Merrill Lynch Arteaméricas. The Latin American Art Fair

By Abel S.


On its third year – the premier art show of Latin America, Merrill Lynch arteaméricas, the art fair devoted exclusively to art from Latin America, returns to Miami for its third year opens, April 7 through April 11, 2005, at the Coconut Grove Convention Center, Miami, Fla. In less than three years, Merrill Lynch arteaméricas has become the premier fair of art from Latin America.  In 2005, it features 50 of the best galleries from 18 countries in the Americas, Spain and France.  The fair showcases works from more than 200 renowned masters to contemporary emerging artists.

As evidenced by recent auctions in New York and Europe, art from Latin America has gained appreciated value and popularity. Following the success of its debut event in 2003, last year arteaméricas exceeded all expectations with outstanding exhibits, a diverse audience, and excellent sales.  A pleasant surprise particularly to art collectors, they had a chance to view in one place works from all over the continent.  On the opening night, Galeria 1-2-3 from El Salvador was sold out.

Participating galleries are rigorously selected by a Selection Committee of art experts.  For 2005, 70 galleries applied to participate and only 50 could be accepted, as one of the goals of arteaméricas is to keep the fair to an intimate size.  Most galleries that exhibited in 2004 re-applied for 2005.

“The success of Merrill Lynch arteaméricas is due in a part to the fact that art from Latin America is increasing in value and has a currency it never had before,” said Leslie Pantín, Jr., president of Merrill Lynch arteaméricas.  The Wall Street Journal reports that a good way to start a new yet valuable and affordable art collection is with art from Latin America.  A good indicator of the art that will gain value, the Journal reports, is by looking at museums’ acquisitions.  In recent years, museums have been purchasing art from Latin America, particularly to court the growing Hispanic population, The Wall Street Journal states.*

The art available at Merrill Lynch arteaméricas ranges from $2,000 to over a half million dollars.  “Another factor for the fair’s success is its location: Miami.  The city is now considered the new mecca of art and culture; it is becoming the new art capital from the Americas,” said Emilio Calleja, Vice President, Merrill Lynch arteaméricas.

The exhibition will include paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations and videos, and will also feature a section dedicated to contemporary art — Trends II.  A series of conferences and events are planned throughout the fair.  Art collectors and art experts will be guest speakers at conferences on Latin American art, local museums will host Latin American art exhibits, and local collectors will be opening their doors to the public.

The works of renowned masters such as Diego Riviera, Roberto Matta, Rufino Tamayo, Wilfredo Lam, Jesus Soto, and Fernando Botero, will be showing.  Also, some of the most popular contemporary artists include, upcoming Brazilian artist, Regina Silveira, with Galeria Brito Cimino from Sao Paulo; Cuban artist, Atelier Morales, with Nina Menocal gallery from Mexico City; Puerto Rican photographer, Victor Vazquez with Walter Otero Gallery from San Juan and Galerie Intemporel from Paris; Cuban sculptor and artist K-cho with Juan Ruiz Galeria from Maracaibo; Argentinean sculptor, Nora Correas with PanAmerican Art Gallery from Dallas, TX; Panamanian sculptor, Isabel de Obaldia with Mary Ann Martin Fine Arts of New Y

Installations from various artists will surprise and open visitors’ imagination. The outstanding installation “El Arco del Triunfo de Rotchtill” from Jacob Karpio Gallery

“Merrill Lynch arteaméricas is starting to play a very important role for art from Latin America in the U.S.  The quality of art exhibited is in the vanguard of the new art trends in the continent,” said Diego Costa Peuser, Fair Director.

Additionally, the most important museums that specialize in Latin American art attend, among them, The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Museo del Barrio, New York; MoLAA – Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; and Miami Art Museum, Miami.  Important art foundations that work for the promotion of Latin American art, such as, Fundacion Cisneros, Caracas; Fundacion Proa, Buenos Aires; Fundacion Centro Leon Jimenez, Santiago, Dominican Republic; and MAC – Miami Art Central, will also be there.

Visitors can also explore an ample variety of published art books offered by the Miami-based, nationally known bookstore, Books & Books.  The attractive fair catalogue will also be available for sale.

Merrill Lynch Arteaméricas
Coconut Grove Convention Center, S. Bayshore Drive and 27th Ave., Miami, FL.

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