I just got back from Madrid, where I was attending ARCOmadrid, the most important contemporary art fair in the Iberian Peninsula, and we definitely need to talk about the city and its contemporary art scene again

Madrid is a vibrant cultural center and capital city of Spain, renowned for its rich history and impressive art scene. From classic to contemporary art, Madrid is a haven for art enthusiasts, with numerous galleries that showcase a wide range of styles and genres, and museums presenting incredible collections of masterpieces. What I particularly enjoy about the city is its relaxed atmosphere, how easily you can walk around, and how friendly people are. You can easily feel at home here, and it takes no time to meet someone and embrace the Spanish way of life. 

When it comes to contemporary art and galleries, Madrid is home to some of the best contemporary art galleries in Spain. From established galleries with a long history to new and emerging galleries, there is something for everyone. With a strong focus on Spanish and Latin American art, Madrid is the perfect place to discover new artists and art movements. 

And what better way to explore a city and get to know its art scene than by going on a gallery-hopping day? So, to help you out, here are five major contemporary art galleries in Madrid you really need to add to your itinerary. Just steps away one from the other, they make a perfect itinerary for a half-day tour. 

Albarrán Bourdais Gallery

Founded by Eva Albarrán and Christian Bourdais in 2018, this might be the youngest gallery on this list. Despite the relatively short life of the gallery, though, the two founders have been working together for almost 20 years, promoting large-scale art projects, like the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and other commissions both in France and abroad, making them one of the most influential art duos nowadays. 

In their Madrid gallery, they showcase leading contemporary artists, such as Christian Boltanski, Bertrand Lavier, Ivan Argote, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Angelika Markul, with the aim of promoting these artists in the Spanish and Latin American markets. They also have a program of exhibition outside of the gallery space and collaborations with national institutions to further their reach. 

Albarrán Bourdais Gallery
C. del Barquillo 13 – 28004 Madrid

Info, exhibitions, and opening hours: albarran-bourdais.com

Exhibition view – Photo Courtesy Galería Juana de Aizpuru

Galería Juana de Aizpuru

Literally just a few steps away from Albarrán Bourdais Gallery, you can find Galería Juana de Aizpuru, one of the oldest and most respected contemporary art galleries in Madrid. Founded in 1970 in Seville, it first opened a Madrid branch in 1983 in Chueca, where it has been operating ever since. Juana de Aizpuru is herself quite a protagonist in the Spanish art scene, a real pioneer in the promotion of Spanish art abroad and International art in her country. She founded the ARCOmadrid art fair and was its first director in the 80s, and has been a driving force for decades. 

Her gallery, which nowadays is one of the most respected internationally, has been showcasing works by Spanish and international artists for almost four decades. The gallery is particularly well-known for its exhibitions of minimalist and conceptual art.

Galería Juana de Aizpuru
C. Barquillo 44 – 28004, Madrid

Info, exhibitions, and opening hours: juanadeaizpuru.es

Galería Elvira González

Another prominent contemporary art gallery in Madrid is Galería Elvira González. Established in 1994, the gallery has been focusing on European and American art of the 20th and 21st centuries, with a particular focus on abstract and figurative works. The gallery represents and has shown works of some of the most notable artists from Spain and around the world, including Eduardo Chillida, Olafur Eliasson, Robert Irwin, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Miquel Barceló.

Nowadays, the gallery is still run by its founder Elvira González, together with her daughters, which are continuing the pioneering work of their mother, promoting artists and collaborating with national and international institutions. 

Galería Elvira González
Hermanos Álvarez Quintero, 1 – 28004, Madrid

Info, exhibitions, and opening hours: elviragonzalez.es

contemporary art galleries madrid
Exhibition view – Photo courtesy Galería Ehrhardt Flórez 

Galería Ehrhardt Flórez 

Formerly known as Galería Heinrich Ehrhardt, the gallery originally opened in Madrid in 1980, with an inaugural exhibition of Cy Twombly. Since then, the gallery has grown and collaborated with some of the most important artists of the last century, such as Imi Knoebel, Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Jörg Immendorf, Dan Flavin, just to name a few. After moving to Frankfurt in 1985, the gallery reopened in Madrid in 1998, showcasing both Spanish and German artists, established and emerging. After the incorporation of Pablo Flórez as director of the gallery in 2009, the gallery has opened up to the Portuguese art scene, so much that Flórez has later become a partner, giving the gallery its current name and wide program, supporting both national and international artists, especially on the younger side. 

Galería Ehrhardt Flórez 
C. San Lorenzo, 11 – 28004, Madrid

Info, exhibitions, and opening hours: ehrhardtflorez.com

Luis Úrculo. Entre Perros y Lobos (Pt. 1) – Exhibition view | Photo Courtesy Sabrina Amrani

Sabrina Amrani 

Last but not least, one of my favorite galleries and one I have mentioned before. Sabrina Amrani first opened her eponymous gallery in Madrid in 2011. A French of Algerian origin, she was raised in a mix of cultures, traditions, and habits that are common grounds to most artists she works with. The gallery represents artists across East and West, eliminating cultural gaps and promoting a dialogue exchange and intellectual growth through it.

The gallery works with key themes of our society, like socio-political issues, identity, space, and architecture, and showcases works that are not just appealing, but thought-provoking at the same time, and represents both established artists, as well as emerging ones, especially from the Global South.

In Madrid, they currently have two spaces. A smaller space, located right in the center of Madrid, and a second space, an impressive 600 sqm exhibition space, inaugurated in 2019, right outside of the center.

Sabrina Amrani Gallery
Madera, 23 – 28004 Madrid
Sallaberry, 52 – 28019 Madrid

Info, exhibitions, and opening hours: www.sabrinaamrani.com

Cover image by Jordi Moncasi on Unsplash