Madrid’s Art Galleries

  • Un paseo por las galerías de arte de Madrid
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  • Max Estrella
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Alongside some of the world’s top museums, Madrid is home to many other art venues. Arte_Madrid, the Madrid Association of Art Galleries, has about 50 members, to which we should add a few dozen that are non-members. In sum, about half the art spaces in the country can be found in Madrid – a maze of art encompassing most streets.

It all began in the heart of the elegant Barrio de Salamanca, where some of the private collections owned by aristocrats and bourgeois were first made available to the public in the aftermath of the war. With the arrival of democracy, art galleries extended to the west along Paseo de la Castellana, still within posh districts like Chamberí or Salesas. Finally, the search for new horizons and the magnetism of the Reina Sofía Museum, lit the art fuse in the Barrio de las Letras (Literary Quarter) and, extraordinarily, in Doctor Fourquet, a small street in Lavapiés which has today been revived and is devoted to galleries. Something similar happened in the Conde Duque neighbourhood, where new spaces devoted to contemporary art have risen up  as a result of the Conde Duque Cultural Centre.

Following in the footsteps of the pioneers – Biosca (1940), Juana Mordó (1964) or Kreisler (1965) –, a considerable number of men and women set up their own galleries for their love of art – an adventure that was half enterprise, half patronage.

Thanks to art galleries, which are usually closer to emerging trends and market demand, many artists have been able to show their work or even, in the case of a lucky few, make a living. Some of the key Spanish contemporary artists – Canogar, Chillida, Úrculo, Millares, Saura, Tàpies or Barceló, to name but a few – would have never earned recognition without the interest and efforts of art dealers and gallery owners.

CALENDAR OF OUTSTANDING ART EVENTS

  • CASA DECOR. January - March. The latest trends in interior design, architecture, design and art in which each artist or company rents and fits out one of the rooms in the chosen space.  
  • DRAWING ROOM: February. This is a fair devoted to contemporary drawing which is held each year in February, coinciding with ARCO.
  • JUSTMAD: February. A major meeting point for emerging artists in Madrid.
  • URVANITY ART: February. This is the New Contemporary Art Fair, which, coinciding with Art Week, is held at the headquarters of the COAM, one of the emblematic spaces of the Official Association of Architects in Madrid (Hortaleza, 63).
  • FLECHA: February. This art fair selling artworks in commercial spaces takes place simultaneously with ARCO. It gathers a high number of works of art to sell them in shopping facilities. It’s a free-of-charge initiative.
  • HYBRID ART FAIR: February. This fair displays a wide range of emerging art proposals in the rooms of the Hotel Petit Palace Santa Bárbara for several days during Art Week.
  • ART MADRID: February. A more accessible and realistic art fair.
  • OTRA PUTA BIENAL MÁS (O*B+): February. As its name indicates, this meeting of artists (national and international) is organised every two years (even years) at the Gallery 6mas1 (Piamonte, 21). More than 70 creators come together to try and reflect on current affairs related to contemporary art. It also coincides with Art Week.
  • ALMONEDA: March. Pieces about 50 years old. Furniture from the eighteenth century to the 1960s and 1970s. Art Deco, collector’s items, militaria collectables, everyday artefacts, and so on.
  • PHOTOESPAÑA: Spring/summer. The largest photography exhibition held in Spain.
  • ESTAMPA: September. Originally dedicated to engravings, it has widened its scope to encompass all kinds of contemporary arts.
  • APERTURA MADRID GALLERY WEEKEND: September. Opening of the art exhibition season in Madrid, with galleries playing their trump cards in a weekend packed with events.

 

DON'T MISS

Download free maps and guides to the city to help you plan your trip.

Discover the city's most popular sights and attractions, from one of Europe's largest royal palaces to the magnificent Prado Museum and Real Madrid's stadium. 

  • A short but fascinating introduction to the city’s main museums which boast an important cultural heritage encompassing most European styles

    Art in Madrid Guide (PDF)
  • Art in Madrid Guide
  • Check out which exhibitions are currently showing in Madrid, Spain, a city whose art scene knows few rivals.  

    Exhibitions in Madrid
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  • A one-kilometre stretch that is home to three of the best museums in the world: the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía. 

    Paseo del Arte
  • Usuaria de Bicimad en el Paseo del Arte
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