Fotos Journal Swab

Swab warms up its engines


After a global pandemic context, Barcelona’s contemporary art fair returns to its on-site format, taking painting and color as main characters.

ad / ad, Hannover. Swab Seed 2021.
Hand to hand, Samuel Henne.

On October 7, Swab Barcelona will welcome 80 local and international galleries that will bring to the Italian Pavilion the newest trends in contemporary art. The selection of the participating galleries will be in charge of the members of the Selection Committee, this year integrated by curators Omar Lopez Chahoud, Jerome Pantalacci and Domenico de Chirico; and by collectors Giuseppe Casarotto, Marie Elena Angulo and Jose Luis Lorenzo.

As every edition, the fair presents its General Program, which this year features local galleries such as ADN Galería, Galería Senda, Galería Alegría, Ana Mas Projects, Max Estrella, Aural Galería, Galería Fran Reus or House of Chappaz, among others, and international exhibitors such as Piedras Galería, Gallery Nosco, Lily Robert, Patricia Fleming or Zeller Van Almsick.

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Helena Vinent, La Escocesa, Barcelona. Swab Ephemeral 2021.
La prótesi que dirigió al órgano contra sí mismo. Instalación en La Casa Encendida, Madrid, en  el marco de la exposición Generaciones 2021.

In addition, highlighting its mission as a platform for new talents, the fair will once again present Swab Emerging, the subsection of the General Program dedicated to galleries less than five years old that are already showing promising signs in the international context, such as CAVE-AYUMIGALLERYDilalicaSelenas MountainBARK BERLIN GALLERYAndrea Festa Fina Art and A.MORE Gallery.

This year, as a novelty, Swab Emerging introduces Focus LATAM, a section curated by Santiago Gasquet, co-director of PIEDRAS (Buenos Aires), which will present the most emerging proposals of the Latin American contemporary art scene: + Arte Galería, Constitución, Margen, Moria Galería, Selvanegra Galería and Vigil Gonzales. Focus LATAM’s proposals explore social issues from the point of view of magic, surrealism and new realities.

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Constitución, Buenos Aires. Emerging-Focus LATAM 2021.
Llévame a conocer el oceano, Micaela Piñero 2019.

Following this line, the special program of this edition will focus on Eastern Europe, and will bring to Barcelona six emerging projects that explore the post-pandemic world from the vision of young artists. Among the participants of this Focus are Krupa Gallery, NoD, Ravnikar Gallery and Photoport.

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Krupa Gallery, Breslavia. Focus East of Europe 2021
Covid-Playgrounds, Post Noviki 2020.

Another novelty this year is that Swab Performance, the fair’s performance program, is headed to the streets and will be carried out in the city’s exhibition spaces. The program will be curated by Gisela Chillida, who will select four performances to be presented in four Barcelona galleries during the two weeks prior to the fair. This change of format responds to the desire to generate a cultural circuit that runs through Barcelona and its most representative galleries. Chillida is committed to a curatorial line that (re)thinks the idea of presence, the occupation of a physical space in the now.

On the other hand, this years edition consolidates Swab Ephemeral, the installation section of the fair, presenting works by artists living in Barcelona’s creative factories. This year, the selection of curators Caterina Almirall and Margot Cuevas includes pieces by Joana Capella and Helena Vinent (La Escocesa)to kosie (Hangar) and Alexander Arilla (Fabra i Coats). This year’s artistic proposals have mostly a political, critical, social and feminist background, projects that will play with space and explore the interaction with the visitor.

Another of the fair’s ongoing curated programs is Swab on Paper, a section curated by Carolina Diez-Cascón that explores the possibilities of paper as a tool and as a technique. This year, Diez-Cascón explores a young society that oscillates between digital and analog, a reality that has surpassed the physical dimension, creating surreal panoramas through digital deformation or collage. Among the participants in this program are Transmitter and Montoro12.

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Moria Galería, Buenos Aires. Emerging-Focus LATAM 2021.
Una historia de la prestidigitacion, Laura Ojeda Bär 2020-2021.

Following the line of the usual programs, Swab continues to bet on its youngest proposals, Swab Seed and MYFAF. The former, the most experimental section of the fair, welcomes projects that escape the traditional gallery concept and work with alternative exhibition formats. Among the international participants are ad/adNew Jörg and AA Collections, among others, and the local spaces joining this edition, sponsored once again by the Fundació Vila Casas, are Chiquita RoomEspai ColonaFaseTangent Projects and The Green Parrot.

MYFAF, on the other hand, is positioned as the program for galleries that have just started their journeys, as it grants the participation of four exhibition spaces that have not yet participated in an art fair. This year’s participants are DuplexKino TonaláORR and Yudik One.

Finally, in its aim to explore new exhibition formats, Swab continues to make room for the publishing discipline with the Swab Reading program, a section that aims to give voice to projects halfway between publication and artistic object. This year’s participants are Monorhetorik and Rafael Melendez.

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Selenas Mountain, Nueva York. Emerging 2021.
Philosophical meditation, Larissa De Jesús Negrón, 2020.

Beyond its artistic program, Swab Barcelona maintains its satellite activities, such as Swab Thinks, a series of online talks and debates with curators and relevant professionals from the art world. On the other hand, Swab will maintain its space for children and families within the fair, Swab Kids, this year in collaboration with Plom Gallery and Grapat, which join forces to stimulate the creativity of the youngest art lovers and that will promote, in parallel, meetings between parents and mothers artists to have open conversations about family reconciliation with artistic practice.

Thus, Swab Barcelona is consolidated as a fair with a human dimension, which seeks to be a platform for the discovery of new voices of contemporary art from a sustainable cultural production and gender perspective. Finally, hand in hand with the digitalization platform ARTLAND, Swab maintains a virtualization of the fair parallel to the on-site event, giving everyone access to its proposals and favoring the international projection of its participants.

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NoD, Praga. Focus East of Europe 2021.
Deat Row, Julius Reichel 2018.


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