to want to focus on the violence, and people who lived here wanted to focus on other things-for any number of reasons.
Arco has a huge representation of Latin American artists and, in this, it also seems to want to be something of  another center for Latin American artists and galleries particularly those who are not large enough to afford entry into Basel Miami, which has established itself as something of the center of Latin American art, at least during the first weeks of December when the fair attracts the beautiful and the wealthy. Of course, perhaps the third pole of this center might be Zona Maco in Mexico City, which has not only established itself as a major player in the international scene, but also given rise to countless other art endeavors and venues in the city during the week it is on.
In any case, Arco Madrid is definitely trying to maintain its position as an art fair leader and as a place for Latin American artists and galleries, as well as galleries from other parts of the world. I see that  Colombian artists  Oscar Munoz and Miguel Angel Rojas, both represented  by Sicardi gallery of Houston will be having shows as a part of Arco-david sokolec

Zona Maco highlights

Much as I wanted to go, I wasn’t able to make it to Zona Maco this year, but The Art Newspaper published a series of preview photos and Artspace Magazine featured their top ten faves from the show. One of the most historically interesting pieces is a photo taken from Andre Breton’s private collection of photos from his early trip to Mexico. The whole collection has been bought by Ge Galeria in Monterrey who is hoping to sell the whole thing as a complete entity. The photo shown on the Artspace page is of Breton and Leon Trotsky, looking like a vacationing University professor, sitting in the woods. Frieda Kahlo can be seen in the background. Amazing.

Aside from that the pieces selected tend to confirm whatever one thinks of the contemporary art scene, and that’s all I’ll say about that.-david Sokolec

Art Openings in Juarez

Couple of art openings going on this week in Juarez:
Tonight (Thursday) kicks off a four day celebration for the 1 year anniversary for Galeria Virtudes 678 Ave de las Americas. Tonight there will be visual art, tomorrow night music, Sat night literature readings and on Sunday Performance Pieces. Events start at 6.

Juarez Contemporary 1405 20th November is also slated to have an opening tomorrow night at 7 featuring the work of photographer Jose Mireles called Mujer y Marido -photos of the collective weddings held in the city. Perfect for the day before St Valentines.-David Sokolec

Mexico City=Contemporary Art this week

It seems Mexico City is the place to be for contemporary art this week. Not only is there the huge and important Zona Maco fair going on, but the city  has also started Visual Art week during which there are huge multimedia hi tech art installations all over the city as well as conferences and workshops.

There are also a host of other fairs and exhibitions set up to coincide with Zona Maco. Salon Acme is not really a gallery, but rather an organization established to promote talented artists from all over the country. They have an exhibit once a year, (timed this year to coincide with all of the other art events going on in the city) which includes an invited State. They choose curators from that State to help them select local artists, and this year it was Chihuahua’s turn. The local curators were Alpha Escobeda and Teresa Margolles. So congrats to all of the artists who were selected.

Artspace magazine, writing about contemporary art in Mexico City interviews  ex-Chicagoan Brett  Schultz on his Material Art fair, which he is building into a promising venue with a strong New York presence and a variety of highly experimental artistic propositions as well as a space for smaller, less established nternational and local galleries tio show.
In all, it seems that DF is where I wish I was, and more importantly it shows the continuing growth of that city as an important venue for contemporary asrt.-david sokolec

Juarez Contemporary Gallery

Juarez Contemporary gallery at 4305 November 20th in Ciudad Juarez is not easy to find. There is no sign outside, although there is now a huge new mural by Mac on the outside wall. The gallery itself is located right inside the building whose sign only mentions another organization (Liderasgo). They have, however, created a beautiful large space dedicated to something quite crucial for the local community-they are providing a space for young local artists to exhibit, they want to help promote the local art scene  and, just as importantly, to try to develop local collectors by keeping the works affordable.
The current exhibition, which closes this week, features the ubiquitous Jellyfish Collective with Joe Trama in a show of large graffiti like works called “Black Portraits” and a series of black and white serigraphs by  two brothers who formed a new collective called  Dios Perro.  Their show is titled Imago Dei, and each serigraph features an animal interacting in some way with a diamond shape-that hardest of elements which refracts light and  transforms things when projected on them.
The next show which opens Friday 13th features photographer Jose Moreille. He recently was part of an exhibit at Culfest showing black and white photos, but I’m told for this show he will be showing works in color with the theme, appropriate for the day before Valentine’s Day, of couples.

The gallery is open Monday-Friday from around 11 -6 and on Sat from 10-2:30. they can be reached by phone at 656 257-1312 or by email at Sokolec



Art exhibits this week across the border

There are at least two art openings this week, one on each side of the border.
Thursday night (Feb 5) Mexico City born artist Marcela Lobo will open her show “Cuerpos Vibrantes”” at the International Museum of Art at 1211 Montana Street in El Paso. Sponsored by the Mexican Consul General in El Paso in collaboration with the Museum, her show  includes paintings, sculptures and assemblages. According to reports in Diario, the work explores an intimate voyage into each person by means of everyday objects.For those who can’t make the opening, the show will be up until March 1.
The opening is at 6 and entrance is gratis.

The next opening is Friday night (Feb 6) in Juarez at Rincon de Ana Lucia Tomas Fernandez 8255.
Entitled ” Fusion Norte” it  features works of 7 local artists (including my friend Alukandra Donaroko) working in medium of photography, painting, drawing and poetry.
The opening is set for 6 pm.

Duchamp, the Baroness and the famous Urinal

Interesting article in the Art Newspaper making a strong case for the idea that Duchamp appropriated ownership of the famous urinal sent to the Society of Independent Artists  in New York from a well-known if somewhat eccentric German poetand Baroness Elsa Van Freytag-Loringhoven. Seems she was mad that America had entered the World War ! against Germany, and also wanted to force the Society to understand implications inherent in  its own policy of open acceptance of art  Appears another example of male appropriation of art created (if that’s the right word) by a woman.-david sokolec


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