Be surprised by contemporary art in Ecuador

Ecuador may not be a major destination for Contemporary and Modern Art, but if you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll be delighted to know that there are dedicated, high-quality venues where you can discover surprising artists, some of whose works may tempt you, especially as their prices haven’t reached those of the major international art markets.

The Cuenca Biennial of Contemporary Art

Cuenca, considered the country’s cultural capital, is home to this biennial event. It usually takes place from March to June. If you’re passing through Cuenca during this period, it’s well worth a visit, as it features major Latin American and international artists.

A modern Ecuadorian artist of international standing

Pablo Guayasamín is an emblematic and internationally recognized name. He needs no further introduction. You can see his original works at the Foundation dedicated to him. One of his murals can also be seen at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. There’s no mistaking his style.

Quito Contemporary Art Center (CEAC)

This former military hospital, located in the San Juan district, was remarkably converted into a Contemporary Art Center in 2008. Temporary exhibitions are often of excellent quality.

Quito Metropolitan Cultural Center

The Metropolitan Cultural Center is Ecuador’s temple of contemporary art. This 17th-century colonial building, located next to the Presidential Palace, was built at the same time as the famous Jesuit church “La Compañía de Jesús” and was a dependency of it. Today, it is not strictly speaking a contemporary art museum, but its temporary exhibitions often are.

In any case, climbing up to the building’s upper terraces won’t be a waste of time, as you’ll have a breathtaking view over the rooftops of the old buildings and the Plaza Grande.

Private galleries

There are around twenty of these throughout the country. With Ecuador’s economy booming in recent years, the art market has become much stronger. If you’re interested in this subject, let us know – we have data on most of them.