Madrid’s first contemporary art galleries opened back in the 1960s in Barrio de Salamanca. The mother of all Spanish gallery owners, Juana Mordó, would promote the work of such important artists as Antonio López, Saura or El Equipo Crónica. In the mid-1980s, artists and art collectors crossed Paseo de Recoletos, and art galleries mushroomed in Barrio de Chueca and around Plaza de Alonso Martínez.
Recently, a younger generation of art dealers established a gallery circuit around Reina Sofía Museum (MNCARS), in Barrio de las Letras. Explore Madrid’s thriving art scene with our guide to the best galleries in town.
Barrio de Salamanca
In Barrio de Salamanca are Parra & Romero, Inés Barrenechea, Álvaro Alcazár, Casado Santapau and Guillermo de Osma, focusing on modern and contemporary art, mainly on the European and Latin American avant-garde movements.
Also in this neighbourhood is Michel Soskine, a gallery space specialising in twentieth and twenty-first century art that has introduced young and mid-career artists both from the United States and Europe through exhibitions and art fairs. Nieves Fernández, for her part, represents artists she’s interested in, regardless of their style or medium.
Between Barrio de Chueca and Alonso Martínez square
In this area you’ll find two of the best galleries in Madrid: Marlborough and Juana de Aizpuru, the first director of the ARCO art fair. The former represents artists like Darío Villalba, Juan Muñoz or Juan Genovés, while the latter has gained a reputation for supporting some of the most radical Spanish artists of the last decade, including Cristina Lucas, Dora García and Ana Laura Aláez. It has also displayed the work of major documentary photographers like Alberto García Alix or Cristina García Rodero.
Elvira González has recently added artists like Miquel Barceló, Chema Madoz and Robert Mapplethorpe, among others. At Heinrich Ehrhardt you’ll see works by young artists from Germany and Spain. Elba Benítez displays works by artists using a wide range of media – video, photo and site-specific installations.
Between Bario de Lavapiés and Barrio de las Letras
Walking the streets of Lavapiés, you’ll get to Helga de Alvear, a well-established, internationally renowned gallery in the Spanish art scene. It has a collection boasting more than 2,500 works of art by national and foreign artists.
In Barrio de las Letras (Literary Quarter) are The Goma, the recently opened gallery Ponce + Robles, Formato Cómodo and Leandro Navarro. Navarro specialises in twentieth-century avant-garde and modern art, displaying paintings by Dalí, Picasso, Juan Gris and Joan Miró.
More artistic offerings
Last but not least, we recommend Ivorypress, an art space located in Barrio de Tetuán that is worth seeking out for its heterogeneous, innovative statement.
For more information on Madrid’s art galleries, please visit ArteMadrid.
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