Arte Fiera 2023: painting is (still) important

Arte Fiera 2023: painting is (still) important

On Sunday 5th February I visited Arte Fiera in Bologna. Since 10:30 in the morning in the fair area there was a very long queue of people ready to visit the stands and find out what this new edition of the oldest fair in our country had to offer.

Artwork by Chiara Calore at Giovanni Bonelli gallery booth, Arte Fiera 2023, PITTURA XXI, photo by Francesco Liggieri for Juliet

The PITTURA XXI section of the fair, curated by Davide Ferri and dedicated to painting, included a series of national galleries attentive to this medium, which is the oldest in the world. Many mistakenly believe that painting has no future. They fail to see how “healthy” painting is not only in our country but all over the world. In recent years it seemed that painting should be relegated to supporting all other media, because these were acquiring more and more visibility thanks to the various exhibitions and cultural occasions where the public had more and more to do with Performing Art, Video Art, Installations etc.

Artwork by Jingge Dong at L’Ariete artecontemporanea booth, Arte Fiera 2023, PITTURA XXI, photo by Francesco Liggieri for Juliet

But painting was certainly not dead and this dedicated section at Arte Fiera proves it. Among the various galleries, starting from Galleria Continua, passing through Giovanni Bonelli gallery, up to L’Ariete artecontemporanea (just to name three at random), we were surrounded by quality painting with works by: Marta Spagnoli, Chiara Calore or Jingge Dong. I mention only these three because I deeply know their work and path and their painting is a virtuous example of how this medium is projected towards the future in broad strides.

Artwork by Pieter Vermeersch P420 booth, Arte Fiera 2023, PITTURA XXI, photo byFrancesco Liggieri for Juliet

These three young painters are not the only ones who had a lot to say in the PITTURA XXI section, in which I also want to point out the wonderful works by: Peter Flaccus (Gallerie Riunite), Lorenza Boisi (Ribot Gallery) and Pieter Vermeersch (galleria P420). Also in this case we are faced with painters who, through colour, shapes or figures, undertake a high-level contemporary narration.

Artwork by Peter Flaccus at Gallerie Riunite booth, Arte Fiera 2023, PITTURA XXI, photo by Francesco Liggieri for Juliet

David Hockney in one of his many interviews, later collected in a book, to the question «what will happen to painting? replied very placidly: «Painting will live and survive everything, because we need it as sentient human beings. Painting is as old as we are and will evolve with us, pace of those who believe it will die. Every time I hear this nonsense, the painting looks great». And how can we blame the great English artist?



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