Artissima | Italy’s Premier Contemporary Art Fair

In a country with such an illustrious history in the arts, arguably the most renowned in the world, contemporary art in Italy has quite a lot to live up to. After a whirlwind three days in fashion capital Milan, I hopped on a train to Turin to visit the the country’s premier contemporary art fair, Artissima. The Italian fair features artists and galleries from around the world, yet the majority of exhibitors are in fact Italian, giving me an inside look into the world of contemporary Italian art.

Turin is situated in the north western region of Italy, right at the foot of the Italian alps. I checked into my Airbnb and then headed straight to the fair for the Thursday evening opening reception. It was unusually warm and sunny for the first weekend of November! Lucky for me, because getting to the fair isn’t so easy. You must take the subway and then walk another 10 minutes to reach the Lingotto Fiera, an enormous glass structure that was originally built for the 2006 Winter Olympics that were hosted in Turin. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going but luckily there were several groups of people heading in the same direction so I was able to make it to the fair!

Here are some of my favorite works from the gallery booths and moments inside the fair:

Artissima Entrance

Galerie Mitterrand

Anne and Patrick Poirier, Valise, 1968

Anne and Patrick Poirier, Valise, 1968

Lia Rumma Gallery

Marzia Migliora - Piero Manzoni

Marzia Migliora, Piero Manzoni Mare, 2015

Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani

Giuseppe Stampone, Architecture of Intelligence, 2014

Giuseppe Stampone, Architecture of Intelligence, 2014

Proyectos Monclova

Proyectos Monclova

Galería Aural

Concha Jerez, Music for the Memory of a Meeting, 1984

Concha Jerez, Music for the Memory of a Meeting, 1984

Guido Costa Projects

Diego Scroppo, Aformale #5, 2007

Diego Scroppo, Aformale #5, 2007

Galerie Rodolphe Janssen

Gert Uwe Tobias

Gert & Uwe Tobias

Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi

Jos de Gruyter Harald Thys

Jos De Gruyter & Harald Thys

{unknown gallery}

Mario Dellavedova, Senza Titolo, 2008

Mario Dellavedova, Senza Titolo, 2008

Galerie Torri

Mathieu Mercier, Untitled (Bike/primary aerosol), 2012

Mathieu Mercier, Untitled (Bike/primary aerosol), 2012

VIP Lounge

Torinese restaurant La Credenza provided the food in the VIP Collector’s Lounge at the fair, and it was delicious! I had plenty of cappuccinos to stay alert and ate their specialty dish, “Agnolotti del plin al tovagliolo, olio di nocciole Pariani e Grana Padano.” I have no idea what any of that means but basically it’s a little ravioli ball of goodness…

Cappuccino at Artissima

Cappuccino at Artissima

La Credenza Ristorante at Artissima - Agnolotti del plin al tovagliolo

The fair was sponsored by Illy, and featured a never-ending espresso bar, as well as this little installation by Yoko Ono called “Mended Cups.” Each cup has been “shattered” and consequently repaired with golden seams. On each saucer, Yoko Ono wrote about six tragic events in the world including the date and place, followed by the words place of the tragic event and concludes with the words “mended in 2015.”

Illy Mended Cups by Yoko Ono

Check Artissima.it for 2016 dates!

November 11, 2015
I’m an American photographer and writer based in Paris after living in New York for 7 years and then and spending a year and a half traveling. My work has been featured by the Paris and Nice Tourism Offices, Art Basel, and Refinery 29. Culture Passport is a place to share my travels and experiences in new places, with a focus on cultural attractions.

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