Find Out Why This City Has Become the Capital of Contemporary Art and Design

Photo of Jessica Jones
22 February 2018

This year Madrid is really shining the spotlight on contemporary art and design with a series of events centred around all things modern art.

ARCOmadrid 2018

ARCO Madrid | Courtesy ARCO

Held in the gigantic IFEMA trade fair centre, ARCO Madrid Contemporary Art Fair unites artists, critics and dealers from around the world for a huge celebration of art. It is one of the most important events on the world art calendar.

This year’s event, from February 21-25, will unite 221 galleries from 29 different countries. While ARCO’s theme is usually a country, this year, it is a concept: the future. The fair’s slogan is taken from Borges: ‘… what is going to happen is not the future, but what we are going to do’.

The theme will run across different galleries and also include debates, presentations and conferences.

And there is an important business side to the fair: over 250 collectors will be in attendance looking for new artworks to add to their collections. The fair has a Young Collectors initiative, inviting 30 young international collectors to the fair.

Feb 21-25 (open to the general public 23-25) admission: Feb 23-24 €40, Feb 25 €30, student reduced entrance fee €20

Flecha 2018

Coinciding with ARCO, the 27th edition of Flecha, a contemporary art fair, will show over 500 works by some of the best contemporary artists from around the world.

The works encompass painting, ceramics, sculpture and photography. Participants will vote on the best artwork, whose artist will be bestowed with the El Flechazo prize.

Flecha was founded in 1991 by a group of artists looking for new ways to exhibit and sell their works. It’s a great place to discover exciting new artists and maybe even start your modern art collection – pieces start at a few hundred euros.

The fair runs throughout February until March 4 in the Centro Comercial Arturo Soria Plaza. Free admission.

Casa Decor 2018

Casa Decor | ©TORRE MAYADO/Flickr

One of Europe’s most exclusive interiors fairs will take place in Madrid from February 15 to March 25, welcoming designers from Spain and around the world. The fair is held in the Chamberí neighbourhood, just to the north of the city centre, in a 3,100m2 apartment building split into different spaces showcasing the latest interior design trends. Each room in the building will be decorated by a different artist or designer, showcasing an exciting range of styles.

Each edition of the fair includes around 200 exhibitors and attracts upwards of 35,000 visitors.

Feb 15-Mar 25, admission €12.50


JUSTMAD | ©r2hox/Flickr

This Emerging Art Fair is being held for the ninth time in 2018 and will showcase emerging artists from Spain and Latin America from over 50 galleries. The fair, which runs from February 20-25, will bring together curators, collectors and modern art fans and the general public can see the latest innovations and trends in the world of contemporary art. This year, the fair, curated by Spanish and international names, will be held in Just Space, in the upmarket Salamanca neighbourhood of Madrid.

Feb 20-25, general admission €15, students, pensioners and unemployed €8

Drawing Room Madrid 2018

This festival of contemporary drawing, the only one to be held in Spain, will take place in the grand surroundings of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, one of the capital’s most interesting cultural centres. The fair, which features over 30 Spanish and international galleries, aims to showcase contemporary drawing, bringing the discipline to new audiences. The exhibition will include pieces by artists including the Israeli collective Broken Fingaz Crew, Navid Azimi Sajedi and Solmaz Cornet from Iran and Stefano Bonacci from Italy.

Feb 21-25, general admission €10, reduced (under 18s and over 65s) €5


Leading Spanish new art fair URVANITY will shine a light on the very best in contemporary urban art, welcoming artists such as Shepard Fairey, aka Obey, London graffiti artist D*Face and Brazilian artist Cranio. Many artists on display started off making art on the streets before showing their work through galleries. Galleries from across the world will take part in the show, held at LASEDE COAM, the headquarters of Madrid’s College of Architects.

Art Madrid 2018

This contemporary art fair will be held in the impressive glass courtyard of Madrid’s Cibeles Palace from February 21-25. The fair will host 43 galleries from around the world representing artists who specialise in painting, sculpture, photography and video installations.

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