【IT】Arte Fiera 2023: Tradition and new course

Arte Fiera – Italy’s very first modern and contemporary art fair – has always embraced change, keeping abreast of developments.



Bologna – Arte Fiera will be back from 3 to 5 February, reclaiming its traditional role as the year’s first fair in Italy and returning to its customary site – Halls 25 and 26 – a short walk from Piazza Cos- tituzione, the fair district’s main entrance from the city.


The 2023 event will be the fair’s 46th edition and the 4th under the artistic direction of Simone Mene- goi. This edition emphasizes renewal, starting with the decision (the first for a fair, in Italy or abroad) to appoint Enea Righi, a prominent collector, as Managing Director. In addition, Arte Fiera will re- sume its dialog with ANGAMC, Associazione Nazionale Gallerie d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, with which it has created a permanent committee.



Arte Fiera’s renewal, launched in anticipation of its 2023 edition and set to consolidate in the years to come, involves a number of significant changes in the public program, the design of common areas, and the welcoming of visitors. Some of the main new aspects are described below.


In 2023, Opus novum, the commission of a new work to be presented at the fair, awarded to a mid- career Italian artist, will go to an acknowledged master: Alberto Garutti. Beyond the artist’s merit, the choice also celebrates his bond with Bologna, where in the early ’90s he chaired the Painting faculty at the Academy of Fine Arts and became a reference point for a generation of younger artists.


Performance is a field of expression inseparably linked to Bologna and to Arte Fiera, which has made live performance an essential feature of its program of events since 2019. The next edition opens a new chapter, the result of a collaboration between the fair and the Furla Foundation, curat- ed by Bruna Roccasalva, the Foundation’s artistic director. There will be a single, large- scale event making its Italian debut, merging installation, performance and choreography: a live creation by Public Movement, an Israeli artistic collectieve.


At the Piazza Costituzione entrance, a 5×9-meter megascreen will display the first LED Wall Com- mission: a video conceived specifically for the billboard format, to be viewed by visitors as they enter the Fair District. LED Wall Commission#1 will be dedicated to a videomaker celebrated in the field of visual arts as well as in film: Yuri Ancarani, who, during the fair, will also have a solo show at MAM- bo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.


Once again, Book Talk, a series of chats exclusively about art books, will return to offer the public some of the most interesting books published recently in Italy.


The next edition of Book Talk will be curated by Guendalina Piselli, assistant to Arte Fiera’s Artistic Director and former co-director of Fruit Exhibition – Independent Art Book Fair.


In addition, the Service Centre/Centro Servizi, the area that welcomes visitors before they enter the Halls, will be redesigned by MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects. To comply with its waste-free and re-use-oriented policy, MCA proposed to readapt the “Design with Nature” installation created for the recent Salone del Mobile, Milan. The new design, with a curved, welcoming shape, will contain a bookshop, a VIP desk and an area devoted to presentations and meetings, becoming a space for cultural dialogue and debate. The installation has been designed to live on after Arte Fiera, with vari- ous configurations and functions for other events that will be held in the spaces of BolognaFiere dur- ing the year.


Food, an important part of a visit to any fair, will be completely updated with the collaboration of an established catering service and some important chefs, such as Massimiliano Poggi, who will create the menu for the VIP Lounge, curated by Dettagli.

The aim is to ensure the highest quality food (both fast and slow) for exhibitors and visitors, on the days when the stands are being set up as well as during the fair.


The fair will also renew its partnership with Art City, Bologna’s Art Week circuit. The 2023 edition of Arte Fiera will offer its customary program of shows and events coordinated by Lorenzo Balbi, direc- tor of MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna. Of course, there will also be ART CITY White Night, one of the year’s most popular events. On Saturday 4 February, many sites of the ART CITY Bologna circuit, as well as galleries, independent exhibition spaces, historical buildings, and shops will stay open until midnight.


Arte Fiera 2023 will have 141 exhibitors in the Main Section and curated sections. The following is a short summary of the content of each section and its participants.


The Main Section is accompanied by three curated, invitation-only sections: the new Multiples, de- voted to works in edition, curated by Lisa Andreani and Simona Squadrito; the now well- established Pittura XXI, offering a panorama of 21st-century Italian and foreign painting, once again curated by Davide Ferri; Photography and moving images, focusing on the photographic medium with a multidisciplinary approach and curated for the first time by Giangavino Pazzola. There will al- so be a new format: Percorso, a thematic itinerary among the stands of the Main Section (with a few detours in the curated sections), presenting a voyage in art (primarily Italian) from the first half of the 20th century to today. The theme of Percorso#1 is a material/technique that has recently recaptured worldwide interest: ceramics.



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