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International contemporary art returns to Barcelona—in a digital format.

International contemporary art returns to Barcelona—in a digital format.


Swab Barcelona, the contemporary art fair that takes place between 1 and 15 October, is being held online for the first time this year.

Launched in 2006 by the architect and collector Joaquín Diez-Cascón, Swab Barcelona has been bringing together galleries, artists, curators and collectors from all over the world over the last 14 years. It functions as a global meeting point for the art world and its mission is to showcase the spaces and disciplines that are due to chart the course of the contemporary art scene over the coming years.

Despite the health crisis, this year’s fair remains true to its philosophy of revealing new movements in contemporary art and serves as a platform for established galleries and young, independent spaces that are just starting out on the international art scene.

To enable the show to go ahead, Swab has adapted to the current situation, and this year it is putting on its first virtual event. From 1 to 15 October, anyone can download an interactive application from the Swab website and visit a 3D version of the fair that has been generated by the architects and programmers. Not unlike a video game, visitors can “walk” around the exhibition hall and visit the stands as if they were there in person.

Local and International

Swab's general program includes both local and international art galleries representing young artists born after 1970. Among the galleries represented this year are ADN Galería, Ana Mas Projects and Rocío Santa Cruz, ATM (Gijón), A+B Gallery (Brescia), Embassy (San Juan), Lily Robert (Paris), Gamma Galeria (Guadalajara) and Galerie Nosco (Marseille). In addition, the general program presents Emerging, the event devoted to emerging galleries.

Swab is running all its usual programs this year. These include Swab Seed, which offers visibility to independent platforms and self-managed art projects; Swab Reading, an exhibition of books and experimental publications; Ephemeral, curated by Caterina Almirall with the collaboration of the three Barcelona creation factories (Hangar, Fabra i Coats and La Escocesa); and On Paper, which is curated by Carolina Diez-Cascón and presents work that reinterpret the artistic language of paper.

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