Arco Lisbon


A conversation with Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

A conversation with Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

By Eugenia Bertelè

Director of ARCO LISBON 2018, Carlos Urroz opens up about the artistic exuberance of the capital of Portugal explaining why is a great location for installing the sister fair of ARCO MADRID

Arco Lisbon 2017, General View, courtesy Arco - Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

Arco Lisbon 2017, General View, courtesy Arco

A few days before the opening of the 3rd edition of the ARCO LISBON 2018 Contemporary Art Fair, which will take place between May 17-20th in the patrimonial building of the National Cordoaria Factory (established in 1779 by the Portuguese navy), we talked to the Director Carlos Urroz (also head of the long-lived ARCO MADRID since seven years).
Waqas Khan, Doors, 2017, courtesy Sabrina Amrani - Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

Waqas Khan, Doors, 2017, courtesy Sabrina Amrani

LL: ARCO Lisbon 2018 presents itself as a boutique fair, with a precise identity. Living an aesthetic experience, a curatorial project, through which connect with the culture, history, architecture and the light of the city. How does this program combine with the market needs required for an art fair like ARCO?

CU: ARCO has an international character by nature, and it also takes care of the local art scene enhancing a dialogue with international art.
Arco Lisbon 2017, General View, courtesy Arco - Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

Arco Lisbon 2017, General View, courtesy Arco

LL: Portugal is experiencing a moment of great artistic effervescence. How much of this scene is involved in the intense work of agglomeration and systematization arising from the fair?

CU: Portugal is experiencing a real boiling in the world of art and culture in general. The Fair helps to show the richness and diversity of this scene. It is a great opportunity to meet people from the art world and a unique moment of exchange.
Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018 - Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

LL: ARCO Lisbon is a great example of collaboration between private and public. Between commerce and culture. Between tourism and foreign investment. How did the idea of a “country project” with an international organization like ARCO come out?

CU: Portugal is one of the historical allies of ARCO and it was chosen as one of the most attractive cultural spots with an increasingly dynamic market. It is ideal for a relevant and stable art events in the circuit of fairs for its unique artistic context and high quality, which will contribute to raising the value of Portuguese art and culture. ARCO Lisbon was born during a very good time for the Portuguese capital at all levels, listing some of the best artists in the world. Lisbon, for us, is the best place to go abroad and expand. And besides, it’s the city people want to stay in; a destination more and more people have chosen as a second residence, welcoming visitors with high purchasing power. In addition, we have had great support from Portuguese institutions, especially the Municipal Chamber of Lisbon, as well as the Government of the Portuguese Republic, the Direçâo Geral das Artes, EGEAC, the Marinha, Tourism of Portugal, Lisbon Tourism, patronage of Fundaçâo EDP, and also of companies such as Fundaçâo Millenium bcp, Navigator Art on Paper, Rom, Ruinart and Illy, among others.
Monica de Miranda, Twins (da série Cinema Karl Marx), 2017, detail, courtesy Carlos Carvalho - Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

Monica de Miranda, Twins (da série Cinema Karl Marx), 2017, detail, courtesy Carlos Carvalho

LL: The prestige of the ARCO conversation programs is reinforced in Lisbon thanks to the creation of the forum of European and Latin American museums, where different practices are interrelated and discussed at an international level. What has been the reaction of local institutions to this initiative and what are the main objectives of ARCO in this proposal?

CU: The talks and conferences are one of the hallmarks of ARCO, which has established as a space for the exchange of ideas and projects. The fair brings together directors of museums and institutions, curators, collectors and other international professionals of the art world from more than 20 countries. It allows the development of an interesting program of presentations, with free access for the public, featuring panelists to talk about art and collecting. Actually, the II Meeting of Museums of Europe and Latin America is also held, in this occasion, behind closed doors; it is led by Pedro Gadanho, director of MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology of Lisbon), and by Ferran Barenblit, director of MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona. Local collectors and museums, art centers and galleries have been involved both in this session and in the Collector’s Forum as well in The Museums Forum and in the curated sessions called what I am working on.
Claudio Goulart, Untitled, 1980, courtesy Jose de la Mano - Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

Claudio Goulart, Untitled, 1980, courtesy Jose de la Mano

LL: The present edition registers an increase of 22.5% of new exhibitors compared to 2017. Many Spanish galleries are willing to be part of this new European market. What is the interest of the local collecting towards the works of the international artists?

CU: Local collecting has always been very aware of Portuguese artists, and a fair like ARCO allows them to deepen and meet many more international creators.
Helena Almeida, Desenho Habitado, 1975, courtesy Helga de Alvear - Carlos Urroz, director Arco Lisbon 2018

Helena Almeida, Desenho Habitado, 1975, courtesy Helga de Alvear

LL: Could you suggest us 5 good reasons not to miss ARCO Lisbon in 2018?

CU: Mainly, for the high quality of the artistic content of the 74 galleries from 14 countries participating this year. For being able to see in the same space the work of consecrated artists and young artists. For being able to start collecting through any of the publications exhibited in our editorial section As Tables are Shelves. For the magnificent architecture of the building of Cordoaria living with the most contemporary art. And finally, for the city of Lisbon itself and all the artistic programs that it proposes during the week of ARCO Lisbon 2018.

Review ARCO LISBON 2018 Exhibitors List, EXHIBITORS LIST 2018
Review LISBON ART PROGRAM, LISBON ART PROGRAM 2018
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