The 44th edition of Arte Fiera will take place from 24 to 26 January 2020, directed for the second year by Simone Menegoi. The opening (by invitation) is set for Thursday 23 January, from 12.00 to 21.00. The event will be held in pavilions 18 and 15, therefore access will no longer be from Piazza Costituzione, but from the North entrance.
You are in the second year of office for the artistic direction of Arte Fiera: what positive results do you expect from this edition?
First of all, I hope that the great effort we are making to encourage the presence of Italian and foreign collectors at Arte Fiera – hundreds of VIPs hosted in the hotel, both on indication of the galleries and of our VIP manager, Costanza Mazzonis di Pralafera – has a immediate and tangible fallout in favor of our exhibitors. At the level of participations, we receive the benevolent welcome of the past year’s edition in the form of welcome returns from important galleries (Giorgio Persano, Pinksummer, A arte Invernizzi, Il Ponte, and many others) and significant new arrivals, also from the abroad (Richard Saltoun and Arcade from London, for example).
What are the reasons for boasting the 2020 edition?
Compared to 2019, the signed sections go from one to three: Fotografia e immagini in movimento, curated, like last year, by the Fantom platform; Pittura XXI (curated by Davide Ferri), an unedited section dedicated to painting of the new millennium; Focus, a restricted and prestigious selection of post-war masters curated by Laura Cherubini and dedicated to the events of painting in Italy between the late Fifties and the late Seventies. And then a respectable public program, which includes a new special artist project entrusted to Eva Marisaldi (Welcome), a large exhibition curated by Eva Brioschi that continues the recognition in the institutional collections of modern and contemporary art, public and private, from Bologna and the region (L’opera aperta), a program of high-level “performative activities” (Oplà. Performing activities, curated by Silvia Fanti), a busy calendar of talks curated by our content partner “Flash Art”. Last but not least: a more refined and attentive catering to the gastronomic proposals of the territory.
Under his direction, the fair has bought a “clarity” who certainly did not have before. Even many galleries that at the beginning had softly grumbled about the new rules, then proved more understanding about the choice of the outfits…
It is true, at the beginning there were some doubts about the decision, indispensable for me, to limit the number of artists per stand. But at the end of the fair, a survey commissioned by BolognaFiere showed that around 75% of gallery owners approved the choice; they had probably appreciated its effect on the general display of the fair. This year, in any case, meeting the needs of the galleries that deal with Modern and post-war art, we have introduced the possibility of presenting more than six artists, as long as they are part of a project dedicated to a movement, a trend, an artistic current of the twentieth century
Will the new pavilions help in any way the growth of this edition?
First of all, the new pavilions allow us to change the dates of the event, which returns to be held on the last weekend of January (the traditional pavilions 25 and 26 were not available on those dates for reasons of the fair calendar). In this way, Arte Fiera separates itself from the dates of Art Genève, avoiding an overlap that damaged both events. The new pavilions, 18 and 15, are also much more recent than the previous ones, and have an interesting architectural structure.
Ultimately, what distinguishes Arte Fiera from the galaxy of all the other Italian fairs? And from foreign ones, such as Art Basel and Frieze?
Arte Fiera wants first of all to be a great showcase for Italian art of the XX and XXI century and for the galleries that represent it; and I believe that this ambition is already enough to remove it from other fairs, first and foremost those in Turin and Milan, which aim to be as international as possible. The very success of their policies creates the possibility, indeed, the need for a great Italian art fair, at a time when the latter (from the historical avant-garde to the latest generations) is increasingly appreciated across borders. This does not mean closing on the very precious contributions that can come from abroad, but framing them in the most profitable way for the fair and the galleries themselves. In this sense, I believe that the curated sections, very selected areas and specific objectives (as in the case of painting) can be very effective in resuming dialogue with non-Italian galleries. The first signs of this dialogue will be seen already in 2020.
What are the reasons for visiting Arte Fiera?
In addition to all that I have already said, the fact of visiting an event with an inclusive, welcoming and communicative style.
Don’t you think that the 26 euro day ticket is a bit expensive?
First of all, there are many reductions compared to this price, starting from those for students. And last year, when the ticket price was the same, around 50,000 people visited the event.
Simone Menegoi, direttore artistico di Arte Fiera, ph courtesy Arte Fiera 2020
Corinna Gosmaro, Piccolo paesaggio, 2019, pittura spray su filtro di poliestere, cm 100×70. Foto Cosimo Filippini. Courtesy The Gallery Apart, Roma
Tony Oursler, Le volcan, 2015-2016, video installazione 3D DLP. Foto di Bruno Bani. Courtesy Dep Art Gallery, Milano
Michael Bauer, Boy, 2017, olio, pastello, carboncino, acrilico su tela, cm 91×81. Courtesy Norma Mangione Gallery, Torino
He is editorial director of Juliet art magazine.