ARCO 2023

Madrid,  february, 2023

The Álvaro Alcázar gallery participates, once again since its foundation in 2006, at the new edition of the ARCO fair. On this occasion, the proposal revolves around a central work, “The Best Horse in the World”, painted by Eduardo Arroyo in 1965 and which winks at the present day, due to the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II of England. It is an impressing equestrian portrait through which Arroyo enacts, with the great irony that characterizes him, as an old-fashioned court painter, ridiculing who has exercised dominion over the British people. The painter also makes fun of the propagandistic function of art, which has tried to picture political leaders throughout history.

The other pieces exhibited are all based on the tonalities of this main work. This year, the gallery has decided to give special prominence to sculpture, a strong presence category in this exhibition. These works range from small format, as in the case of Kepa Garraza, who has converted in three dimensions one of his famous “demonstrators”, or Mari Puri Hierro, who once again displays the “Blue Bilbao” in a bronze sculpture. Another bronze sculpture is the monumental one by David Nash, one of the most relevant protagonists of British Land Art. The intense red and the verticality of the figure stand out against the horizontality and sinuosity of the work of José Cháfer, who has made for this occasion a unique piece in solid birch wood. Another sculptor, Juan Garaizabal, experiments new techniques in “Fenêtre D’Ainay”, a window fragment inspired by the above-mentioned French château. Lastly, the work of Andreu Alfaro, one of the great sculptors of the second half of the 20th century and precursor of Spanish minimalism, is the finishing touch to the list of artists presented by the gallery in this edition.

Along with the sculptures, the stand is dotted with numerous paintings, mostly in small format.  This year the great new feature is the Cuban painter Ariel Cabrera, whose work can be admired during the monographic exhibition that the gallery is going to dedicate to him at the end of March. Cabrera is joined by another figurative painter, José Luis Serzo, an excellent illustrator, who presents an erotic drawing on a metal plate. Guillem Nadal, usually attached to abstraction, also joins figuration with a panel from his Miralls series, representing a skull. The very opposite happens for Simon Edmondson, who has chosen on this occasion to move his painting to abstraction and opt for an intense chromatic range. Rafael Canogar, meanwhile, presents an acrylic on methacrylate in black and white, typical of the artist’s last period. The color blue is the common feature between the work of the Valencian artist Rebeca Plana and the German Peter Krauskopf, the first by using expressive brushstrokes and the second by focusing on the process and materiality of the painting. Another great artist, Nacho Criado, a pioneer in Spanish conceptual art, makes his particular tribute to Rothko. Finally, two highly acclaimed artists, Luis Canelo and Antonio Murado, focus on organic paintings.

In parallel to the stand, the gallery presents a Solo Project by Cristina Babiloni, whose work centers on the theme of the sea, a clear reference to the theme chosen by ARCO for this year’s edition. For Babiloni, painting is a way of expressing her concern for the degradation of the oceans by human action. The seabed is a constant in his production, as it can be seen in the works presented.

List of Works
Catalogue / Dossier
Solo Project by Cristina Babiloni