Around the world in 4 days – Swab Barcelona Art Fair


Its time to make a mark in your calendar for the upcoming 12th edition of Barcelonas international art fair, Swab. This event lets you travel around the world within a few days, on an amazing art trip reaching from New York to Lima, from Munich to Montréal, making stops in Rio de Janeiro and Seul, to name a few – all you need is 1 ticket and 0 suitcases.

An international outlook – in the classroom and in the city

With 20 years of experience as an international art school, we know how creativity flows when art students from different countries meet and share their experiences. Keeping the senses open to the artistic outputs, aesthetic expressions and theoretical developments from all parts the world is a vital source of knowledge and inspiration, that challenges and enhances the individual practice of any artist.

At Metàfora we therefore always look forward to this time of year, when our sunny city hosts its international art fair, Swab Barcelona. It is a perfect opportunity for the students to discover what is happening on the contemporary art scene of a wide span of countries, as well as to engage with the local art environment in the city and experience its international vibe.

This year the art fair will take place from the 26th to the 29th of September with a guest list counting some 300 artists represented by 75 galleries from around the world.

The story of Swab: accessibility, discovery and opportunity

Swab Barcelona was founded in 2006, and is the brainchild of architect and art collector Joaquín Díez-Cascón. The first edition of the art fair took place in 2007 and with its 12th edition coming up, Swab is still going strong staying true to the key ideas that it was founded on: To make contemporary art more accessible to the public, to have a fresh program focused on discovery and innovation, and to create opportunities for emerging artists, curators and galleries to enter the art market -the latter also by initiating new art collectors.

With Swab’s growing success during its early years, the fair needed to look around for a new, bigger venue to host the increasing number of visitors. In 2010 Swab Barcelona finally found its perfect location – the Italian Pavilion at Montjuïc, with prominent neighbors such as the iconic Magic Fountain and the National Art Museum of Catalonia.

The program – You name it, they’ve got it!

Whether you are into sculpture, painting, performance or digital art, you can be sure to get your curiosity satisfied at Swab. The ambitious program includes all of the above mentioned mediums, and added to this years list is amongst others the Swab Video Box, a project dedicated to video art in all its facets.

The fair’s General program will present a selection of established galleries with both national and international up-and-coming artists, while the Emerging section gives space to 12 young galleries. Swab Performance sets out to spice up every day of the fair with an intriguing program, curated by independent curator and Metàfora collaborator Alexandra Laudo, and on the participants list you’ll also find two Metàfora in-house tutors, Laura Llaneli and Marc Larré. Llaneli will take part in the before mentioned performance program, while Larré exhibits in the General program, represented by the Barcelona-based gallery etHALL.

This 12th edition of Swab is full of interesting things to experience, so get a peek here and make sure to also check up on Swab Seed where 8 self-managed art spaces provide an alternative take on artistic platforms.