Artissima 2016, Turin, Italy

Renowned for its focus on the most innovative artistic research and rediscovered avant-garde. The red thread of 2016 is performance: the physical aspect of live events in the performance programme; the discussion among curators and collections, in conversations throughout the fair; the theme of the major exhibition on collecting; the conceptual aspect in the capacity of Artissima to rethink the role of an art fair.

Artissima 2016 feature seven sections, a renewed performance section, seven important awards, an improved fair layout, an involving programme of collectors and curators-guided tours, a new remarkable exhibition with the city’s public and private collections and a surprising parallel project at Torino Airport.

The 2016 edition consolidated Artissima’s specific identity focused on experimentation and characterised by a strong curatorial imprint which keeps attracting new collectors from all over the world. Capable of inspiring interest among both professionals and the general public, Artissima confirmed its quality, its great geographical span and, above all, its capability to innovate and introduce new formats.

Turin has turned contemporary art into its main vocation, becoming an unrivalled cultural gem in Italy. Artissima is rooted in the fertile territory of a city that counts on the serendipitous convergence of great public and private institutions, foundations and collections. It counts on being the cradle of Arte Povera, on the important local curators who are active internationally, on its many exceptional artists, on gallerists as well as visionary collectors who make up its unique yet mysterious identity.

For the fifth year running, Artissima is directed by Sarah Cosulich, who has worked actively on the fair’s development and innovation. Artissima is an unmissable event in the international art calendar because of its high-quality presentations and careful selection of works and galleries, as well as for its ability to introduce new projects and anticipate trends, and for the unprecedented attention it pays to the curator’s role and to experimentation.

193 participating galleries representing 34 countries (Iran, South Africa, China, Japan and Argentina among others), with an international presence that accounted for 65% of the exhibitors (67 Italian and 126 from abroad); seven sections of the fair, of which three were directed by committees of international curators. As ever, an enormous turnout of international curators and museum directors—more than 250 in number—of which 60 were actively involved in the different initiatives of the fair. More than 2,500 collectors from around the world (in particular Europe, South America, the Middle East and the US), as well as the boards of five international museums.

Artissima 2016 once again offer as many as seven sections dedicated to exhibitors, tackling both Modern and Contemporary art topics through artwork. Among the New Entries, we have galleries from Tehran, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota and Saint Ouen, among others, while as part of Present Future, the galleries showcase the works of 20 young artists. At Back to the Future, a section dedicated to specific periods in the history of art, this time we can find 19 museum-quality solo exhibitions of pieces from the 1970s and 80s, or more precisely between the years 1970 and 1989.

The Exhibition
Artissima 2016 revolves around the commitment to promote artistic and curatorial experimentation, and the exploration of the notion of performance. Innovative and experimental, Artissima focuses on young and avant-garde artists, curated booths and special projects. The high quality of the fair, which is guaranteed year after year by a growing number of international curators who contribute to the research and selection of the artists on show, attracts sophisticated collectors from around the world and an attentive specialist public.

The latter has inspired the performative exhibition project In Mostra and guides the public through the fair’s sections, stimulating an active dialogue between the visitor’s eye and body and the art object.

Backed by the success of the previous years, in 2016 the curated sections Back to the Future, Present Future and Per4m are enriched by new inspirations and visions. Back to the Future continues to develop its curatorial research on the most relevant yet underestimated avant-garde figures, and this year concentrates on works dated between 1970 and 1989. This time-tested formula has turned into one of the most stimulating platform for rediscovery and market success. Similarly, Present Future has affirmed its role as a hotbed of emerging talents, expanding geographically thanks to the field research conducted by a team of young curators. The vision of the curators in this section has always proven to be groundbreaking, as evidenced by the future career trajectories of the featured artists.

Per4m, the performance section of the fair inaugurated in 2014, has evolved into an unprecedented project curated by the Dutch collective If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution. This new programme—coherent, innovative, cutting-edge and specifically created for the context of the fair—takes the public on a surprising journey through the latest forms of experimentation in the field of performance.

Unprecedented fresh attention be given to the New Entries section devoted to young galleries, which for the first time are presented together on a main axis of the fair, along its entrance. Furthermore, joining the traditional Main Section and Art Editions, a new section called Dialogue features specially curated presentations in the booths.

The notion of performativity emerges in the curatorial approach of the 2016 edition of the exhibition project In Mostra. This ambitious show, curated by Simone Menegoi, revolves around the relationship between the human body, gesture and posture, and it includes exceptional artworks from the major public and private collections of the Piemonte region.

Artissima, an awaited event for sophisticated and committed collectors the world over, has increased its area of influence in recent years with an ever-growing geopolitical perspective. The fair is now a platform for global exchange, thanks to the active participation of collectors from Brazil, Peru, Israel, Colombia, the Philippines and Eastern Europe, besides the traditional important presence of American and European collectors. Acknowledged as the fair of discovery and rediscovery, Artissima stimulates the most vivid and international exchange, putting Turin on the map as the city of reference for the perceptive art public.

Another new development is the Premio Mutina This is not a Prize with a value of 5,000 euro, assigned to one talented artist showing work in the fair.

Dialogue is the new section featuring stands with a maximum of three artists, whose works are closely related to each other according to a coherent project conceived by the galleries. Furthermore, the presence of renowned international curators – among the most important protagonist of the contemporary art world – be even more active: a great opportunity we wish to offer to our galleries.

Artissima featured particularly high level presentations with booths often developed around a curatorial project—as in the Back to the Future, monographic presentations, which this year focused on the decade 1970–89.

Present Future, the solo projects by 20 young artists specifically produced for the occasion, proved the extent of its great geographical research.

PER4M, created in 2014, was curated this year by the Dutch collective If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be A Part Of Your Revolution, who developed a unique performance programme taking place both at the fair and in outdoor spaces around Turin.

Great success was experienced by one of Artissima’s special projects: the Walkie Talkies, a series of informal conversations that explore the fair through the eyes of couples of collectors and curators in dialogue among the booths.

In Mostra, curated by Simone Menegoi, takes the title corpo.gesto.postura and introduces works, for the first time in 2016, arriving from major museums and foundations, together with important loans from private collections in the city.

Special project
The 2016 edition of Artissima also inaugurated Flying Home, a surprising parallel off-site project by Thomas Bayrle, curated by Sarah Cosulich and produced in collaboration with Sagat – Torino Airport.

With this project, which Bayrle specifically conceived for the baggage claim area, Artissima offers to the city and its visitors a new experience: a major public artwork by a great international artist in an unexpected location with the aim of connecting Turin in an unprecedented way.

Thomas Bayrle’s Flying Home, a spectacular lightbox installation, reveals the mechanisms of the construction of his mammoth piece Flugzeug (Airplane, 1984), a large-scale print of a plane that is made up of millions small aeroplanes on a 96-square-metre surface. Highlighting this time the complex manual process of his practice, Bayrle hints at the backstage of the airport: the human side that is hidden in its functioning, yet fundamental to the definition of the total composition. The airport is seen as a machine whose perfect functioning depends upon hidden gears and implicit human energies, thus becoming a metaphor for the relationship between man and society, the individual and the whole, process and product.

Artissima is Italy’s most important contemporary art fair. Artissima is Italy’s long running and exciting contemporary art fair. The event focuses on providing a platform for experimental and innovative creativity. Many galleries participate every year.

More than 200 exhibitors are indeed expected at the show each edition. The artwork is divided into different curated parts offering something a little different. Firstly, there is the main section. Secondly, there is a part introducing new and young artists under 40 yearls old. Thirdly, a section presents solo shows for the period covering 1960 – 1990. Finally, a last section is devoted entirely to drawings. As a lively and inspirational event, Artissima attracts numbers of art lovers and professionals. It takes place in the autumn each year in Torino which holds as well.

Present Future is the section Artissima has devoted to emerging talents, less than 40 years old, selected by a board of young curators from around the world. The artists are presented by their representing galleries and the works include new productions as well as projects that are being displayed for the first time in Italy and Europe.

Back to the Future is the section that Artissima has devoted to great pioneers of contemporary art. The section – also open to Artists’ Estates – displays works realised between 1960 and 1999. The section aims to bring international artists who have played a fundamental role in contemporary art back into the limelight. For the general public, Back to the Future is a unique opportunity to get to know important works from those years in a dialogue with today’s experimentation.

Disegni is the section of Artissima devoted to the expressive medium of drawing. The section is intended to celebrate an artistic discipline capable of expressing the immediacy of and the thinking behind the creative gesture, existing in a space suspended between idea and finished work.

Since its establishment in 1994, it has combined the presence of an international market with a focus on experimentation and research. Artissima present three exhibition projects in the museums of Fondazione Torino Musei (Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Palazzo Madama – Museo Civico d’Arte Antica and Museo d’Arte Orientale). 2020, a new format, extended throughout the city and online that brings together physical exhibitions and digital projects.