Art & Design 14·12·2020
ARCO turns 40 lifestyle
Maribel López, director of ARCO – Madrid’s International Contemporary Art Fair – talks to Marisa Santamaría about the links between design and architecture and art.
Following her introduction as the new director in the February 2020 edition – just before the big lockdown – this year the fair was postponed to July, a new challenge that Maribel López is approaching with her usual enthusiasm and optimism.
Maribel López is an art historian at the University of Barcelona. Her career began in 1999 at the Estrany-de la Mota art gallery in Barcelona, and in 2007 she became head of the Maribel López Gallery in Berlin. She has also founded two curatorial teams: Creatures (1994-2000, in Barcelona) and The Office (2007-2010, in Berlin). She first joined ARCO in 2011 when she managed the Opening section, a programme bringing together the fair’s newest art galleries. In 2018, she began her stint as co-director of the fair with Carlos Urroz.
“Design and architecture have a strong presence at this fair, attended by thousands of people in a short space of time. Above all at the stands and common spaces, services and in domestic and foreign travel. We’ve also got a VIP room, with the design going out to tender each year. Architects Izaskun Chinchilla and Juan Herreros are among the designers. This year it was done with AD magazine and RED (Network of Spanish Design Industries), won by architects Javier Jiménez Iniesta, Gonzalo del Val and Tony Gelabert. It will be a work room for gallery owners, artists, journalists and collectors, set in a dreamlike indoor forest”, says Maribel López to Lifestyle.
The fair’s 40th anniversary will cover a whole spectrum of cultural transition in Spain. ARCO has undoubtedly helped to raise society’s awareness of contemporary art, and has brought the event to the mainstream, showcasing the progress and evolution of the discipline all over the world every year.
July will see the first post-Covid edition of the event, following the cancellation of Art Basel, Art Basel Miami, FIAC (Paris) and the Armory Show (New York).
“ARCO’s aim on its 40th anniversary is to guarantee safety and international mobility, and create a more stable economic context and guarantee of commercial success”, concluded Maribel López.