After the postponement of last year’s event due to the economic downturn, SWAB, Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Fair, is back for 2010 in a new venue but with the same focus on emerging talent and young international artists. After two years in the historic Reials Drassanes venue, this year the fair will be based in the Italian Pavilion at the Fira de Barcelona, a nod to its growing profile and importance on the international art scene. Chosen by committee, 32 galleries are taking part this year, 15 from Spain as well as representatives from the US, Berlin and Paris. We take a look at three participating Barcelona galleries, find out about their programmes and ask what SWAB means to them.
MiTO: MiTO opened its doors in 2004 with the specific aim of promoting the most original and conceptually innovative work. Both director Joaquín Tugas and art director Alfredo Mannelli seek to pay special attention to artists working in unconventional techniques and aim to encourage alternative readings of conventional values.
This is their second time at the fair, having previously taken part in 2007, and they have eight artists participating in this edition: Erik Mark Sandberg, Brian Dettmer and Christian van Minnen from the US, Steve Gibson and Anthony Gayton from the UK and Spanish artists Santiago Giralda, Luis Vidal and Javier Velasco. When asked about working with SWAB, director Joaquín Tugas said, “We participate in SWAB because it is a show that fits our profile, our fresh and young gallery style and it has a great international impact.”
Galeria MiTO—Stand 15 at SWAB; Gallery details: Rossellón 193, Tel. 93 217 9012, www.mitobcn.com
IGUAPOP: Robert Grimm, the man behind Iguapop Gallery, started his project in 2004 by betting on a few young artists who were not yet accepted into the classic city galleries. Iguapop has been involved in SWAB since the start, with those running the gallery convinced it is an essential way to meet a specialised audience. “We meet people passionate about contemporary art. Participation in this show I would say is almost mandatory! We joined with the same passion and the same willingness to make artists known who have an amazing career but are not yet in the history books,” said Leticia Martínez Madroño from the gallery. This year, the main pull for their stand will be an installation by gallery artist Boris Hoppek, a piece being kept under wraps for now. There will also be work by Victor Castillo, Ana Bagayan, Gary Taxali and Miss Van, and an exhibition by Herbert Baglione (pictured) will run concurrently at the gallery.
Iguapop Gallery—Stand 8 at SWAB; Gallery details: Comerç 15, Tel. 93 310 0735, www.iguapop.net
N2: The N2 Gallery exhibition space was inaugurated in 2005. From the beginning, the main idea was to show work from a multidisciplinary perspective by national, as well as international, emerging and mid-career artists. With around six exhibitions a year, N2 has been participating in art fairs since 2008. The project for SWAB 2010 is based on the work of three Spanish artists who worked together for the occasion, but without abandoning their individual themes. The main feature of their booth will be a tent-cloth installation by Nei Alberti (pictured), that provides a space to show work by Sixeart (pictured) and the artist SUSO33. “Barcelona has long needed a fair of this type,” said Mònica Ferrer Gimeno of N2, “and we want to support the initiative in the best way, which is to take part in it! Furthermore, it is very important for us to participate in fairs as we are still a very young gallery.”
N2 Galería—Stand 31; Gallery details: Enric Granados 61, Tel. 93 452 0592, www.n2galeria.com