With the 2019 edition – the first under the artistic direction of Simone Menegoi – Arte Fiera has begun a general overhaul on many fronts, from its graphic image through to its public programme. Although of course meeting international quality standards, our art fair underlines its preponderantly Italian character, looking with great attention at modern and post-war art but also contemporary trends in Italy. By the same token, Arte Fiera has also forged stronger links with Bologna and its host region.

The most striking new feature has been the unprecedented criterion for participation. Galleries were invited to present a limited choice of artists: not more than three for the smaller booths, and a maximum of six for the larger stands. Monographic stands were also strongly incentivised. Exhibitor response was unanimously positive. Around one third of the attending galleries – approximately 50 – presented solo shows ranging from Modern art to emerging artists.

As well as the careful gallery selection for the Main Section and the Photography and Images in Movement section, the artistic direction headed by Simone Menegoi has introduced five important projects to Arte Fiera: the exhibition Solo figura e sfondo, curated by Davide Ferri, bringing together for the first time works from an array of institutional, public and private collections in Bologna and the wider region of Emilia-Romagna; Oplà. Performing Activities curated by Silvia Fanti, a programme of activities by Alex Cecchetti, Cristian Chironi, Cesare Pietroiusti and Nico Vascellari to take place in and around the fair as well as in town; Learning Workshops of the Golinelli Foundation on the theme of “Art and Science”, at the fair for the first time; a programme of talks organised by the magazine Flash Art, which is inaugurating a far-reaching partnership with Arte Fiera as a “content partner”; “Hic et Nunc”, a “no VIP lounge” created by artist Flavio Favelli and dedicated to the general public at the art show.

Finally, Arte Fiera 2019 has a new catering system: in the VIP Lounge Il Boccone del Prete will be offering Bologna-style cuisine with a difference, in both Restaurant and Bistrot settings. The Laurent-Perrier Champagnerie will be returning, while the bar at the Services Centre will be managed by FICO - Eataly World.