After its first successful edition in 2015, Este Arte comes back to Punta Del Este with an exclusive selection of local galleries from Uruguay and around the world. The second edition of the fair will take place from January 5th to 8th, 2016. Este Arte highlights the ever-growing importance of South America within the contemporary art system. We met Laura Bardier, Este Arte‘s director and curator, to find out more about the fair and its future developments.
What makes ESTE ARTE Fair different from the other international art fairs?
Everything. The venue. ESTE ARTE is as unique as its venue: It’s fun. It’s sexy. It’s stylish. It’s trendsetter.
The Format. It is an art fair on a human scale, with an engaging cultural program. It provides visitors with a chance to get to know the work of each gallery and its artists better. The public. International with regional roots. During the austral summer, Punta del Este and the José Ignacio region in Uruguay are the main destination for an international élite.
How did you begin putting the fair together?
I see the fair as a long term project. It has come along naturally, from a process of dialogue and conversation with artists, curators and collectors form the region. We identified the need to develop a project to inspire the public, to enable critical thinking and foster creative studies, and last but not least to help contribute to a healthy, resilient and long-lasting art system in Latin America. ESTE ARTE it is a marketplace for the visual arts, but also an exhibition of outstanding modern and contemporary art and certainly a platform for the dialogue on educating, curating and collecting.
What drives you in the selection of featured galleries?
The art fair brings an artistic offering that ranges from historical avant-gardes to contemporary art, generating a far-reaching art exhibition for regional and international visitors alike. Each gallery presents a show specially tailored for the occasion. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, installations and video. The selected exhibitors are chosen, based on their submitted proposal and their general program. This selection process aims at guarantee the highest quality of participating galleries and the overall curatorial concept. ESTE ARTE’s vision is about contributing to the current trends in the art market. Its ambition is to match the gallery with new potential art buyers and maintain connections with existing collectors. Each year we will keep the fair small, but retain a strong set of galleries.
How would you describe the tastes and preferences of Este Arte public?
ESTE ARTE attracts audiences from across the region and around the world; its visitors are affluent, stylish, opinion-formers. We can see two broad audience groups: from one side the passionate collector; in tune with the media; first to track changes in the art market; influential within their social circles. On the other side, the conservative collector, who before making a decision, investigates the piece and the artist and concentrates its acquisitions within a few artists or period.
How did the fair develop after last year’s debut?
From its first edition, we have grown exponentially. We have a new really great venue and location at La Barra. We did not change many things that worked well and are the same, but there are interesting new gallery additions, a new series of sound projects, or a strong video program. Everything is curated and elaborated with the most attention and care.
What are the highlights of this upcoming edition?
Among the highlights awaiting you at this year’s edition of ESTE ARTE, Punta del Estes’ premier Art fair : The mythical Uruguayan Galería SUR, participant in this year’s Art Basel Miami, will honor ESTE ARTE with masterpieces by Ignacio Iturria, Marcelo Legrand and Eduardo Cardozo. Reginart Collections, with curation by Parisian director Danielle Cazeau, will exhibit gems from the collection’s impressive modern and contemporary works, featuring artists Joana Vasconcelos, Alberto Biasi, Enrico Castellani and Pablo Picasso.
In addition, ESTE ARTE is thrilled to present artists from Galleria Continua’s impressive roster (Italy, China, France, Cuba), including Argentinian talent Jorge Macchi, the mythic Cildo Mereiles from Brazil and Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck, whose work was exhibited at this year’s 56th Venice Biennale. A site-specific installation by internationally renowned Uruguayan artist Ricardo Lanzarini, will also be shown at Xippas Galleries.
ESTE CHARLAS program includes the panel discussions such as “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Gallerist* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)” and “The fiction of architecture or the architecture of fiction” with Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich and Paraguayan architect Gloria Cabral. ESTE TERTULIAS program includes a series of talks with artists and presentations of their work, including Brazilian artist Cao Guimarães and Uruguayan artist Eduardo Cardozo. ESTE SONIDOS will incorporate a program of public sound art performances including Suite para piano y pulso velado by Uruguayan starLuciano Supervielle.
How does Este Fair interact with the vibrant environment of the city of Punta del Este?
ESTE ARTE from its first edition was born intrinsic within Punta del Este’s DNA. We work in synergy with private and public organizations to build a dazzling program every year. For example, this edition ESTE TERTULIAS program, that consists on a series of talks with artists and presentations of their work, will be held at international well-known Beach front Restaurant La Huella and at the Fundacion Pablo Atchugarry, a fascinating non-for profit organization with a astonishing sculpture park. And as relaxing and socializing are part of the agenda of the city, within the programme, we have some very exciting parties at collectors’ summer houses.
What are your plans for the future growth of the fair?
Each year we would love to offer to the public more. Greater projects and greater artists while continuing to attract a strong selection of galleries. But it is not really about bigger numbers, it is about a better quality of artists and work exhibited.