While the Spanish capital city of Madrid is well known for its football prowess and great food, its thriving art scene should not be overlooked. Oh So Arty decided to travel to Madrid this February for the famed Feria ARCO. Keep reading to learn how we spent an arty 72 hours in Madrid and if you’re planning a trip to Madrid meet our local guides!

Stop one was of course, ARCO. The fair was divided into the main section with national and international leading art galleries and commissioned programs with “Dialogues” which consisted of galleries selected by María de Corral, Lorena Martínez de Corral and Catalina Lozano whose stands presented the works of two artists with a connection conceived especially for ARCOmadrid. We also enjoyed “Opening”, a program which was selected by Steffanie Hessler and Ilaria Gianni that presented younger galleries.

 Dvir Gallery at ARCO,  Dialogues  section

Dvir Gallery at ARCO, Dialogues section

Our favourite project at the fair was “What is going to happen is not “the future”, but what we are going to do”, where the aim of the curators Chus Martínez, Elise Lammer and Rosa Lleó in their selection of galleries was to turn the fair into a “place that allows us to imagine, produce and propose a view of the complexity that awaits us”.  

 'What is going to happen is not “the future”, but what we are going to do' at ARCO.

'What is going to happen is not “the future”, but what we are going to do' at ARCO.

While we initially planned our trip to Madrid around ARCO the city is bursting with other creative options even without the art fair. Which is why on day two we made sure to visit some galleries! Ariel Schlesinger's and Wilfredo Pietro’s show ‘Thank you, gracias’ at Nogueras Blanchard was a highlight of the trip. The two artists first collaborated on an exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv in 2014 and it was exciting to see them reunite.

 Image: Installation view, Ariel Schlesinger & Wilfredo Prieto at Nogueras Blanchard

Image: Installation view, Ariel Schlesinger & Wilfredo Prieto at Nogueras Blanchard

After gallery hopping it was time to visit one of the most renowned art institutions in Europe, Museo Reina Sofia. This impressive museum opened in 1999 and has been a destination for 20th and 21st century art ever since. We were lucky to visit the museum during William Kentridge’s exhibition, ‘Enough and more than enough’, curated by Manuel Borja-Villel and Soledad Liaño, a fascinating show which explored his stage work, including theatre, opera and performance. Kentridge, who is originally from South Africa, experiments with a variety of mediums including prints, films, drawings and performances.

 William Kentridge exhibition at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid

William Kentridge exhibition at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid

We couldn’t miss the Museo del Prado, and a very moving moment during our visit was to see Diego Velasquez “Las Meninas” and Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights”.

 Bosch “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Image courtesy of Museo del Prado.

Bosch “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Image courtesy of Museo del Prado.

The next day we stepped outside of the institutional walls to take a street tour with Cool Tours Spain, with whom we’re now collaborating on Oh So Arty. It was amazing to spend time with our guides Javier Garcia and Santi González, who showed us the neighborhood of Lavapiez which hosts beautiful street art pieces

 graffiti in the Lavapiez neighborhood

graffiti in the Lavapiez neighborhood

Learn more about Oh So Arty in Madrid guides here!