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Sundaram Tagore, A Steadfast Friend, Zanana, Samode Palace, Karen Knorr, 2022
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Madrid’s Galería Casado Santapau at 13 Years

By Sara Zaldivar

February 26, 2020

Casado Santapau is a benchmark for art galleries in the sphere of contemporary art in Spain. Their well-defined aesthetic line moves somewhere in between minimalism, geometry, and architecture. The gallery works with an exquisite selection of national and international artists, which makes it one of the most interesting of the artistic panorama.

Concha Santapau and Damián Casado are the soul of this gallery that opened its doors in the neighbourhood of Justicia in Madrid 13 years ago.

Open Gallery

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The friends, partners, and associates answer our questions during one of the busiest cultural weeks in Spain around ARCO Madrid, from February 26— March 1, 2020.

WHITEWALL: How did you decide to embark on this project 13 years ago?

CONCHA SANTAPAU: Damian has been related to the art world for more that 20 years in very interesting projects such as Garaje Regium, La Fabrica or Distrito 4.

I was working in the bank industry but had always been related to contemporary art, as I have been collecting since I was a kid.

We met through a common friend and our connection was immediate. Not only did we decide to launch Casado Santapau gallery in 2007, but we also decided together how to develop the project over the 13 years.

And luckily, we are still as excited with the project as the first day, plus it makes us very happy to see how it has gained strength and solidity.

WW: Your aesthetic line is very well-defined. How do you decide with which artists you work with? Is it easy for you two to reach an agreement?

CS: Yes, it is easy for us to reach an agreement on the artists we work with. We have very similar tastes not only on the arts, but also regarding music, design, and even fashion.

We choose the artists we work with very carefully. They have to meet our aesthetics and we also like to have a narrow relationship with them. Our exhibition line is based on our love for architecture, geometry, minimalism, and figuration.

WW: With how many artists are you currently working and how many of them are Spanish?

CS: We are working 20 twenty artists, being two of them Spanish: Alain Urrutia and Salvador Cidras.

WW: Who should we keep an eye on at the moment?

CS: Both, Alain Urrutia and Salvador Cidras are well established artists nationally and have a promising international career.

WW: How many years have you been taking part in ARCO International Contemporary Art Fair?

CS: This will be our 13th year participating in the art fair. We have been devoted to it since the opening of the gallery.

WW: How do you think the fair has evolved over time?

CS: We have been staunch supporters of ARCO since the beginning. The fair has a great quality in terms of the galleries participating and a very professional management. We also appreciate that it is very well valued internationally.

WW: Are you involved in other international art fairs?

CS: Yes, we participate in other art fairs such as Frieze New York, The Armory Show, or Art Dusseldorf. Then we choose some new fairs yearly and see how they work for us.

WW: How do you choose the artists and works you are going to show at each fair?

CS: If we are part of the general program of the art fair, as happens in ARCO, we try to involve all of the artists we work. Conversely, if we are participating in a more specific project, for instance, a section dedicated to Latin American art, then we select one or two artists.

WW: What would you say is not to miss this week?

CS: We would prioritize visiting the fair slowly. There is a lot to see and it may require more than one visit.

WW: Outside the fair, where should visitors go?

CS: If you want to hang with the arty scene, we wouldn’t miss Cock Bar, in the Chueca neighbourhood.

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