Purple Art

[November 10 2016]

Highlights from the 23rd edition of Artissima 2016 at the Oval Lingotto Fiere, Turin

Set in the beautiful Piedmont region, Turin, home to Arte Povera and the national automobile industry, has proved to be a consistently exciting place to showcase Italy’s premier contemporary fair Artissima. Fairs and festivals alike take advantage of some of the empty industrial spaces in the city. This years 23rd edition of Artissima was held in the Oval, a glass pavilion built for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, in the Lingotto Fiat factory area.

Artissima focuses largely on discovery, as mentioned by long-time Director Sarah Cosulich. With nearly two hundred galleries, visitors can see the fine showcase of undiscovered, established and overlooked artists. Sections Back to the Future, Present Future (solo-shows by young artists), and In Monstra (a section on an exploration in body in art) prove Artissima is a playground for curators that seek experimentation, and a breeding ground for promoting artists young and old.

Back to the Future sought to rediscover an artist from the 70s and 80s. Galleries in this section dedicate their booth to one artist, such as the brilliant Austrian feminist avant-garde artist Renate Bertlmann at Richard Saltoun gallery. Other discoveries included Lars Fredrikson, at Galerie in Situ, who won this years Sardi per l’Arte Back to the Future Prize and Francois Morellet, who has a solo-show currently at the Centre PompidouPresent Future highlights included the work of Rosha Yaghmai at Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Luca Frei at Barbara Wien, and London-based artist Cécile B. Evans who won the illy Present Future Prize 2016. Another interesting discovery of the week was Shigeo Anzaï, a Japanese painted turned photographer, at London’s White Rainbow gallery. Anzaï largely captured the Mono-ha movement in Japan, documenting the exciting happenings of the avant-garde. These photos sat next to his photographs of the American contemporary art scene, such as performances by Bill Viola and Laurie Anderson at The Kitchen. 

With hourly announcements of art performances held in and around the Oval, the fair was dedicated to promoting it’s third edition of Per4m, an innovative section on performance art. One of the main attractions for Per4m was “Rain Storm” by Ruth Proctor, a performance whereby groups of people move within the fair at the Oval and simulate the noise of a rainstorm by
stomping on the floor. This performance eventually traveled to the legendary Fiat Lingotto Rooftop Test Track, which appeared in 1969 film The Italian Job starring Michael Caine.
Artissima runs parallel to the C2C festival (Club to Club), the underground electronic and alternative music festival which this year featured a brilliant line-up of Jessy Lanza, Laurent Garnier, Autechre, SWANS, DJ Shadow, Jon Hopkins, Junior Boys and much more. This speaks volumes of the atmosphere and spirit of the week. Young curators, young galleries, contemporary art next to contemporary music by some of the best DJ’s of now.

“ALL ART HAS BEEN CONTEMPORARY” which is written on the top of the GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea which today houses the final installment of the retrospective on the controversial Turin-born artist Carol Rama, embodies a view that reoccurs throughout the city.

Text and photo Annabel Fernandes

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