Art & Culture

Swab: 16th Barcelona International Contemporary Art Fair

Swab Barcelona announces the 70 galleries that will participate in its 16th edition, which will be held from October 5 to 8 and will focus on the Barcelona context.

As a innovation, the fair will change its location. Swab 2023 will premiere its new location at the Textile Pavilion of Fira de Barcelona, located at Avenida Rius i Taulet, 10 (a few meters from the Italian Pavilion, where the fair has been held to date). Located on the site of the former Palace of Textile Art of the 1929 Barcelona Universal Exposition, the pavilion, of industrial aesthetics, has more than 3,000m2 that will occupy the entire fair.

Swab Barcelona, with a rich program that combines established galleries with younger galleries, acts as a platform for experimentation of emerging artistic proposals. The selection committee, the collaborating curators and the fair’s management are committed to the freshest and most current proposals on the national and international scene, thus reflecting the trends of the moment and giving visibility to young and innovative projects. The result is a fair on a human scale that brings together the artists who define the present and the future of the art market.

In this edition, the fair, which showcases the latest trends in contemporary art, puts the spotlight on the city of Barcelona and the Mediterranean, with the aim of projecting local talent to the rest of the world. Just as Modernism gave way to Abstraction, which meant the internationalization of Catalan art, Swab 2023 leaves behind the recurrent figuration to dive into abstract scenarios with surrealist strokes and colorful poetic landscapes.

The Swab 2023 selection committee is made up of curators and artistic directors Omar Lopez-Chahoud, from the Untitled Miami fair, Jérôme Pantalacci, from the French Art-o-Rama fair, Isa Natalia Castilla, from the Material Fair in Mexico City, Domenico de Chirico, independent curator, and collectors José Luis Lorenzo, Marie Elena Angulo, Jesper Stieler and Pedro Jaile.

70 galleries in 7 programs

Swab 2023 will feature the participation of 70 contemporary art galleries, 27 national and 43 from 21 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. In addition, Swab 2023 will feature the participation of 200 artists.

General Program

The General Program, the central pillar of the fair, includes national and international galleries with a consolidated trajectory in the contemporary art circuit. This year, the program will feature 40 galleries, formed by: Anna Nova Gallery (St. Petersburg), Artnueve (Murcia), ATM Galería (Gijón) + Espacio Valverde (Madrid), Bianca Boeckel (São Paulo), CLUSTER (Rome), Dimensions Variable (Miami), Ángeles Baños Gallery (Badajoz), Fran Reus (Palma de Mallorca), Isabel Hurley Gallery (Malaga), Galerie chantiersBoîteNoire (Montpellier), Galerie Fleur & Wouter (Amsterdam), Galerie Tanint (Beirut), Herrero de Tejada (Madrid), Jorge López Galería (Valencia), Josilda da Conceição (Amsterdam), JPS Gallery (Hong Kong / Tokyo / Paris), Kevin Kavanagh (Dublin), OdA (Buenos Aires), Pabellón 4 (Buenos Aires), Portas Vilaseca (Rio de Janeiro) + Reiners Contemporary (Marbella), Quimera Galería (Buenos Aires), Rafael Pérez Hernando (Madrid), Raffaella De Chirico Art Gallery (Turin / Milan), RoFa Art Gallery (Potomac / Gaithersburg), Secret Project Robot (New York), Set Espai d’Art (Valencia), Shazar Gallery (Naples), Smart Gallery (Buenos Aires), TCHIKEBE (Marseille), and VANGAR (Valencia).

To highlight the Barcelona galleries participating in this program: ADN Galeria, Dilalica, House of Chappaz (also based in Valencia), Pigment Gallery, Victor Lope Arte Contemporáneo, Zielinsky (also based in Porto Alegre). In addition, etHALL, in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and PALMADOTZE Galeria d’Art, in Santa Margarida i els Monjos (Barcelona). All these galleries are associated with Art Barcelona.


The Emerging program, dedicated to galleries with less than five years of experience, will feature Albert Contemporary (Odense), Bold (Prague), DS Galerie (Paris), LUPO (Milan), Mahara+Co (Miami) and SISSI club (Marseille).

Emerging LATAM

The Emerging LATAM program, curated by Argentine curator and gallerist Santiago Gasquet, co-director of PIEDRAS gallery (Buenos Aires), and featuring the most promising emerging galleries and proposals of the Latin American contemporary art scene, will include collectio (Chile), Bloc Art Gallery (Lima), Espacio Enhorabuena (Madrid), Galeria Grasa (Buenos Aires), Now Gallery (San Isidoro, Peru), and Remota Galería (Salta, Argentina).

Swab Seed

The Swab Seed program showcases ten independent spaces run, in some cases, by experimental artists whose proposals are shaking up the contemporary scene. In this edition, Swab Seed will feature Awol (Los Angeles), CU29 (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), Colette Mariana (Barcelona), HARABEL (Tirana), Kunsthalle.Ost (Leipzig), La Raíz (Granada), Lí Gallery (Shanghai), Mmundo (New York), Studio-Beta (Barcelona/Berlin) and Yafteh Gallery (Tehran).

SOLO Show by Vila Casas

The SOLO Show by Vila Casas program, curated by the young independent curators Carla Gimeno and Margot Cuevas in collaboration with the Fundació Vila Casas, exhibits four independent projects from the Catalan territory, through a solo show proposal, a solo exhibition with the most avant-garde trends of the scene. A program that seeks to promote new curatorship and generate dialogues between territories of the Mediterranean arc. Swab thus reaffirms its roots in the territory and claims its local essence.

The program, sponsored by the Fundació Vila Casas, will feature FOC (Barcelona), Cultural Rizoma (Celrà), Half House (Barcelona), and Butxaca Màgica (L’Hospitalet de Llobregat).

My First Art Fair

The My First Art Fair program selects three young contemporary art galleries, under two years old, that have not yet participated in any international fair. In order to help promote new emerging galleries, Swab offers this space free of charge. The program will feature Ballroom Gallery (Brussels), Galeria Fermay (Palma de Mallorca), and Julie Caredda (Paris).

Video Box

The non-profit program Video Box, dedicated to the latest trends in video art and that gives visibility to audiovisual projects created in territories with a developing cultural fabric, puts the spotlight on Southeast Asia. Alfonse Chiu, curator of this edition, has selected eight artists who work on the concept of frontier, an artistic dialogue through the limits established by colonialism in these territories. Under the title Home/Land, Video Box will feature the following artists: Robert Zhao Renhui and Zarina Muhammad, from Singapore; Shireen Seno, from the Philippines; Prapat Jiwarangsan, from Thailand; Tuân Mami and Lêna Bùi, from Vietnam; Lim Sokchanlina, from Cambodia, and Riar Rizaldi, from Indonesia.

Special programs: Swab Kids and talks among gallery owners

Swab Thinks

Two weeks before the fair is held, and with the aim of actively involving the Barcelona fabric, the galleries of the Art Barcelona association that will participate in Swab will be the protagonists of Swab Thinks, a program of talks among gallery owners, open to all citizens and curated by curator Gisela Chillida. The cycle aims to generate synergies between curators, artists and gallerists through conversations that will be held in the galleries themselves, with the aim of strengthening affinities and kinships with the agents of the local context. The last talk will be held at Santa&Cole, a new collaborator of the fair, which reaffirms Barcelona’s identity through the tradition of local design and architecture.

Swab Kids

As every year, Swab dedicates a space to the youngest art lovers through Swab Kids, a program that seeks to promote artistic development in children’s education. For this edition, the fair has teamed up with Mister Karton, an eco-design studio from Barcelona focused on cardboard projects, which will seek creativity through sustainability. Mister Karton will offer a space open to all children who want to explore their imagination. The children’s workshops that will be held during Swab 2023 will be announced soon.


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