“Warning: Perception requires involvement”, reads a large red sign on the window of Galeria MPA at 2 Rivington Street. For its pop-up last week in downtown Manhattan, the international extension of Madrid based Galería Moisés Pérez de Albéniz has opted to present a group show gathering seven of their artists. Its paintings, sculptures, and installations give the feeling of entering a heterogeneous art fair booth, nine miles away from Frieze’s tents on Randall’s Island.
For gallery director Jordi Rigol, not participating in the main event of New York’s art week is a no-brainer: “The art market is something the art world doesn’t like too much.” For its first time trying the pop-up model, the Spanish gallery has found a way to “have a stronger presence outside the country.” According to Rigol, the experience was successful and he will continue to pop-up even if the gallery often participates to major fairs in New York but and South America.
According to Rigol, being “more affordable” is not the only reason why the pop-up model has been successful for him. The economic crisis has hit Spain very hard and most of its publicly funded art institutions have cut their budgets which actively affects the support of contemporary creation. As a result, the local contemporary art scene is weakened. In order for Galería Moisés Pérez de Albéniz launched in 2013 to maintain its ambitious programming in its large 1800 square-foot white wall, grey floor gallery in the heart of Madrid, they’ll have to embrace the nomadic aspect of the contemporary art industry.
In the seven artists group show currently on view at 2 Rivington Street, you will find featured artworks by established and upcoming artists such as 61 years old American Tony Oursler and Spanish painter Santiago Giralda. The exhibition is a good entry point to the artistic direction of the gallery. As the “Warning” artwork by Muntadas tells at the entrance: in order to experience properly these artworks, you will have to make an effort. Jordi Rigol explains that the gallery is interested in exploring the current trends of political/social context based artworks while also supporting contemporary creation in the more traditional medium of painting and sculpture. “Painting has been murdered so many times!”
A “must” visit if you’re in the neighborhood!