One of the greatest aspects of Artissima, the biggest art fair in Italy and beyond, is their support and promotion of contemporary artists through numerous prizes. Awarded in collaboration with many partners, these are given to the most exceptional individuals within the many sections of the event’s comprehensive exhibition program. This year is no exception, as a total of seven of them are assigned by the esteemed members of the juries from around the world, recognizing the creativity and dedication of today’s most exciting artists. What can the visitors expect this time round at the Oval Lingotto in Turin?
Another seventh anniversary will be celebrated at Artissima, in form of the illy Present Future Prize, presented in the sector of the same name by the fair and illycaffè. Supporting emerging talent, the award will browse through the section curated by Luigi Fassi, choosing between 18 foreign and 4 Italian galleries this year. The artist whose work is considered most interesting by an international jury gets to present their works at a solo exhibition at the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, which has been hosting the winner shows since 2012. In 2015, the illy Prize was given to Alina Chaiderov of Antoine Levi gallery in Paris, whose exhibition will be on view at the same time as Artissima 2016.
A total of nineteen international artists will compete for the 2016 Sardi per l’Arte Prize, as part of the acclaimed Back to the Future section of Artissima. Now in its seventh year, the sector is dedicated to the re-discovery of avant-garde works through solo exhibitions by great pioneers of contemporary art. This year, Back to the Future focuses on pieces produced between the years 1970 and 1989, giving the public an opportunity to see historic artworks. Coordinated by Eva Fabbris, the section will explore this elusive period and bring it to modern-day along with four other members of the curatorial committee. The Sardi per l’Arte Prize, in partnership with Fondazione Sardi per l’Arte, is valued at €5,000 and is given to the gallery with the most deserving project in terms of historical relevance and booth presentation.
The prize was awarded to Galerie in situ – Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, for its presentation of the work of Lars Fredrikson.
For the second time, Artissima is partnering up with Reda, leader in the production of pure-wool fine textiles. The Reda Prize is once again devoted to the medium of photography, supporting a new generation of artists aged 35 or younger who use it in their practice. In collaboration with Camera - Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, the award highlights the innovative use of photography in contemporary art, beyond the traditional definition and in line with the specific and experimental identity of the fair. The winner receives the possibility to realize a monographic publication with a prestigious publisher in the industry. The book of last year’s winners will be presented on November 6th at the Book Corner at Artissima.
The prize was awarded to Joanna Piotrowska presented by the gallery Madragoa, Lisbon in the New Entries section.
Celebrating the contemporary avant-garde once again is the New Entries section, which promotes emerging galleries that have been open less than five years. This time focusing on spaces from China, Colombia, Iran and Brazil, the area will be located at the entrance of the fair, presenting a total of 18 galleries. The Owenscorp Prize of €5,000 is awarded to a standout gallery in terms of its research and presentation of work by emerging creatives and of experimental artistic languages.
Devoted exclusively and entirely to performance art, the Per4m section will be curated by the Dutch duo If i Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be A Part Of Your Revolution, and it was created to explore the transformation of the genre and its typologies in the context of contemporary art. Seven international creatives will also be competing for the Prix K-Way, valued at €10,000 and given to the most significant artwork presented in the sector. The award reflects not only the importance of Per4m as a promotional platform within an art far, but also the special attention paid by K-Way to this form of experimentation.
A brand new award of an interesting name, valued at €5,000, will be presented by Artissima and Mutina for the very first time in 2016. The Italian artisanal ceramics producer came up with a prize that is not a prize; it does not provide a closed grid of scope or research, but instead comes to fruition in the encounter between Mutina’s sensibility and the talent of the winner. Indeed, the winner will participate in a dialogue that will take shape in the development of a new project, such as a publication of production of a show, or one involving the ceramics conceived as the product of the winner. Thus, we will witness total freedom of selection and prize-giving!
This year’s prize was awarded to Gian Maria Tosatti, presented by Lia Rumma gallery in the Main section.
Finally, The Ettore Fico Foundation Prize, established by the Ettore Fico Foundation in 2009, is awarded to an artist among those exhibiting at Artissima in every section.
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Featured image: © Filippo Alfero, ARTISSIMA 2015 Torino. All images courtesy Artissima.