From London’s Frieze to Miami’s Art Basel, art fairs are the zenith of the art market, providing a platform for gallerists, artists, curators and collectors to interact. Buenos Aires, once isolated from the rest of the art world, is now attracting international attention. Its arteBA contemporary art fair has been operating for 25 years, but thanks to more recent efforts that have raised Argentina’s visibility on the global art scene, the annual fair is now considered one of the must-visit worldwide art events. Exhibit A: This year’s arteBA, from May 24 to 27, will feature galleries from 19 countries.
International audiences got an early example of Argentina’s art clout in February at the ARCOmadrid fair, which drew over 100,000 visitors. Each year, one country is invited as a featured country, and this year Argentina received that honor. Inés Katzenstein, director of the University Torcuato Di Tella’s art department, curated a selection of galleries displaying works by both young and established Argentine artists.
Later this year, Buenos Aires will become the first metropolis to partner with the Art Basel Cities initiative. Launched in March 2016, the initiative aims to develop partnerships with emerging centers of the global art community and link them with a larger cultural network.
But while international fairs have increased Argentina’s visibility in the art world, added recognition comes with a domestic challenge. Increased public and private-sector support for the city’s galleries, museums and institutions is critical to continuing Buenos Aires’ presence on the international art scene.