BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

La New Gallery — Madrid, Spain

Celebrating contemporary art in all its multi-faceted forms

Cristina de Middel, ’Ijewo’, 2014
Cristina de Middel, ’Ijewo’, 2014

Spain has experienced some hard times recently, but slowly and surely the country is making its way out of its recession. Many galleries were hit hard; some successful, others having no option but to sadly close down. But there is another side to this coin. In dire times, creativity flourishes, and that is exactly what has been happening in Spain’s exciting capital.

Opened in 2012, Madrid's La New Gallery has managed to withstand the tail end of the recession relatively well, with a lively program that focuses on celebrating contemporary art in all its multi-faceted forms. Lead by former architect Juan Valverde and former lawyer Ricardo García, the two collectors initially founded the gallery because of the want to support artists that particularly stood out for them. Their support is visible throughout the roster of artists, all of who were handpicked for their evocative and purposeful art. The curators rely on instinct to guide them through the haze of contemporary artists and look for a special spark that will draw the viewer in.

Cristina de Middel, ’Ajewo’, 2014
Cristina de Middel, ’Ajewo’, 2014
Cristina de Middel, ’Arufin’, 2014
Cristina de Middel, ’Arufin’, 2014

The gallery has two floors, with the street-level serving as an exhibition space and the downstairs being used as an audiovisual space. The gallery is an ever evolving and growing space. Not only has the taste of the curation changed over time but so has their international perception. The program directors admit that opening and running a gallery has been a steep learning curve and that they try to take things step-by-step on a daily basis.

Madrid's art scene has changed immensely over the past decade and the recent recession has only exhilarated this. The art market has become much more demanding and is currently still operating within a much lower price range than most international markets. Collectors have become more keen to foster local talent, something that La New Gallery is also very involved with and vocal about, both for emerging and established artists. The program directors believe that Spain's art market needs more institutional buying and a consolidation of the economy to ensure that not just the private collectors, but the public ones too, can continue to collect and strengthen the market.

Installation view at Cristina de Middel’s ’This is What Hatred Did’ at La New Gallery, Madrid
Installation view at Cristina de Middel’s ’This is What Hatred Did’ at La New Gallery, Madrid

La New Gallery's current exhibition is a solo show by Spanish artist Cristina de Middel titled 'This is what Hatred Did'. In 2014 the photographer travelled to Nigeria to shoot the people of Makoko, one of Lago's biggest slums, all the while letting herself be lead by Amos Tutuola's novel, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which tells the story of a small boy left to fend for himself in the tropics and veers into the world of immortals and ghosts. De Middel's images are a great representation of La New Galley's artists—treading a thin line between fantasy and documentary, presenting people's beliefs, rituals and religions. The artist has stated that this is her way of trying to understand the people she depicts from the inside out. An emotional series with vivid imagery that is sure to draw a lot of attention.

Installation view at Cristina de Middel’s ’This is What Hatred Did’ at La New Gallery, Madrid
Installation view at Cristina de Middel’s ’This is What Hatred Did’ at La New Gallery, Madrid

The gallery has big plans for the future, continuing to attend international art fairs and further secure both its own place, as well as the Spanish art production's place, within the global art market. Its 2015/2016 season will be opened by a solo exhibition of paintings by Spanish artist Santiago Ydáñez.

by Liv Fleischhacker

Liv Fleischhacker is a freelance writer based in Berlin. Her favorite topics include art, design and food.

All images courtesy La New Gallery, Madrid

More Information on La New Gallery

Galleries (40)

Futura Art Gallery — Pietrasanta, Italy

A gallery that unites established and emerging artists

Gianni Manhattan - Vienna, Austria

Young, International and Critically Astute

Misako & Rosen — Tokyo, Japan

Redefining the Conversation Around Aesthetics

Tiwani Contemporary – London, Great Britain

The London Gallery Promoting African Self-definition

Frutta Gallery — Rome, Italy

Understanding Tradition Without Hesitating to Break It

Contemporary Fine Arts – Berlin, Germany

From West to East and Back Again: a Berlin Institution That’s Made Its Mark

Bo Bjerggaard – Copenhagen, Denmark

Showcasing Figurative Painting With a Side of Communal Spirit

Pierre-Yves Caër Gallery – Paris, France

The Parisian gallery creating a home for Japanese artists in the European art market.

Blindspot Gallery — Hong Kong, China

Throwing a Spotlight on Local Artists

Vane – Newcastle upon Tyne, Great Britain

The Not-for-profit Space Offering Context And Critique In Newcastle

H’art Gallery — Bucharest, Romania

One of Bucharest’s Oldest Private-Run Galleries

LambdaLambda Lambda – Pristina, Kosovo

Mastering the Language in the Kosovan Capital

Deák Erika Galéria – Budapest, Hungary

Beyond Budapest’s Baths

The Breeder Gallery – Athens, Greece

Breeding New Forms in Athens

Tim Van Laere Gallery – Antwerp, Belgium

An autonomous gallery representing both upcoming and well-established artists

Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler – Berlin, Germany

One of the most cutting-edge galleries in Berlin

Galerie Fons Welters – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Doorway to Amsterdam’s Contemporary Art

Bosse & Baum – London, United Kingdom

Ambitious perspectives in Peckham

TM51 – Oslo, Norway

Three Galleries in One – Oslo’s Most Accessible Space

mfc-michèle didier – Paris, France

A Space that Reflects the Artistic Discipline

V1 Gallery – Copenhagen, Denmark

Challenging the Boundaries of Art

Upstream Gallery – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tackling the Shift Between the Analog and Digital in a Post Internet World

Galerie Forsblom – Helsinki, Finland

Bringing international contemporary art to the Finnish capital

The Journal Gallery – New York, USA

Saving New York from Becoming a Sale-Focused Gallery Wasteland

Peres Projects – Berlin, Germany

Bridging the Gap Between Los Angeles and Berlin

Galeria OMR – Mexico City

Mexico City’s advocate for modern artistic tendencies and international contemporary art

LOYAL – Stockholm, Sweden

A Gallery that Pushes the Dialogue Around Young and International Art in Sweden’s Capital

Chimera-Project — Budapest, Hungary

Post-contemporary interest in aesthetics while eagerly re-constructing and defining traditions

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery – Sydney, Australia

Her uncanny ability to recognize unique Pacific Rim talent

Take Ninagawa Gallery – Tokyo, Japan

Promoting emerging Japanese artists within a cross-generational, international framework

RaebervonStenglin – Zurich, Switzerland

It is much more about concepts, long conversations and long-term commitment

Galerie Emanuel Layr – Vienna, Austria

Finding the right chord among the various artists

Platform China – Beijing/Hongkong, China

This shows how much prejudgment there still is

Fluxia – Milan, Italy

Strive to discover new approaches in contemporary art

Gaudel de Stampa – Paris, France

“Discreet” seems to be the perfect adjective

NON – Istanbul, Turkey

The dawn of an era of collaboration

Vermelho – São Paulo, Brazil

There were no galleries open to a new generation of artists working in a nontraditional way

Eleven Rivington – New York, USA

Newfound talent and rediscovers international artists for a new audience

Ibid. – London, Great Britain

Rather than listing names