Modern art in Madrid: 16 off the beaten spots & events

Modern art in Madrid

People interested in the modern art in Madrid should pay attention to the following spot list.

We would recommend you not to miss:

  • Fundación Telefónica
  • Caixa Forum
  • Lavapies district
  • Contemporary art fairs (x3)
  • ARCO
  • Print shops & street art galleries

Where are the locations I cannot miss for the modern art in Madrid?

With a lot of people interested in visiting the Spanish capital in a different way, we compiled a list of places that will offer you a quirky point of view:

1-. Fundación Telefónica

Modern art in Madrid at Telefonica
Picture by Rosa G. / flickr

The foundation of Spain’s biggest telecommunication company, Telefónica, offers visitors the opportunity to dig deeper into new technologies and artistic currents.

The building located next to Gran Via street exhibits different trends and styles:

Special attention to the permanent Madrid Instagrammers Gallery. Over 234 instagram feeds posted by random people.

Where: Calle Fuencarral, 4
Price: FREE admision
When: daily from 10.00AM to 8.00PM (Closed on Mondays)

2-. Caixa Forum

Modern art in Madrid at Caixa Forum
Caption by Artur Salisz/ flickr

Caixa Forum might be among one of the most visited locations around the three museums ‘triangle’.


Most of the people just know the existence of its unique vertical garden, but they might not know that the modern building located right in front, it’s a gem for the modern art in Madrid.

The 2018-2019 seasons brought to our city well-known artists such as,

  • Ricardo Cavolo
  • Andy Warhol

It’s family friendly, and there are daily activities offered.

Where: Paseo del Prado, 36
Price: 2€
When: Monday-Sunday, 10.00AM to 8.00PM

When are the ‘modern art Madrid’ events celebrated?

3-. Art Madrid

A contemporary art fair which features numerous galleries of all disciplines and artists from different nationalities:

  • Painting,
  • Sculptures,
  • Graphic work,
  • Photography,
  • Video art,
  • Artistic installations

Art Madrid is space of dialogue (but also of conflict) between artists & visitors.

Where: Galería de Cristal of the Palacio de Cibeles (Plaza de Cibeles, 1)
When: February 26th to March 1st, 2020
Price: 15€ General Ticket (12€ reduced fee)

4-. ARCO

ARCO fair
Photography by Jose Luis RDS/ flickr

One of the most famous contemporary art events in the European artistic circuit best represents the modern art in Madrid and the rest of the country.

It might be the best place for networking and acquisition, due to the number of professionals registered.

There were a total of 35,887 attendees in 2019’s edition; the majority of them visiting a giant inflammable King Felipe VI sculpture created by Santiago Sierra.

As you may observe, ARCO is also a place for controversy.

Where: IFEMA, Feria de Madrid
When: February 26th to March 1st, 2020
Price: 30€, Starting price

5-. Urvanity art

picture by Oscar Guerra
Picture by Oscar Guerra/ flickr

Urvanity organizers define their event as a platform for new contemporary art.

A place where to define urban contexts and the new uses/codes established within our societies.

Urvanity does not only feature the artists’ works indoors, but it does also curate several facades & walls painted by national and international artists:

  • Marat Morik (Ruarts Gallery)
  • Poni (Galeria Balneario)
  • PRO176 (Swinton & Grant)
  • Artez (Galo art gallery)

Where: COAM, Colegio oficial arquitectos de Madrid (Calle Hortaleza, 63)
When: February 27th to March 1st, 2020
Price: 10€

6-. Apertura Madrid gallery weekend

Arte Madrid

It is organised annually by Arte_Madrid as a celebration of art and culture.

The event takes place throughout day and night with 44 contemporary art galleries in Madrid simultaneously inaugurating their exhibitions.

It includes a complete programme of activities in museums, art centres and galleries that boosts Spanish visual arts and cultural industries on both national and international scale

Where: Contemporary art galleries all around Madrid
When: September every year
Price: FREE

Is the urban art community related to the modern art in Madrid?

Yes, there exists a close connection between the two movements.

Some people observe that it is related, although we could observe a difference in the place & time that artworks are created.

Others would say that the urban art stays in the streets, whereas the modern art in Madrid is just a topic for art galleries.

7-. La Tabacalera de Lavapiés

La Tabacalera de Lavapies
Photo by Bernard Blanc/ flickr

Considered as a hidden gem for street art lovers, the interior walls feature some of the most talented local & internationally known urban art artists:

  • Gonzalo Borondo (the author of above’s picture)
  • ROA
  • Ze Carrion & Keru de Kolorz (both local artists)

La Tabacalera is a 16,000 square meters building (both interior and open-air areas) divided into a self-sustained community center and a contemporary art exhibition spot.

There are many workshops organized by the community in the self-sustained part and you could learn yoga, salsa, DIY techniques among other things.

On the other hand, Tabacalera Promoción del arte is a project funded by Spain’s Ministry for cultural affairs.

Where: Calle Embajadores, 53
When: Daily from 6.00PM. It closes around 10.00PM
Price: FREE

8-. La Neomudejar de Atocha

Brut & modern art in madrid
Caption by R2hox

A XIX century building which hosted Madrid’s railway warehouse now exhibits a mixture of queer art.

Fran and Nestor, La Neo’s curators focus on Brut and visual arts.

Art House Madrid is the official name for their project, and thanks to international artistic contributions they curate IVAHM, Madrid’s international visual art meeting.

  • Video performances
  • Visual abstraction & music
  • Experimental concepts

Where: Calle Antonio Nebrija S/N
When: Wednesdays-Sundays from 11.00AM to 3.00PM & 5.00PM to 9.00PM
Price: 5€

What are the graffiti events celebrated in town?

They are spread all around the city, but the ones with more advertising & attendees are always located in the central districts.

9-. Pinta Malasaña

Caption by Rosa G.
Rosa G./ flickr

The local chamber of commerce in Malasaña district know how popular is their neighborhood becoming, and they want to take advantage of that situation.

Business owners (i.e bars, shops, pharmacies…) allow street art artists and graffiti writers to decorate their metal shutters, facades and windows.

Thousands of people participate at the different activities and guided visits that are organized each edition.

By the way, Malasaña is known as one of Madrid’s most hipster and chic areas.

Check it out!

Where: Street and avenues around Tribunal metro station.
When: 7th June 2020
Price: FREE

10-. Calle Lavapiés

Calle lavapies, a festival for modern art in Madrid

Second most famous street art event takes place around Embajadores district.

50 artists from different disciplines and nationalities decorate the squares, streets and businesses around Lavapies metro station.

Each edition brings well-known urban artists as guests, being some of them:

  • Isaac Cordal
  • Mr. Piro
  • Boa Mistura
  • Money Less

Where: The festival takes places around Lavapiés metro station.
When: TBC
Price: FREE

Galleries which focus on the modern art in Madrid

Reina Sofia is the National modern art museum in Madrid, and you may understand that all the contemporary art galleries are located around Atocha area.

These are some of the most relevant ones around Calle del Doctor Fourquet:

11-. Helga de Alvear

modern art in madrid

The artistic interest of this German gallerist and collector started on late 1950’s.

Her gallery and foundation now mostly exhibit video, photography and installations in their 900 square meters location.

There is a great support to national & international talent such as the one from:

  • Ana Prada
  • Ángela de la Cruz
  • Angela Bulloch

Where: Calle del Doctor Fourquet, 12
When: Tuesdays- Fridays 11.00AM to 2.00PM & 4.30PM-8.30PM
Price: FREE

12-. Galería Alegría

Contemporary art gallery in Calle Doctor Fourquet

Sebastián Roselló’s team is in charge of giving voice & advertising to those national artists who do not have enough contacts & resources to get into the contemporary circuit.

Galería Alegría started back in 2010 in Barcelona, more than just a for-profit business idea, but rather as an artistic project which aim was to give visibility to the emergent scene.

Some of the artists represented by Mr. Roselló are:

  • Jorge Diezma,
  • Humberto Poblete-Bustamente,
  • Iñaki Imaz

It is located next to famous La Casa Encendida.

Where: C/ Doctor Fourquet, 35
When: Tuesdays- Saturdays 11.00AM to 2.00PM & 4.00PM-7.00PM
Price: FREE

13-. Galería F2

F2 gallery

Paloma González and Enrique Tejerizo opened F2 in 2014.

They represent both the national emergent talent and the internationals already established within the modern art industry.

Current & future exhibitions will showcase the artworks created by:

  • Jacobo Castellano
  • Jonathan Hammer
  • Gonçalo Pena

Where: C/Doctor Fourquet, 28
When: Tuesdays-Fridays 10.30AM- 7.30PM
Price: FREE

14-. Galería MPA, Moises Perez Albeniz

Moises Perez de Albeniz

MPA exhibits individual and group shows, paying extra attention to the creativity process.

They aim towards new strategies for the international exposure of their artists. Among them:

  • Juan Uslé
  • Jon Mikel Euba
  • Victoria Civera

Where: Calle Doctor Fourquet 20
When: Tuesdays-Fridays 10.30AM – 7.30PM
Price: FREE

Post-graffiti art galleries in town

Apart from the galleries which focus on the modern art in Madrid, there are other locations which expertise on post-graffiti.

These are them:

15-. Swinton & Grant

Swinton and Grant

Sergio and Goyo run a local project in front of La Tabacalera (#7 on this list).

Swinton is a street art/graffiti/urban art gallery and Grant is a book shop.

Together, they brought art & literature to Lavapies district, culture to the power of three.

Some of the local artists who had a solo show in the past:

  • Dingo Perro Mudo
  • Sabek
  • Dos Jotas

Where: C/ Miguel Servet, 21
When: Tuesdays-Fridays 5.00PM – 9.00PM
Price: FREE

Our opinion about the modern art in Madrid

Despite some of these locations might have free access to their exhibitions, we believe that there should exist more public spaces & events accessible to the general audience.

It should be the local city council who promotes the art in the streets, not in a vandal way, but curated.

Consequently, we would like to make a statement to Madrid’s politicians about the right to have walls in every neighborhood for young artists to practice their skills

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