A total of 208 galleries from 43 countries, divided into 7 sections across 20,000 square meters of exhibition space, ready to welcome more than 55,000 visitors.
These are just some of the numbers which will mark the upcoming 26th edition of Artissima, to take place once more at the OVAL. Italy’s premier contemporary art fair returns with an exciting roster of participants, an accompanying program, and a series of collaborative cultural projects that will definitely make our three-day-stay in the beautiful city of Torino very worthwhile.
Directed by Ilaria Bonacossa for the third year in a row, Artissima 2019 will focus on the duality of desire/censorship as its theme, its objective being ”to stimulate timely and varied reflections on the power of the image.”
In history, works of art have conveyed images capable of emancipating us from things conventionally seen as taboo, thanks to the desire to break rules, to dissolve the boundaries between normal and exceptional. The borderline between permitted and prohibited content is at the centre of a very timely debate in which art itself is the object of censorship. In the digital world and the main social networks preventive, often algorithmic control increasingly hampers the spread and promotion of our artistic-cultural heritage.
So what’s not to miss at Artissima 2019?
Artissima may be an Italian fair, but its reach is a worldwide one. Proving this are the seven sections dedicated to exhibitors in 2019, four of which are selected by the fair’s committee, and three that are curated by teams of international curators.
The Main Section is as always the biggest one, with 97 globally renowned galleries, among them Alfonso Artiaco from Naples, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Urs Meile from Lucerne and Beijing, Richard Saltoun from London, Lia Rumma from Milan, and Jocelyn Wolff from Paris. New Entries will welcome emerging international players, and out of 20 participants this year, 15 come from outside of Italy. While Dialogue will feature projects in which works of two artists chosen by 30 galleries are juxtaposed, at Art Spaces & Editions one can find artists’ editions and multiples from 8 exhibitors.
The 19th edition of Present Future, one of the curated sections of Artissima, 22 galleries will present works by 20 artists, created especially for the fair or debuting in Europe/Italy. One of these creatives will also receive the illy Present Future Prize and have a solo show at the Castello di Rivoli Museum in 2020. Rediscovering the pioneers of contemporary art is Back to the Future, which in 2019 celebrates its 10th iteration. For the occasion, the selection will feature museum-quality artworks created between the 1960s and the 1990s by 19 artists from 19 art spaces. One of them will receive the Sardi per l’Arte Back to the Future Prize. A younger sector of Disegni returns for the third time to celebrate contemporary drawing in all its glory, this year showcasing works of 21 artists by 21 galleries, while also offering the Refresh Irinox Prize.
The aforementioned 10th anniversary of Back to the Future is certainly one of the 2019 highlights, as it will show the research conducted to evaluate the success of artists in the years following their participation in this section.
Another gem of the 26th edition is Hub Middle East, a new project created in collaboration with Fondazione Torino Musei. Choosing the Middle East as a geographical area in focus, it will give an overview of its art scene, bringing foundations, museums and galleries representatives, alongside collectors, critics, curators and artists to Torino, and giving them a talks platform to present the latest developments.
At the fair itself, the visitors can also visit the UniCredit Art Advisory booth, which offers a free independent consulting service to all those interested in art and collecting. Guided tours will be available through the Walkie Talkies initiative, while conversations, debates and presentations of projects, research and events will be held at the Meeting Point. Don’t miss out on a selection of art books and publications either!
Within the #ArtissimaStories and #ArtissimaPills programs, we can find interviews with individuals and news from the world of art respectively, published on the fair’s website and social media.
Beyond the fair, in the city of Torino, there is an interesting exhibition taking place within Jana, the historic boutique. In response to the theme of Artissima 2019, Abstract Sex: We don’t have any clothes, only equipment will use videos, photographs, works on canvas and paper, as well as objects and sculptures, to convey the importance of desire and challenge its traditional representations.
In the words of curators Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti and Guido Costa:
Due to the pervasive spread of the new technologies, a concept of the body has emerged where it is dilated and has unstable boundaries, in which the simulation of real experience increasingly supplants action in reality, with ambivalent political consequences. For example, while on the one hand cybersex has finally liberated female pleasure from reproductive functions, on the other it has led to the triumph of an economy of immaterial pleasure of a patriarchal order. What type of strategies and allies exist in the reappropriation of desire, emancipating it from the dichotomies and values imposed by the techno-patriarchy?
Last but not least, with Artissima Telephone, the fair will continue its explorations into sound art which began last year. Taking place at OGR - Officine Grandi Riparazion, the exhibition will survey the use of the telephone as an artistic medium.
The 26th Artissima will take place from November 1 through 3, 2019 at the Oval in Torino, Italy. The Collectors’ preview is scheduled for October 31 starting at noon, while the Vernissage (by invitation) will be held from 5.30 to 9 pm.
Fair opening hours will be 12 to 8 pm on November 1 and 2, and 11 am to 7 pm on closing day. Ticket prices range from 18€ for the full price, to 13€ for the reduced ticket (children aged 12-18, elderly over 65, university students, soldiers in uniform), while the three-day pass is 36€. Entry is free for visitors with a disability and their companions/carers.
During the Artissima weekend, you can also find Widewalls as part of the #ArtissimaLive project!
Featured images: Artissima Fair 2018. Photos by Perottino – Piva – Bottallo / Artissima. All images courtesy Artissima.