"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)

Ángel Calvo Ulloa was born in a very small place full of vile characters. In the faculty where he studied nobody ever talked to him about criticism or curating, so now he dedicates his time to reading, writing and every now and again doing the odd exhibition. He loves travelling and feeling very small in a large city. He also loves going back home and once again hating this tiny place

19 February 2013

Ion Macareno en la Galería Nuble. It’s over for yet another year. A week lost amidst the aisles of ARCO, so that, after the initial euphoria and inevitable comparisons with previous years, one is left with a sensation similar to other years. ARCO 2013 once again leaves a bittersweet taste. On the one hand, many of the same errors that seem to be endlessly repeated in this event, and on the other hand, new faces and ambitious projects by galleries that step foot for the first time in the fair, amidst a now all to familiar climate of insecurity.

Amongst the young artists appearing for the first time in ARCO, I found particularly interesting the proposal by the Chilean Pablo Jansana, a prominent artist in the Madrid gallery The Goma, that in only two years has managed to establish itself in the fair with a highly recommendable stand, one that aims high.

This year, under the lights of the restructured gallery Nuble, two figures have stood out in a special way. The Madrilenian Nacho Martín Silva, with a disturbing painting of blurred traces and a strong political charge that is translated in shades of black. Hiding its light under a bushel, hidden away in the store, his study of Hitler was a piece that didn’t leave any of those who managed to see it indifferent. Ion Macareno, also at Nuble, had a series of spotless wood constructions that seemed halfway between the ancient Basque heritage and its renewal, which with artists like him is finally beginning to appear.

Elena García, who recently signed up with Adhoc, had two interesting photomontages from the series Cartografía Nómada that could be seen last summer in the gallery itself in Vigo.

For its part, the collective Radiolópez attended ARCO with Bacelos, showing some of the works from the exhibition that ended several days ago in the Bacelos space in Vigo. The collective, formed by an indeterminate and varying number of anonymous creators, is one of the new propositions of a gallery, that having opened a new space in Madrid has renewed its group of artists.

Nuria Güell, one of the most interesting artists of the moment also makes her first appearance. The controversial artist, and she is truly controversial, is present as a prominent figure in the Catalan gallery ADN, with some of the projects that she has realised over the last few years and which last December made up the solo exhibition that this gallery just dedicated to her.

Debuts such as those of the galleries Nuno Centeno (Oporto), Arcade Fine Arts (London) or Tatjana Pieters (Gant), the latter two sharing a stand, have passed from Opening to the general programme of the fair with interesting proposals. Amongst which stands out, the Madrilenian Julia Spínola, who having already attended last year is currently showing her work at La Casa Encendida, within the Generación 2013 programme.

Beyond the list of young artists who have entered the foray for the first time, it’s worth highlighting the work of artists such as Miguel Ángel Tornero or Carlos Irijalba (Juan Silió), David Ferrando Giraut (Bacelos), Alain Urrutia (Casado Santapau and Juan Silió) or the inexplicably late first appearance at ARCO, in full maturity, of Teo Soriano, with a series of works that did not go unnoticed.

But it’s now time, after so much placebo news (from the hole of Juan Muñoz to the ill-accomplished sculpture by Bernardí Roig or the stones by Isaque Pinheiro, abandoned in the aisles, that this year haven’t seen Eugenio Merino) that the pages filled by this event stop showing the citizens a circus that in many cases is very far from the reality. To endlessly wait in line to see the Mona Lisa while the rest of the rooms are empty is the endemic misfortune that not even these sporadic events can rid themselves of. It must be our innate touch of yokel. It will be.


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