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  • Writer's pictureArte Actual

ARCO 2020

This week one of the most important international contemporary art fairs is being held in Madrid: ARCOmadrid, Madrid International Contemporary Art Fair.

One more year it will be located at IFEMA to host the work of all national and international galleries, as well as cultural spaces, spaces for sponsors, gastronomic and rest areas and the ArtsLibris fair, a contemporary edition fair.

The fair will open its doors next Wednesday, February 26th and you can visit it until Sunday, March 1st.

Website photography IFEMA Feria de Madrid.

At the end of this post you will find information and direct link to the fair tickets.

Today through the media and social networks, most of us are (or can be) aware of the trends and news that ARCO will offer us in its latest edition, but what do we know about its beginnings? How and why did you opt for an international contemporary art fair in Madrid?

To understand a little better what ARCO is and what it means for art in Spain, let's look back at its origins:

ARCO was held for the first time in 1982 surrounded by great expectation and curiosity about the enormous significance it had for Spain in its first years of democracy and international openness, with the intention of promoting the dissemination of current and contemporary art, on a cultural and commercial level. , and set a reference date in the Spanish artistic calendar.

Probably few would then dare to predict the success and recognition that still endures, inside and outside our borders, 38 years later.

The place chosen to host the 364 national and international artists, the 60 Spanish and 20 foreign galleries, was the exhibition center of the Madrid Fair Institution (IFEMA), at that time located at number 257 Paseo de la Castellana.

From this first edition, cultural activities played a very important role within the framework of the fair, with daily conferences, music, film and video sessions, contemporary art symposia on the avant-garde and the art market, round tables such as La ruptura de the postwar period and Keys for a generation, with the participation of artists and critics of various nationalities. This was key to bringing contemporary art closer to citizens and awakening in them the interest and love for this artistic trend, which until then was unknown to most of them.

Photograph of Cambio16

In addition to the enthusiasm and effort used in the organization of this fair, certain measures were taken to facilitate and favor attendance, such as establishing an economic price for tickets and eliminating, by the Government of Calvo-Sotelo, the tax that until then fell on works of art as luxury goods. The sum of everything made more than 25,000 people visit the first ARCO fair in Madrid, establishing, perhaps without knowing it, the foundations for its continuity over the years.

Since then the numbers have not stopped growing, currently exceeding 100,000 visitors, 1,350 artists, 209 galleries and the presence of 30 countries in this key annual meeting in the Spanish cultural calendar. And the figures have been followed by controversies, as expected, coupled with new trends and disruptive visions in the search for alternative forms of expression through art. Among the most popular we can find the 'ninot' of King Felipe VI (Santiago Sierra and Eugenio Merino, ARCOmadrid 2019), “Always Franco” (Eugenio Merino, ARCOmadrid 2012) or “Glass of water half full” (Wilfredo Prieto, ARCOmadrid 2016 ). The former were due to political issues, intrinsic to the art and the origin of the fair, and the latter of the Cuban artist for asking us questions about what art is and the different understandings about it.

What is unquestionable is that ARCO was a before and after in the world of contemporary art in Spain, both due to the economic boost for artists, collectors and galleries, as well as the cultural one within Spanish society, to which it brought the art of our time and opened the window to international contemporary art.

For this reason, we cannot finish this post without encouraging you to visit this new edition of ARCOmadrid 2020 from which you will surely not leave indifferent.


Wednesday 26th February - Sunday 1st March 2020.


12:00h – 20:00h

Fotografía de Totenart


General ticket: Friday 28th or Saturday 29th: 40€

General ticket: Sunday 1st: 30€

General ticket + catalogue: 66€

General ticket + guided visit: 50€

Reduced ticket (students) Friday 28th or Saturday 29th: 20€

Reduced ticket (students) + catalogue: 50€

ARCO Foundation members: 140€

AMIGO ARCO JOVEN (16 a 25 years): 70€ with permanent access to the Fair.

This year there will be guided tours during the weekend in groups of maximum 15 people per shift. The hours are: 12:00h, 14:00h, 16:00h and 18:00h and the cost is 20€ per person.

You will find all this extended information in the official website of ARCOmadrid 2020


IFEMA - Av. del Partenón, 5, 28042 Madrid. See in Google Maps.

You can arrive by:


Station Feria de Madrid - Line 8: Nuevos Ministerios-Airport T4 (the exit leads to the South Entrance of the Fair area).


There are three taxi ranks inside the IFEMA venue:

South Gate (Main access to the fairgrounds)

North Gate (North Convention Center)

East Gate (In front of the back of Hall 6 and next to Hall 14)

The access and / or the exit of the enclosure has a supplement of 3,00€


Feria de Madrid is connected by road to the main access roads and bypass of Madrid: M11 (Exits 5 and 7), M40 (Exits 5, 6 and 7) and A2 (Exit 7). The South, North and East Entrances of the fairgrounds allow direct access to the different parking areas.

Parking IFEMA

Real time rate: 2,50€ / hour (payment per fraction of a minute)

Prepaid rate: 10,00€ / day (savings for stays longer than 4 hours)

Maximum daily rate: 18,00€

You will find all this extended information in the official website of ARCOmadrid 2020.

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