SWAB Barcelona was founded in 2006 by the initiative of the Contemporary Art Space Diezy7, Private collection, Barcelona, from the beginning the Fair has had the support of important national and international galleries and it is supported by the City Council of Barcelona and the Generalitat de Catalunya.
2007 was the first Swab edition,with the participation of 42 galleries from 13 different countries. 6,000 visitors enjoyed the first International Contemporary Art Fair in the cultural scene of Barcelona.
In 2008 SWAB consolidates its position in the international panorama offering together 38 emerging galleries from 11 countries. The number of visitors increased to 8,000.
After a needed break in 2010 Swab Barcelona International Fair came back with the participation of 32 galleries from 11 countries. Moving to a new location, in the Italian Pavilion, became a big success with more than 13,000 visitors.
Swab Barcelona 2011 improved their expectations getting the influx of more than 15,000 visitors, offering new and different activities and spaces promoting national and international Emergent Contemporary Art. Its fourth edition involved the participation of 48 galleries from countries. SWAB 2011 introduced a new program of complementary activities in order to transcend the stage of the fair to the rest of the city.
SWAB OFF, program of activities around the city of Barcelona.
All these initiatives had the cooperation of different institutions, private companies and Artistic platforms of the city of Barcelona, the aim was to enhance visibility to emerging contemporary art and bring it closer to citizens.
The 2012 Swab Barcelona edition had the presence of more galleries than any other previous edition, with 64 galleries from 20 different countries making of Swab 2012 an important meeting point of Emerging Contemporary Art on the international scene.
New activities were incorporated in the Swab Off program, like the BAD (Barcelona Art District) which gave the opportunity to more than 20 urban artists to paint 200 linear meters of city walls, or the Swab Stairs project with TMB collaboration.
In 2013 Swab presented its sixth edition and a change of dates and location, returning to the Italian pavilion from 3 to 6 October. This change worked out very favorably, becoming the consolidation of the show in the international emerging art scene.
52 galleries from 18 countries and more than 15,000 visitors both local and international made Swab sixth edition a great success, having a 75% revenue in sales for the participating galleries. A new curator’s program to attract galleries from countries like Lebanon and Israel was created.
In addition, Swab was reaffirmed as a momentum space for young artists through competitions as Swab Stairs or As Sun As Possible by Volkswagen, that gave design students the opportunity to showcase their creations.
The Collectors Program had the participation of a group of 40 national and international collectors which during three days they enjoyed Barcelona and exclusive visits to private collections and art institutions of the city.
Swab Barcelona Awards expanded this year to five important awards.
The already stablished Drawing Prize by Diezy7 Collection, the Award for the Best Gallery by Fundación Banco Sabadell, the Mango Award for the Best Young Artist, Photography Award by Volkswagen and a new one: The Art Idea Award by Marset.
These awards have had a jury formed of personalities from the world of art, as European commissioners, directors of foundations, international gallery owners, among others.
The Seventh edition 2014, consolidates the new dates, from 2 to 5 October 2014, holding the position in the Italian Pavilion at Fira de Barcelona. 60 galleries and a big number of visitors from over 18,000 maintaining galleries sales success by 75%.
Continuation of programs like MYFAF are growing and incorporating more international programs like Swab Solo, consisting of Latin American galleries curated by Direlia Lazo and Carolina Ariza. American and Asian Galleries Galleries with a selection of Asian and American artists born after 1970, Positions of Drawing, a program curated by Monica Alvarez Careaga and Oscar Alonso Molina having a selection of 8 galleries with drawing works.
The collectors program is enriched with activities such a breakfast in the Miró Foundation and private visits as well as the number of activities at the fair as Swab Thinks organized by the Independent Studies Program (PEI) MACBA and directed by Beatriz Preciado, a space for conferences and debates between artists, curators, collectors and art critics.
Swab off activities as Swab Stairs is expanding into more stations in the city and consolidating as urban artistic intervention.
Swab 2015 presented its eighth edition from October 1st until October 4th consolidating its new dates and localization at the Italian Pavillion, receiving 65 galleries from 22 different countries and more tan 19.000 visitors. This edition has became in the consolidation edition even for the greatest local and international audience assistance.
Betting on geographic zones as a protagonist in the actual moment as the program Swab Gate, comissioned by Eva Barois De Caevel, composed by caribbean and african solo’s shows or the program "Zhōngguó": The new China’s photography, comissioned by Susana Sanz where 5 chinese photographers portrait the actual situation of their country. Also some programs are being repeated such as “Drawing applications, Solo Swab and MYFAF” consolidating them as part as the main program of the artfair.
Swab Barcelona introduces its ninth edition which will take place from September 29th until October 2nd, 2016. It will count with the participation of 75 galleries through new comissionated programs such as “Inside Out, Focus Magreb and Cross-Bounders” and also, consolidating the preexisting ones: Swab Solo, Swab Seed, Drawing applications and MYFAF.