Interior Design Inspiration

Spanish Art Galleries and Fairs

March 6, 2019 | By Ana Engelhorn

Nothing demonstrates your personality more than the art you choose to put on the walls of your home. Whether you prefer cool watercolours or vibrant mixed media, sourcing your art can be a true journey of discovery.

In the previous post, Sourcing Antiques in the UK, I gave a few examples of my favourite art and antique stores in the UK but another wonderful source of interior designer treasure are the wonderful Spanish art galleries and fairs of Madrid.

I have just spent the weekend at Arco, Art Madrid and JustMAD looking at art from newcomers to well-established artists – I’ve had a blast.

In addition to the amazing and inspiring art, these fairs are a wealth of culture and knowledge. I’ve learned so much about politics, what’s happening in the world and how people’s lives in different countries are affected by global and local events.

This week of art fairs in Madrid has been going for an astounding 35 years. Arcos is the pioneer, the others have followed after. For the last 20 years, Arcos has highlighted a guest country, but this year decided to promote the galleries that have been part of their fair since the beginning and which helped to put Madrid on the international art scene.

I am just a baby in this art world, having the incredible fortune to be able to tag along with people who have unparalleled knowledge of the different galleries and artists. It really astounds me how our world can shrink when stuck together under the roof of one fair. You can walk for hours, drinking in the creative powers surrounding you and taking small breaks to eat Spanish ham and drink a glass of red wine.

In Art Madrid, I found one of my favourite artists Gustavo Diaz Sosa, from the Galería Bat, who draws amazing buildings (all from imagination) depicting life in Cuba. It’s a life of bartering and if you know someone, you can jump this or that queue. The way he depicts life there is truly amazing.

Samuel Salcedo

I also saw an artist in Art Madrid who I find very playful and fun – Samuel Salcedo. He makes half animal / half human figures. Lidia Masllorens is another artist who I love, but she is completely different. Her work, painting the faces of women, is not only beautiful, but deeply moving. I know her from an Art and Antiques curator in Barcelona who has an amazing gallery. If you are ever in Barcelona and in need of some culture go and see Miquel Alzueta.

Lidia Masllorens

In JustMAD, an emerging art fair where you can find much more forgiving prices, I found an artist who I knew from another fair: Fernando Daza. He makes paintings from little paper bits. An artist completely new to me is Santiago Picatoste. I actually got to meet him – he paints the sea and islands in beautiful vivid colours. Going to these fairs and having the opportunity to find out first-hand about the artists and what they were feeling or thinking at the time is hugely enriching.

Santiago Picatoste

Finally, finishing with ARCO, you can find famous artists such as Plensa with his sculptures of faces. An artist I didn’t previously know, but who I definitely want to work with on my next project is Pablo Reinoso. He makes amazing benches out of wood and steel (my favourite materials!!) with the benches extending with what seems like spaghetti arms going off towards the sides, up or anywhere you want. I can imagine a boutique hotel with a sweet garden and one of Pablo’s wooden benches with the side extending like a plant that intertwines itself and grows up the side of the building.

Pablo Reinoso

The best thing about art for me is the way it can give an instant pop of colour and life to your rooms. Art can also be incredible conversation starters when you have guests or just amazing decorative pieces for you to enjoy when you sit in your favourite armchair with your favourite glass of something :).

Look at my art section in Instagram for more pictures!