In a country with such an illustrious history in the arts, arguably the most renowned in the world, contemporary art in Italy has quite a lot to live up to. After a whirlwind three days in the fashion capital Milan, I hopped on a train to Turin to visit the country’s premier contemporary art fair, Artissima. The Italian fair features artists and galleries from around the world, yet the majority of exhibitors are in fact Italian, giving me an inside look into the world of contemporary Italian art.
Turin is situated in the northwestern region of Italy, right at the foot of the Italian alps. I checked into my Airbnb and then headed straight to the fair for the Thursday evening opening reception. It was unusually warm and sunny for the first weekend of November! Lucky for me because getting to the fair isn’t so easy. You must take the subway and then walk another 10 minutes to reach the Lingotto Fiera, an enormous glass structure that was originally built for the 2006 Winter Olympics that were hosted in Turin. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going but luckily there were several groups of people heading in the same direction so I was able to make it to the fair!
Artissima Galleries to Watch
Here are some of my favorite works from the gallery booths and moments inside the fair:
Anne and Patrick Poirier, Valise, 1968
Lia Rumma Gallery
Marzia Migliora, Piero Manzoni Mare, 2015
Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani
Giuseppe Stampone, Architecture of Intelligence, 2014
Concha Jerez, Music for the Memory of a Meeting, 1984
Guido Costa Projects
Diego Scroppo, Aformale #5, 2007
Galerie Rodolphe Janssen
Gert & Uwe Tobias
Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi
Jos De Gruyter & Harald Thys
Mario Dellavedova, Senza Titolo, 2008
Mathieu Mercier, Untitled (Bike/primary aerosol), 2012
Torinese restaurant La Credenza provided the food in the VIP Collector’s Lounge at the fair, and it was delicious! I had plenty of cappuccinos to stay alert and ate their specialty dish, “Agnolotti del plin al tovagliolo, olio di nocciole Pariani e Grana Padano.” I have no idea what any of that means but basically it’s a little ravioli ball of goodness…
The fair was sponsored by Illy, and featured a never-ending espresso bar, as well as this little installation by Yoko Ono called “Mended Cups.” Each cup has been “shattered” and consequently repaired with golden seams. On each saucer, Yoko Ono wrote about six tragic events in the world including the date and place, followed by the words place of the tragic event and concludes with the words “mended in 2015.”
Check Artissima.it for next dates!