As Art Basel Miami has proven, international contemporary art fairs can survive and prosper away from the traditional art hubs if they offer chilled North Americans and Europeans a bit of beach and winter sun on the side.
The second edition of Este Arte offers visitors the very considerable high season delights of the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este. Of course, as with ABM, Este Arte also serves to celebrate and exploit the increasing interest in South American and Central American art and the increased power and influence of collectors in the region.
Este Arte 2016 pulls together over 20 galleries from across Uruguay, South America and beyond. For those particularly interested in checking out the vitality of the local scene, Black Gallery will display a group show by the three Uruguayan artists, Julia Castagno, Pati Fernández and María Freire; and Galería Sur is presenting works by local artists Eduardo Cardozo, Wifredo Diaz Valdez, Ignacio Iturria and Marcelo Legrand. International big hitters on show include Daniel Buren, Cildo Meireles, Carlos Garaicoa, Antony Gormley and Joana Vasconcelos.
Director Laura Bardier understands that Este Arte offers a sort of boutique and bite-sized treat after December’s shows in Florida, increasingly overwhelming in scale and impossible to fully digest (especially given Miami’s chronic traffic trouble during the fair).
A series of talks around the fair includes the Este Charla programme which looks particularly at the public role of increasingly big spending South American collectors and includes a conversation between Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich and Paraguayan architect Gloria Cabral.