Artissima Early Years Review, 2012-2015, Turin, Italy

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.

Artissima 2012
The fair had a new director: Sara Cosulich. The Art Editions section made its debut with an interesting selection of spaces set aside for art publishing. The parallel programme developed around the city with two initiatives:

“It’s Not the End of the World” brought together 5 different exhibitions produced by Artissima, curated and hosted in leading contemporary art institutions of the Torino area:
Ruin – Politics by Dan Perjovschi at Palazzo Madama for Artissima;
Tulkus 1880 to 2018 by Paola Pivi at Castello di Rivoli;
Homeless Paradise by Valery Koshlyakov at GAM;
Beirut, I Love You – A Work in Progress by Zena el Khalil at Fondazione Merz;
The End – Venezia by Ragnar Kjartansson at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.

Artissima Lido involved 5 international alternative spaces, bringing projects specifically imagined for several unusual museums and neighbourhood institutions: the Archivio di Stato, the MAO Museum of Oriental Art, the Museum of the Shroud, the Museum of Antiquities and the Diffused Museum of the Resistance, Deportation, War, Rights and Freedom. The non-profit organisations involved were: 98weeks (Beirut), Auto Italia South East (London), Irmavep Club (Paris), Public Fiction (Los Angeles), SOMA (Mexico City).

Starting in 2012, Premio illy Present Future has offered the winning artist of the section the chance to show original work in an internationally renowned museum: the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art.

Artissima 2013
The cultural project of Artissima 2013 included the debut of One Torino #1, a new major annual initiative created by the fair and produced in collaboration with the leading institutions of art and culture of Torino:

Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art
illy Present Future Award Exhibition
Curated by Andrew Berardini, independent critic and curator, Los Angeles; Gregor Muir, Director of ICA Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Beatrix Ruf, Director and Chief Curator, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich.
Artists: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Vanessa Safavi, Santo Tolone.

GAM Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
Ideal Standard Forms
Curated by Anna Colin, independent curator, Paris / London.
Artists: Edward Allington, Pablo Bronstein, Matthew Darbyshire.

Fondazione Merz
Ways of working: the incidental object
Curated by Julieta González, Head Curator, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City.
Artists: Stuart Brisley, Enzo Mari, Mario Merz, Charlotte Posenenske, Mladen Stilinović, Felipe Mujica, Mai-Thu Perret, Tobias Putrih, Falke Pisano, Gabriel Sierra, Superflex, Andrea Zittel.

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
Curated by Chris Fitzpatrick, Director, Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp
Artists: Federico Acal, Nina Beier, Goda Budvytytè, Liudvikas Buklys, Frank Chu, Trisha Donnelly, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Ceal Floyer, Isa Genzken, HalfLifers, Euan Macdonald, Mahony, Eva Marisaldi, Giovanni Oberti, Julie Peeters, Post Brothers, Rosemarie Trockel, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Erik Wysocan.

Palazzo Cavour
Curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari, Curator, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.
Artists: Ericka Beckmann, Ian Breakwell, Heidi Bucher, Steven Claydon, Isabelle Cornaro, David Haxton, Elad Lassry, Christian Mayer, Arthur Ou, Karthik Pandian, Carmelle Safdie, Andreas Schulze, Erin Shirreff, Sue Tompkins, Andro Wekua.

The nascent Museo Ettore Fico chooses Artissima as the place to expand its collection of works by young artists.

Artissima 2014
In 2014 Artissima launches Per4m, the new section of the fair focusing exclusively on performance: a very innovative project in terms of presentation of the performance art in a fair context.

Premio Sardi per l’Arte Back to the Future is the new award for the section of the same name.

The cultural projects of Artissima 2014 include also the second edition of One Torino, a unique and versatile exhibition titled SHIT AND DIE and curated by Maurizio Cattelan, Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini.

SHIT AND DIE is the result of a research focusing on Torino, the main source of inspiration. At the same time the themes approached by the initiative remain those of life and the ambiguities of the human condition. The project, created by the three curators for what was once the residence of Conte Cavour and rooted in the cultural, historical and artistic heritage of the city, examines the present and its collective imaginary. Bringing together mysterious memories, curious stories and the phantoms of Torino, the show intertwines objects from the city with works by 60 artists in an original itinerary full of doubts and questions.

Artissima 2015
This is the year of Oval Den: the VIP Lounge is transformed into a curatorial project by Maurizio Vetrugno. An eclectic, gaudy space set up as a visual essay on collecting and on the boundary between the art object and the decorative object. The balcony overlooking the Oval becomes a special stage: a set with fabrics based on the orientalism of Villa della Regina in Torino, furniture from Sumatra and Java, collections of pottery and enameled metal. The floors are covered with rugs designed for the occasion by the artist Scarlett Rouge, featuring symbolic references to the history of Torino.

Artissima also features the Ypsilon St’Art Percorsi in Fiera, a free programme of visits to the fair organised in parallel with Walkie Talkies and the ZonArte workshops to further reinforce the fair’s commitment to help the general public approach the world of contemporary art.

The fair launched the UniCredit Art Advisory, an independent, free consulting service inside the fair, the first of its kind in Italy, conceived to facilitate the growth of new collectors in the country.

Museums on view became a project entitled Inclinazioni, around a concept of inner artistic, political and personal tendencies, while suggesting an alternative, oblique geometric approach, in contrast with the traditional rigidity of the orthogonal layout of Torino.

There are also two new prizes: Premio Promos Scalo Milano New Entries assigned a prize of 5,000 euro to the gallery considered most outstanding in the field of promotion of young artists in the New Entries section; and Premio Reda, a new international award developed for artists showing at Artissima with a maximum age of 35, with the goal of supporting the research of new generations of artists using the language of photography.

The new #Artissimalive space provided live coverage of the fair contributed by online magazines, bloggers and sector websites, collaborating on the creation of content produced inside the fair.