Ten Catalan galleries participate at London’s Crossroads international contemporary art fair

‘Brick lane’, in East London, is the venue of the first edition of the international contemporary art fair ‘Crossroads’, taking place until the 9th of October. The event features some fifty galleries from 15 different countries: Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, the UAE, the USA and the UK. The Catalan participation, though, is one of the most relevant as it accounts for 20% of the total number of participants. In total, 10 Catalan galleries, most of them from Barcelona but also from other spots, are displaying their contemporary art pieces. The participation of the Catalan galleries has been facilitated by the Art Barcelona association, who for third time has brought together a representation of Catalonia’s galleries, with financial support from the Ministry of Culture. Already in 2014 eight Catalan galleries took part at ArtRío in Brazil and twelve attended ArtInternational Istanbul.

A woman takes a photograph of one of the exhibitions in London's 'Crossroads' art fair (by 'Crossroads' Art Show)
A woman takes a photograph of one of the exhibitions in London's 'Crossroads' art fair (by 'Crossroads' Art Show) / ACN / Sara Prim

ACN / Sara Prim

October 7, 2016 07:03 PM

London (CNA).- Ten galleries, most of them from Barcelona but also from other locations in Catalonia, have been selected to attend the international art fair ‘Crossroads’, which takes place in London’s lively ‘Brick Lane’ until the 9th of October. The initiative was open to Catalan galleries, whether members of Art Barcelona or not, interested in taking part and which were accepted for the show, having completed the application process and been selected by a committee. In total, 50 galleries from 15 countries around the world are displaying their contemporary art pieces and collections from a wide range of influences, backgrounds and artistic generations. ‘Crossroads’ is the third joint Catalan representation resulting from a proposal by the Art Barcelona association, with financial support from the Ministry of Culture, through the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies. In 2014 eight Catalan galleries took part at ArtRío in Brazil while twelve attended ArtInternational Istanbul, in Turkey.

Art Barcelona’s selection was open to all Catalan galleries, regardless of membership of the association. Ten were admitted after the normal procedure for art fairs in which a committee studied the applications. On this occasion, the Artistic Committee of ‘Crossroads’ was formed by important names in the world of art and included curators and artists like Eva Ruiz, Pablo León de la Barra, Fernando Bryce, Franklin Evans, Marta Ramos–Yzquierdo and Octavio Zaya.

The Catalan galleries that passed this selection process and are currently taking part in the fair are àngels Barcelona, Galeria Joan Gaspar, Galeria Marc Domènech, Galeria Miguel Marcos, Galeria Senda, Galeria Silvestre, Galeria Trama, N2 Galeria, Sicart and Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo.

The Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies (ICEC) through its Visual Arts Area, Markets Area and London office, has published a digital booklet to publicise the attendance of Catalan galleries at the fair.

London, the major showcase for contemporary art

"After the United States, London is for us the most important city", said the director of the Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo art space,Víctor Lope, who highlighted the gallery’s portfolio of "international" artists. "We are very happy: the first day we sold two pieces", he added. One of the works was from a German sculptor, Mario Dilitz, and the other was a drawing by Johan Barrios. "We have sold them to important collections", said the director of the gallery.

For his part, the director of the N2 Galeria, Josep Anton Carulla, also expressed his satisfaction with the development of the fair. "The public is interested, asks prices and this is what helps us to assess the fair, beyond attendance figures" said Carulla. "One of our artists, David Moreno, has already sold several pieces", he added. These are works that revolve around the concept of home and family and are "very unique and genuine because he uses special materials such as piano strings", said Carulla. Most of the works of the N2 gallery in Barcelona are related to “magical realism", an artistic movement that emerged in South American literature and "drinks from writers like Isabel Allende and Mario Vargas Llosa". "They are works that mix fantasy and freedom”, stated the director of the gallery.

Catalan contemporary art is "more introspective" than its Spanish counterpart

The director of the Galeria Sicart in Vilafranca del Penedès, in southern Catalonia, Ramon Sicart, believes that, although the variety of proposals is evident in each gallery, Catalan contemporary art has some traits in common. "Catalan contemporary art is much more conceptual and the works done in the rest of the country have a more colourful, decorative aim", said Sicart. Catalan works are, according to the gallery director, "more introspective" than those from Madrid, Valencia and other parts of the state.

‘Crossroads’, an initiative by the Pinta London fair

Crossroads Art Show is an initiative by Pinta London, a Latin American fair established in London in 2010, which aims to become a benchmark for established and up-and-coming artists, coinciding with the visit of a large number of international professionals, collectors, curators, gallery managers and museum directors who will be in London over the weekend for the prestigious Frieze London fair.