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Editor'S Choice - 2020

ARCO outside ARCO: Madrid during the art fair

A visit to Madrid the week of ARC It is an initiatory journey that we have all made. Even for the locals themselves, the art fair week is an excuse to watch Madrid with other eyes. And Madrid accepts many looks. The city, these days, brings together alternative fairs, special actions and an overflowing leisure offer. We will try to orient ourselves in that Madrid dressed in black I contracted and flat shoe. These tracks are for visitors (and locals) who want to be, this week, in the right place.

LAVERÓNICA © M. Yllera / La Verónica


The first and the most complicated choice. As much as doubting between a Anish Kapoor or an Ai Weiwei, both artists with pieces at the fair. If we are visitors on foot (an important category, let's not go humble) we have the perfect place. We do not want any hotel, we look for something that is in tune with the art world. We chose the 7 Islands. This hotel appears, unexpectedly, two steps from Gran Vía, still in Malasaña. It has just been renovated by KikeKeller and is linked to art through temporary exhibitions dedicated to emerging artists. These weeks we will see the installation of Cassandra Constant. We can, even if we don't sleep in the hotel, go in to see it and have a drink in its beautiful lobby. The 7 Islands It's stylish, amazing and, good news, affordable.

The hotel that transforms everything it touches into art © 7 Islands

We bring another proposal for addicted to novelty. It has just opened in one of the most emblematic buildings in Madrid on Barceló Tower of Madrid. The location, in Spain Square and in the midst of an architecture of the fifties already has interest. In addition, this hotel (a great move of the seal) has opted for Jaime Hayón for your design. Want to be a comfortable hotel, instagrameable And social. ARCO warming begins as official hotel of the MBFW, the week of fashion prior to art.

If we come every year to refresh our collection and look for new values ​​to invest in, we are sure to like to repeat the hotel. The Villa Magna hotel, one of the greats of Spain is shelter of those collectors whose face we don't know but whose pieces we admire. It is as luxurious as it is discreet, a highly priced combination these days.

In Plaza de España, to delight lovers of the iconic Madrid © Barceló Torre de Madrid


We have come to visit ARCO, but let's leave time for the city. The last week of February art It extends like a magma throughout Madrid. Alternative fairs are an interesting counterweight. There are several that are celebrated and are already as part of ARCO as ARCO. In the COAM, as every year Just Mad (21-26) emergent art fair takes place that is already part of the classic route OFFARCO. Art Madrid, which has been working for twelve years, is installed from February 22 to 26 in the Crystal Gallery of CentroCentro Cibeles. This year opens Urvanity (February 23-26). It is the first dedicated fair intimately to the new contemporary art, with a lot of weight in urban art. It takes place in the Palace of Neptune and in it we will see the work of heavyweights as Banksy, D * Face, JonOne, Jef Aerosol, Fin DAC and Moses & Taps.

Bruno Pontiroli: Le ventre Ö table / Fousion Gallery © Fousion Gallery

The city's galleries take out their heavy artillery this week. This week will see, for the first time in Madrid the cardboard of Alex Katz. These are the preparatory drawings of his paintings and they are a rarity. They will be exhibited at the Javier Lopez & Fer Francés Gallery. The Marlborough Gallery, always powerful, dedicates all its space to Poetic Abstractions / Poetic Abstractions. This is a review of the recent (and poetic) work of sculptor David Rodríguez Caballero, who works between Spain and the United States; In this exhibition he reviews and reviews the artistic findings and challenges of the last six years, which coincide with his stay in New York (until March 25).

Poetic Abstractions / Poetic Abstractions © David Rodríguez Caballero


Eat, you have to eat. Between installation and installation, between stand and stand it is essential to recharge the energy. Let's do it in a stimulating way. If we are dedicated to the ARCO experience it is a good idea to do it near the fairgrounds. You can eat well without moving from IFEMA. Surprise. We will book at the restaurant of Pullman Madrid Airport & Fair, where you eat with quality. This restaurant prepares a special menu for ARCO and they work the food, in depth and form, so that it is up to the environment.

The artistic menu awaits you at ARCO © Pullman


It is the great moment of decompression of the day. In addition, dinner is the natural extension of any fair. The deals open or close in front of a plate. The gastro-offer in Madrid is overwhelming. We will establish several categories: the obvious, the new, the artistic and the hidden.

The obvious thing is to wink at Argentina, guest country. We will do it in LAVERONICS. Artists, gallery owners and collectors gather in this restaurant in the neighborhood of Las Letras, seeking their atmosphere without tensions and their pasta with lobster.

The new. It seems natural that the art world reserves in the most recent restaurants. The Daring, last project of Oscar Velasco, It is one of them. It is located in Lagasca, in the heart of shopping (ARCO also buys other things besides art) and can be eaten at a bar or table.

The hidden: going to the Amazon or the Landó is too easy. More and more restaurants are interested in not seeing and not being seen. Here we can talk and be without fear of sidelong glances. A good Japanese (and also discreet) always works. Txa-Tei It is a creation of Osaka chef Hisato Mori and offers traditional cuisine. Even the broths are made with a special water. Be careful with your sakes card.

Txa-Tei © Anabel Vázquez

The infallible: this edition of ARCO is a good time to go to Zalacaín before his new era begins. The restaurant of The Viso closes in June for a total remodeling. This totemic place in Madrid brings together anonymous and celebrities looking extreme quality and personality. Your potatoes souffle and a steak tartare At the end of the day it seems like a great plan. For people like Liz Taylor or Norman Foster it has been.

The unexpected (and new). A Canarian restaurant to close an ARCO day? Yes. Especially if you have the brave proposal of Gofio. Doing what you want has to do with art. Gofio, since it opened a few months ago, only receives praise. Many would like that. In ARCO and outside.

Urbasa Hall © Zalacaín


When the weekend approaches we have a new plan in sight. Its about brunch, another moment that unites the gastro and the social and that, in Madrid, is growing more and better. Beautiful and Cursed has begun to offer it in collaboration with the Café Óliver, one of the places that consolidated this trend in the city years ago. A day that begins in this restaurant so beautiful and literary aftertaste with butter and eggs can only end well. If, in addition, we stay at the Hotel Totem and we end the night having a cocktail in Cursed, we can only congratulate ourselves for having designed the plan so well.

The cocktail to end the night ... or start it © Hermosos y Malditos


The fairs are strenuous. This phrase unites all visitors. We propose to break the day away from negotiations, sculptures and discounts (in art they are also requested and given). Look, buy and talk wear out. The URSO, with its silence and privacy is an excellent place to receive a decontracting massage with products of Natura Bissé: the muscles tense in the negotiations. Or we can surrender to the always cuddling waters of a well-lit pool. At the exit, in addition, if it is Thursday we can listen live music in the hotel lobbyl while we take, for example, a Sherry Mary. We have already taken many Bloody Mary. It is the week of ARCO, let's go on unrestrained roads. The massage + pool + jazz + cocktail plan after a fair day is.

Relaxation, so necessary, in the URSO © URSO


This is Madrid. We will have to squeeze the night. It says an unwritten law but tattooed on everyone who steps on the city. The entire city is charged with energy when the sun sets, but this is not an ordinary week. We will look for places that extend the spirit of the fair, where we alternate with the attendees and breathe a bit of all that we have seen throughout the day. NuBel, in Reina Sofía, has a special programming. It offers on the 21st the After Late Night Opening Dr Furquet. The galleries in the area open until later that day and then continue the night there. From 21 to 22 you are invited to vinhos and Portuguese cheeses and pincha Avalorara Selectors. The rest of the days, there are special ARCO post parties with L´Art Danse Club, from 23 at 2.30h.

Maybe we prefer to close the night clandestinely. The clandestine is the new non-clandestine. In addition, we can do it in beautiful and well decorated places. The hidden does not have to be sordid. It should not. The Hemingway, in Sweden house It is a beautiful, spacious and ... underground bar. Come in and ask where it is. It is also like that Cannibal, in the basement of the restaurant of the same name of the Admiral Street. Those who walk through ARCO also end here. This place is in front of Toni2. Wow, we said Tony2. Oh, Madrid has no choice.

After Late Night Opening Dr Furquet © NuBel

Video: Portugal celebrates prestigious ARCO art fair for the first time (April 2020).

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