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Meet the Dealer

Meet the Dealer: Buenos Aires's Piedras Gallery Loves Bizarre Exhibition Strategies Almost As Much As Partying

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Meet the Dealer: Buenos Aires's Piedras Gallery Loves Bizarre Exhibition Strategies Almost As Much As Partying

Piedras, a gallery in Buenos Aires, began when two curators, Rafael Beltran and Santiago Gasquet, had a novel thought: “Maybe showing as many artists as we can in one day is more effective than showing a couple of artists every day.” This thought experiment became a reality three years ago, when the two curators began organizing 24-hour exhibitions that lasted all day, encompassing performances, installations, and a party at night. “We started at a time when a lot of artist-run spaces were closing in Buenos Aires, so we wanted to find a way to make something fresh.” 

Piedras operated this way, showing 15 artists at a time for the first fives shows, which Beltran calls the gallery’s “testing and exposure phase.” In 2015, Piedras moved into a new space—the fourth floor of an old building designed by architect Mario Palanti in the Balvanera neighborhood, close to the city’s historic center. Though Piedras no longer has a one-day exhibition model, they continue to embrace an experimental approach to exhibition making. Each show has four artists and they each receive one of four rooms that divide the floor through space.

For their inaugural booth at this year’s Material Art Fair, Piedras debuted a solo presentation of Constanza Giuliani’s arresting airbrushed works on paper (for more on her work, see 10 Best Artworks of Mexico City’s Material Art 2017.) Giuliani is among the gallery’s roster of artists solely based in Buenos Aires.

Beyond Piedras’s unusual exhibition-making structure, the thing that stands out most about the gallery is its unyielding enthusiasm for and support of partying. “We like to have parties in the space,” says Beltran, who later in writing says that the diverse range of programing—including workshops and residencies—“is always celebrated with a party.”

If you ever find yourself in Buenos Aires, check out an opening at Piedras, where you can never be late, since as their website states “The time for openings is from 7pm until the time when there is no one left.”

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