Artissima 2017: Deposit of Italian Art Present, Turin, Italy

Artissima 2017, Curated by Ilaria Bonacossa and Vittoria Martini, ‘Deposit of Italian Art Present’ is the new exhibition at Artissima focusing on Italian art. The ‘Deposito’ will host prestigious loans from Piedmont-based institutions and works from the galleries taking part in the fair, reflecting their contributions to the production of contemporary art history in the country.

Artissima is able to continuously refresh its position by developing a complete programme through the creation of different sections – works by established artists, the resurgence of works from groundbreaking artists, the promotion of the innovative works of young artists and new galleries, and the creation of dialogues between artworks in a same space. Artissima has been proposing developments in each edition, building a considerable affluence of collectors, art professionals, and the general public. This influence is noticed across the other cultural events occurring simultaneously in Turin.

Known internationally for its focus on experimental practices and its capacity to renew its vision with each edition, in 2017 the fair introduces a series of new developments that have an across-the-board impact on its programme and structure.

Over two hundred galleries from around the world will participate in Artissima 2017, with an additional three art sections devoted to emerging artists, drawings and rediscovering the great pioneers of contemporary art. For this year’s edition of the fair, Artissima has launched its full catalogue online, so visitors can peruse the artistic offerings in advance of the exhibition weekend. During the fair, two special projects will additionally act as curatorial anchors to global trends in contemporary art, with a focus on local practices, spaces and experiments from the 1960s.

The theme Deposit of Italian Art Present, react to 50 years have passed since the first Arte Povera exhibition (in 1967), the most revolutionary, thrilling and poetic avant-garde movement of the postwar era, which reflected the contemporary spirit of this city. To celebrate that creative energy today, in the spaces of the Oval Artissima evokes two surprising and still little known experiences of those years: the Piper Club of Torino (1966–69), and the Deposito dell’Arte Presente (1967–68). The story of the Piper discotheque, home to a vivacious subculture, is narrated in the project “Piper. Learning at the discotheque”, in which a programme of lecture-conferences becomes an unconventional school. The revolutionary experience of the Deposito, an industrial space opened up to present the works of the nascent Arte Povera outside of “bourgeois” venues, becomes the cue for the project Deposito d’Arte Italiana Presente, in which a warehouse is transformed in an exhibition space to present a selection of works made from 1994 to 2017 by Italian artists of different generations.”

The Exhibition
Deposito d’Arte Italiana Presente, curated by Ilaria Bonacossa and Vittoria Martini, contains prestigious loans from Piedmont-based institutions, together with works contributed by the galleries taking part in the fair. This is a dynamic space of display and discussion, generating a narrative of Italian art of the last 20 years and imagining future developments. At Artissima 2017, the visitor can find 206 galleries from 32 countries exhibiting works from over 700 artists.

Mazzoleni will present a dual showcase of works by the Japanese contemporary artist Shigeru Saito (b. 1974) and the Post War Italian artist Paolo Cotani (1940-2011) at Turin’s premier contemporary art fair in November. The presentation will bring together examples of Cotani’s wall structures alongside more recent sculptures by Saito.

This edition also features four new prizes: OGR Award, the new prize of the Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT for the acquisition of a work for the new OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni; Refresh Premio Irinox, sponsored by Irinox, focuses on the new Disegni section; the Campari Art Prize, in collaboration with Gruppo Campari, goes to an artist under 35; Premio CARIOCA KIDS, in collaboration with the Department of Education of the City of Torino, sponsored by CARIOCA and coordinated by ZonArte, for the New Entries section.

Amongst the most important new developments this year, we should mention the birth of the digital platform, in the context of the Artissima Digital project, supported by Compagnia di San Paolo. The catalogue becomes digital, offering the possibility of exploring Artissima in a virtual environment, studying its contents and storing them in a list of personal favourites.

Three special sections are presented this year – ‘Disegni’, curated by Luís Silva and João Mourão, a novelty with special focus on drawing; ‘Present Future,’ the section dedicated to emerging artists, with projects from 23 galleries; ‘Back to the Future,’ which rediscovers, through solo shows, the works by pioneers of contemporary art created during the 80’s.

The new section, Disegni, joining the other existing curated sections Present Future, for emerging talents, which began in 2001, and Back to the Future, inserted in 2010 with a focus on the major pioneers of contemporary art.

For this new project, Artissima is looking back at one of the most innovative initiatives of Torino in the 1960s, when the city was one of the international capitals of artistic research: the Deposito d’Arte Presente (1967–68). According to the organizers, the ‘Deposito’ is not really an exhibition, but a place to trigger a narration on the last 20 years of Italian art, to capture it today and understand its future developments. The ‘Deposito’ becomes a place of study and discovery for curators, collectors and art lovers attending the fair.

Additionally, this year the fair presents two special projects the ‘Deposito d’arte italiana presente’ a retrospective of works by 128 italian artists since 1994 and ‘PIPER. Learning at the discotheque’.

PIPER. Learning at the discotheque, a programme of talks at Artissima coordinated by “the classroom”, the centre of art and education directed by Paola Nicolin. The project develops its content based on reflections on the Piper of Torino, the disco designed by Pietro Derossi with Giorgio Ceretti, active from 1966 to 1969: an international model of a non-institutional space for contemporary art. The programme begins with a course conducted by the artist Seb Patane, and continues with lectures and conversations about contemporary art production.

Looks to the 1960s in Torino as a site of inspiration, ‘PIPER. Learning at the discotheque’ is a programme of talks coordinated by “the classroom,” a centre of art and education directed by Paola Nicolin to reinvent the relations between practices of exhibition and pedagogy. The content of the project develops from reflections on the Piper club in Torino, a discotheque designed by Pietro Derossi with Giorgio Ceretti and Riccardo Rosso, which became a popular venue from 1966 to 1969. Transforming the provincial atmosphere of a “dance hall” into a self-managed cultural centre, the Piper set a precedent on an international level for non-institutional spaces focusing on contemporary art.

The #SocialRoom is another new initiative: a space in which the audience of the fair can recharge personal devices in a place full of stimuli, suggestions and digital inspirations.

As a prelude to the fair’s future engagement with the theme of sound, Fossil of Experience is an original action by Nico Vascellari, halfway between a musical performance and a sound archive of the fair.

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 will 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.