Skip to main content
At the doors Swab Art Fair Barcelona
EventsSwab Barcelona

At the doors Swab Art Fair Barcelona

Swab Barcelona Art Fair will present its eleventh edition  the next 27, 28, 29 and 30,September, consolidated as one of the independent art fairs of international reference.

This year it has four novelties: the birth of The Desert and the Cactus, a new program commissioned by the renowned Omar López-Chahoud - independent commissioner -, which brings together six galleries that will help us understand the pictorial scene of New York; as well as the association with the Deputation in Performance, a program that is strengthened by a selection jury integrated by Alexandra Laudo, Imma Prieto and Joan Morey, where the work of six Catalan artists or residents in Catalonia, such as Lolo & Sosaku or the collective El Palomar, will be shown , which will carry out the performance Trans, Trans, Trans, among others. This space aims to have continuity over time and become a simultaneous platform for all resident artists who have a place to promote their work. 

In addition, Ephemeral was born this year, commissioned by Caterina Almirall and on this occasion has the name of Softbodies, not ahead but inside, it is consolidated in the fair as a platform for artists through the union of the creation factories Hangar, Fabra i Coats and La Escocesa, creating a circuit of international collectors that can expand the creative fabric of the city of Barcelona. This Swab edition also goes a step further and announces another novelty, that of uniting different disciplines related to art, including gastronomy, with a new collaboration with elBulli Foundation, which will open its doors to the Swab collector program for the first time.

The year 2018, Swab also means the birth of Reading, a space that aims to show the interest of the fair for all disciplines with an editorial concept store where we can find different forms of art through books. As in each edition, Swab also presents its General program, consisting of prestigious galleries and career as Angels Barcelona, ADN, Rafael Ortiz, Rocio Santa Cruz, Ana Mas, Ronaldo Anselmi, Drawing Room, or Heinrich Ehrhardt, among others. At the same time, the fair coexists with programs such as On Paper, where the artistic language of paper is reinterpreted as a contemporary technique.

In addition, as a hallmark of the fair, Swab is involved in empowering young artists, galleries and independent spaces, through the MYFAF and Seed programs. The first scholarship to three galleries with less than two years of life and that have never held an international art fair, helping them to start on the international circuit, while Seed is a program aimed at new gallery spaces and groups of artists that reflect on the new platforms and formats of the moment.

The Desert and the Cactus

Swab Barcelona presents The Desert and the Cactus, commissioned by Omar López-Chaoud, an will count with the participation of six prestigious galleries in New York, which will help us understand the pictorial scene that the city is experiencing. You can find the works of American artists who express this growing interest in preserving nature, representing in their work that ritualistic search for a return to the basics and contact with the earth. The cactus symbolizes the adaptation to the most extreme conditions of that land.

Exhibitors: Deli Gallery, NY // False Flag, NY // Dutton, NY // Rawson Projects, NY // 321 Gallery, NY // American Medium, NY

Swab Performance Swab Performance opens its fourth edition as well as collaboration with the Deputation of Barcelona. A committee of experts - formed by Alexandra Laudo, Joan Morey and Imma Prieto - has selected the following six artists to present a performance within the framework of the fair: Ariadna Guiteras, Bartomeu Sastre, El Palomar, Julia Mariscal, Victoria Macarte and Lolo & Sosaku. You can find more information about the works that will be presented here.

The objective of Swab Performance is to support the  performing artistic practices of resident artists or those linked to Catalonia, as well as to contribute to their visibility.

This jury is integrated by Imma Prieto (Barcelona), art critic, independent commissioner and professor of contemporary art and new media at the EU-Eram of the University of Girona, she has also written in different media and made her own documentary, 'Eco de Primera Muerte' (GAC Award for Art Criticism 2018); Joan Morey (Sant Llorenç Donis Cardassar, Mallorca), artist whose work is usually focuses on the artistic representation of new devices of power through performance and whos in 2017 picked up the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona de Artes Visuales; and Alexandra Laudo (Barcelona), independent commissioner and art critic, as well as founder of Heroínas de la Cultura, platform from which she has developed and curated different artistic projects. During the 2017-2018 season she commissioned the cycle 'The possibility of an island' in the Espai 13 of the Joan Miró Foundation, as well as the exhibition 'Una Certa Foscor' in Caixa Fòrum. 


The Ephemeral program aims to create experiences with the viewer, and also has the support of the Icub to develop the show under the name of Softbodies, not ahead but inside. The commissioner, Catarina Almirall, was responsible for finding ephemeral and installation projects that invite us to interact and reflect on our situation in a globalized and accelerated system, through issues such as sustainability and our near future. For this, it will focus on the breeding ground that exists in the three creation factories of our city: La Escocesa, Fabra i Coats and El Hangar. This program aims to create a circuit of international collectors that can expand the creative fabric of the city of Barcelona.

The chosen artists for this edition are Duae Collective (Luna Coppola and Silvia Campidelli), who will present Besòs: a noble ecosystem; Irma Marco with El vacío; Julia Calvo with The pavilion of the artists gathered; Julia Gorostidi with Julia, Rosa, Angela ... Eva; Lara Fluxà with A_Nivellaments; Marina Rubio with Wild Toys and Michael Lawton with a selection of his APATSS paint series.

On Paper

Like other years, this 2018 Swab continues to discover the possibilities offered by the contemporary use of paper as an artistic language, its conceptualization and synthesis beyond a mere support, commissioned by Carolina Diez-Cascón. The program presents different works with a common denominator: paper. In this new edition, 7 projects are presented that reflect the past, the present and the future.

The purest essence of the simple, the geometry, which becomes the starting point generating a clash where the everyday and the ordinary meet the new horizon of the present, generating conceptual spaces where memories are stored and the deterioration of the passage of time is contemplated.

The paper is the testimony, a generation that claims the analog against the impact of the digital. As we daily do applications of meteorology, to count our steps that the plasma paper deciphering these digital records. 

Landscapes that are deteriorated being shaped and conceptualized through the deterioration of paper as the reflection of it. A turn to reflect on the digital through the context of paper, an almost meditative world that reflects between the geometric and spatial limits.

Exhibitors: Ángeles Baños (Badajoz), Anne-Laure Girard (France), Nordés Gallery (Santiago de Compostela), Ibirapi (Lisbon), La Carbonería (Huesca), Set Espai d'Art (Valencia), 55-SP (Sao Paulo) ).


This year Swab also opens Reading, a program that aims to show interest in all disciplines with an editorial concept store where you can find different art forms through books. This edition will feature a / b Books, a Swedish editorial proposal that harmonizes the rural with the urban, nature with city. Both poles are recurring motifs in the publications of a / b Books, which combine text, photography and collage. The second, Paranoia Publishing, was born in Estonia but has offices in several parts of the globe. The house is committed to create outside the conventions, has as its goal 'the destruction of reality' and calls itself the most abnormal product of the contemporary art market. Thus, the editorial group reformulates the meaning of the book to turn it into a concept itself, into content, into idea.

General program

As in each edition, Swab also presents its General program, made up of prestigious galleries and trajectory, which represent artists of identical importance, such as Angels Barcelona (Barcelona, Lua Coderch and Joan Fontcuberta), ADN (Barcelona, Pep Vidal), Rafael Pérez Hernando (Madrid, Regina Schumann), The Drawing Room (Philippines), RocíoSantaCruz (Barcelona, Mar Arza), Heinrich Ehrhardt (Madrid, Guillermo Pfaff), Rafeal Ortiz (Seville, Dalila Gonçalves), Adayya (Palma de Mallorca), Ana Mas Projects (Barcelona), Espacio Pla (Buenos Aires), Espacio Valverde (Madrid), Espai Tactel (Valencia, Fito Conesa), Espositivo (Madrid), Fuori Campo (Siena), Galerie Iragui (Moscow), Galerie Rolando Anselmi (Berlin) ), Alegría Gallery (Madrid), Breve Gallery (Mexico City), Tokio Gallery (Lima), Goldberg Gallery (Berlin), Granada Gallery (Buenos Aires), Jacob Bjorn (Aarhus), JPS (Hong Kong), MAAB Gallery ( Milano), Pavilion 4 (Buenos Aires), Pantocrator Gallery (Szhou), Ribot Gall ery (Milan), Rincon Projects (Bogotá), SGR (Bogotá), The Gallery Apart (Rome), Víctor Lope (Madrid), 3 Punts (Barcelona), Double V (Marseille) and Last Resort (Denmark).

Swab SeedFor the fourth consecutive year, Swab Barcelona hosts a selection of independent art creation and exhibition spaces, a section that presents very diverse projects with a common denominator: experimentation. It is increasingly common for new creative to be organized in independent spaces, artist collectives, pop up galleries and even online galleries. These are alternative models that communicate with notions as contemporary as globalization and digitalization, and meet the needs of art that traditional spaces do not cover. The objective of this program is to give visibility to this type of young platforms that are shaking the contemporary art scene.

Participating galleries: Mutt Collective -New York, United States // Satellite -City of Querétaro, Mexico // Square Projects -London, United Kingdom // 101 Studio -Bogotá, Colombia // The Switch -Lisboa, Portugal // Arcade + One's Room -Okinawa, Japan // CAMPUR RASA -Bali, Indonesia // Nottwins – Barcelona

My First Art Fair (MYFAF)Every year, Swab hosts a selection of three contemporary art galleries that are less than two years old, that have not yet participated in any international fair and that represent artists born since 1975. The fair offers this space for free with the aim of promoting young and new galleries and giving the opportunity to emerging artists to be known. Portugal, Germany and Poland have been the countries chosen for the occasion.

Participating galleries: Las Palmas - Lisbon // Storage Capacité - Germany // High Gallery – Poland

Swab PicnicSwab continues to bet on the artisan product, as well as its quality and creativity in all its disciplines. As in previous editions, this 2018 the fair also bets on the gastronomic area, Swab Picnic, where it defends the importance of meticulous product, from the innovation of enterprising young such as the Tibidabo Brewing and Agua en Caja Mejor beers, or the innovative and creative cocktails of Dr. Stravinsky, going through iconic spaces in the history of our city such as the Flash Flash restaurant.

Our gastronomy is synonymous with innovation and art, and that is why this year Swab also wants to be a platform for this and to echo new proposals. For that, this fair is associated with elBullifoundation, an alliance that seeks to announce new projects and enhance art without limits.

The public will be able to discover and experience the most creative art of gastronomy in the Picnic area, and thanks to Swab's collector's program it will be possible to visit for the first time the private facilities of the Bulli Lab and feel the limits of art and experimentation

Swab kids

One more year, Swab dedicates a space to the little ones. For this, the art fair has relied on Plom, the gallery for children that knows how to introduce children to the world of art.

The Swab Kids space will become, during the days of the fair, a space of creative experimentation, where children will have no limits between canvas, wall and color. In addition, on Saturday and Sunday,  a workshop will be held by the artist Vittoria Drago, who will create a mural where children will work with her to give it shape and color. The whole process will be photographed thanks to Instax, immortalizing the work done by all the Swab kids and it will be exhibited in the stand.

Swab Thinks

Swab Thinks is a space for open dialogue between artists, curators, collectors, cultural managers and the general public to think together about the transformations of the contemporary world and the place that artistic practice occupies in it.
This edition will reflect on the aspects of the new situation of the artist and gallerist through residences or new platforms, up to the analysis of the globalization in art to tax councils by Cuatre Cases and the main curators of the fair. It takes place during the Fair, from September 27 to 30.

Swab Awards and Acquisitions Program

As every year, Swab has its awards and acquisitions program thanks to different entities. This is the case of the Banco Sabadell Foundation Award for the best gallery, the DKV Award for the best Spanish artist, the MANGO Award for Best Emerging Artist, the Lluís Coromina Foundation Award for Best Catalan Artist, the Marset Idea of Art Award, and the Drawing Award Diezy7 Collection.

Acquisition program by Fundació Vila Casas and Olor Visual Collection.

What: Swab ArtFair.
When: 27 (only for collectors), 28 (from 16:00 to 21:00), 29 (from 12:00 to 21:00) and September 30 (from 12:00 to 20:00).
Where: Italian Pavilion (Fira de Montjuïc).
How much: € 12 (Swab Pass € 30).