In 2013 Madrid’s Regional Government together with Ifema initiated procedures to bring ARCO Collection to Madrid from Santiago de Compostela’s Contemporary Art Galician Center that had been housing the Collection since 1996. Now CA2M will house the ARCO Collection, made by 300 artworks from 224 artists who are key to understand contemporary creation. The Collection gathers the main trends from the second half of the 20th century until today
In order to make ARCO Collection known, CA2M will organize rotatory exhibitions of the Collection’s funds together with works from CA2M’s funds offering different and new interpretations of both collections. The first exhibition using ARCO Collection funds opened on October 9, 2014.
The ARCO Collection began in 1987, when institutional collection in Spain was at an early stage. The Collection grew through the years based on three criteria: exemplariness, complementarity and opportunity. Among the Collection's objectives is to be a reference for other similar projects, showing that building a vision of contemporary art is possible when good sense, responsibility and knowledge guide us. Also, this Collection does not aim at replacing other collections, it is rather focused on what was lacking from Spain at the time and its role has been redesigned according to new collections that came up eventually. Finally, since it is made of pieces purchased only at ARCO Fair, reference works are included at the same moment they are introduced in the market.
During the first years, works from some of the most significant artists from the last third of the 20th century were purchased. Among these, the following artists can be highlighted: Mario Merz, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Jesús Soto, Ana Mendieta, Elena Asins, Antoni Tàpies, Antonio Saura and Esther Ferrer. In the following decade, the Collection is enriched with some of the key works of that time by artists like Sigmar Polke, Daniel Buren, Francesco Clemente, Anish Kapoor, Ángel Bados, Antoni Abad, Ignasi Aballí or Juan Muñoz, sadly departed and a reference for Spanish contemporary art. At the turn of the century, it’s the time for younger artists that are now internationally renown such as Lara Almarcegui, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Pilar Albarracín, Ibon Aranberri and Dora García.
Some of the curators who selected the purchased works are: Edy De Wilde, Jan Debbaut, José Guirao, Dan Cameron, María del Corral, Iwona Blazwick, Sabine Breitwieser, Chus Martínez, Gloria Moure, María Inés Rodríguez, Adriano Pedrosa, Ferran Barenblit and Miguel Von Hafe Pérez.