Rogelio López Cuenca. 'Opium Pop'. Juana de Aizpuru Gallery, Madrid © Galería Juana de  Aizpuru

A tour of art galleries in Madrid

Art on a smaller scale, beyond Madrid's great museums. We show you the neighbourhoods which are home to many of the city's small contemporary art galleries. We also suggest some events and activities where, for example, you can meet the artists or visit their studios.



El Tiempo




Salamanca district

Madrid's first contemporary art galleries opened here in the 1970s. It is now one of Madrid's poshest neighbourhoods, and home to many spaces exhibiting and selling works of art. Some of the best known are Álvaro Alcázar, Casado Santapau, Fernández Braso, Guillermo de Osma, Inés Barrenechea, Michel Soskine, Nieves Fernández and Parra & Romero. They all schedule interesting exhibitions of modern art, abstract art and unusual presentations. How to get there: the Velázquez, Serrano and Colón Metro stations are good starting points for a walk around these galleries, on Calle Castelló, Calle Claudio Coello, Calle Piamonte and the surrounding areas.

Area between Alonso Martínez and Chueca

These streets have a young, fun atmosphere, and some of the most admired art galleries in Madrid. Famous artists have shown here, such as Miquel Barceló or Chema Madoz in the Elvira González gallery, or the documentary photographers Albero García Alix and Cristina García Rodero in the Juana de Aizpuru. Other important galleries are the Marlborough and Heinrich Ehrhardt, known for their support of up-and-coming artists, and the Cayón, La Caja Negra, Max Estrella, Oliva Arauna, Pilar Serra and Travesía Cuatro. And the Elba Benítez gallery is notable for its video exhibitions and site-specific installations. How to get there: most of these galleries are in the triangule marked by the Alonso Martínez, Tribunal and Chueca Metro stations and in neighbouring streets such as Calle Barquillo, Santo Tomé, San Mateo and Santa Engracia.

Lavapiés and Las Letras

Most of the galleries in the Lavapiés district are clustered around the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and feature younger artists. For example, on Calle Doctor Fourquet are the Casa Sin Fin, Espacio Mínimo, F2 Galería, Helga de Alvear, Maisterravalbuena, Moisés Pérez de Albéniz, and Nogueras Blanchard galleries. Meanwhile, in the Barrio de las Letras district, some of the best-known are Formato Cómodo, Ponce + Roble, and The Goma. Leandro Navarro stands out for its exhibitions of the historical avant-garde and international modern art. Its collection includes works by Dalí, Picasso, Miró, Gris, Kandinsky, Tàpies, among others. How to get there: the Atocha, Antón Martín and Lavapiés Metro stations are perfect starting points for discovering the area's galleries. You can also combine it with practically any Madrid tourism route.

Contemporary art events

If you like art, you might want to consider these fairs and activities when organising your trip to Madrid:

ARCO: the biggest contemporary art event in Madrid. Held in February, it showcases the best international contemporary art. JustMad and Art Mad: two contemporary art fairs held in central Madrid at the same time as ARCO. Estampa: in September - October, this event brings together galleries, publishers and institutions which collect, promote and publicise contemporary art editions. Apertura Madrid Gallery Weekend: a weekend in September dedicated to art and culture, with simultaneous exhibitions and activities in many Madrid galleries. Open Studio: an opportunity to visit artists' studios. It does not have a fixed date but usually takes place in October. Architecture Week: guided tours, workshops, conferences, and many more activities in early October.

Things to remember




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