Arte Fiera, Italy’s longest-living modern and contemporary art fair, is constantly evolving. The 2023 edition (3-5 February) will be marked by many important changes. If on the one hand the event will return to its traditional dates on the fair calendar and be held in its customary spaces – halls 25 and 26, among the most beautiful and recognisable in the entire Bologna Fair District – on the other it introduces wide-ranging innovations: from management (with the arrival of Enea Righi, a highly experienced manager and one of Italy’s most important collectors of contemporary art, as Operating Director) to the exhibition’s design, structure, and Public Program.
At the Service Centre, the covered square leading to the halls, the public will be greeted by the Connecting Green Hub installation by MCA - Mario Cucinella Architects. Originally conceived for the Salone del Mobile in Milan, this large environment-table, with curved, organic shapes, will host the Talk space, the bookshop, and other services, becoming a site for the public to stop and gather.
The renewed attention to the visitor experience goes beyond the set-ups: the food offer – for which Bologna is famous – has been completely revised, with the presence of chef Massimiliano Poggi in the VIP lounge, catering by Dettagli at the bars, and numerous dishes linked to the territory and to tradition.
The core of this renewal process is the fair’s structure. The Main Section, arranged as always according to post-war and contemporary art, is now accompanied by three curated, invitation-only sections: Photography and moving images, Pittura XXI, and the new Multiples, open to galleries as well as to specialised publishers and bookshops, devoted to works in edition. Along with these curated sections, Arte Fiera 2023 launches a new format: Percorso. Not a section in itself, but, as its title implies, an itinerary that thematically links a certain number of stands in the Main section. The theme of this first Percorso is a material/technique that has recently recaptured worldwide interest: ceramics.
There is also news regarding the curators: Photography and moving images has been assigned to Giangavino Pazzola, curator of Camera - Centro italiano per la fotografia (Turin); Multiples is curated by Lisa Andreani and Simona Squadrito, founders of the REPLICA - Archivio italiano del libro d’artista, while Pittura XXI will again be curated by Davide Ferri, independent critic and curator.
The Public program is one of the strong points of Arte Fiera 2023. Opus Novum, the commission of a new work to be presented at the fair, celebrates the master Alberto Garutti and his historical link with Bologna; performance, inseparably linked to Bologna and to Arte Fiera, inaugurates a partnership with Furla Foundation and offers the public an ambitious performance by the Israeli collective Public Movement, one of the most interesting contemporary performance groups; Yuri Ancarani, a videomaker celebrated in both the visual arts and in cinema, and whose large solo show is about to open at MAMbo, presents his new creation - LED Wall Commission #1 - on the megascreen that welcomes visitors to the fair, and Book Talk, focusing exclusively on art books, returns to offer the public some of the most interesting books published recently in Italy.
Arte Fiera 2023 has taken a new path, looking to the future of art and collecting while consolidating tradition.