Artissima 2016 closing day

Nov 23, 2016 7:04AM

50,000 visitors, 34 countries represented at the fair, more than 2,500 collectors from around the world, 7 prizes, 1,300 journalists, 36 partners and sponsors: Artissima is the international hub for contemporary art

Oval, Lingotto Fiere, Torino. Image courtesy of Artissima.

Torino, 6 November 2016 - Today was the final day of the twenty-third edition of Artissima, International Fair of Contemporary Art, the grand Torinese extravaganza dedicated to contemporary art, directed for the fifth consecutive year by Sarah Cosulich. As is the case each year, starting from the fair’s pavilion and extending out, Artissima has brought to Torino an explosion of international vitality that has benefited the entire city.  

During the four days of the fair, 3–6 November, Artissima welcomed 50,000 visitors. Such continual growth has positioned the event alongside the unmissable appointments of contemporary art at world level, capable of inspiring interest among both professionals in the field and the general public. This growth was marked not only in the quality of the fair, but also in its internationality, while its capacity to generate innovation continues to consolidate the identity of the fair evermore strongly.  

As in previous years, the 2016 edition of Artissima was characterised by the curatorial imprint rigour of the proposals: this year’s additions have given further impetus to an event that functions as a true hub for contemporary art, able to confront and address new ways of presenting the art of our time, with great attention paid to experimentation and research.

Artissima, 2016. Image courtesy of Artissima.

A snapshot of the figures for Artissima 2016: 193 galleries participating, representing 34 countries (Iran and Dubai for the first time), with an international presence that accounted for 65% of the exhibitors (67 Italian and 126 from abroad). Overall, more than 2,000 works were exhibited in the seven sections of the fair, including three directed by a board of international curators. As ever, an enormous turnout of curators and museum directors - more than 250 in number - from different parts of the world, including 60 professionals participating in different initiatives of the fair (committees, juries, encounters, walkie talkies, etc.) as well as collectors and acquisitions managers from around the world (mainly Europe, South America, the Far East and the US), who together accounted for more than 2,500 visitors to the fair and to the city of Torino. Furthermore, involved closely with the fair were 5 boards of international curators from museums around the world.  

The standard offered by the exhibitors was again extremely high, with stands often developed around a curatorial project – as in the Back to the Future section, which this year focused on the decade 1970–89 and presented 19 artists from 19 galleries (3 Italian, 16 from abroad), attracting great attention. Present Future, too, proved to be geographically heterogeneous and unexpected for the variety of work of the 20 artists selected. Another important section, created in 2014, is PER4M, which is dedicated exclusively to performance art. This year, PER4M was curated by the Dutch collective If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be A Part Of Your Revolution, who developed a unique programme and enjoyed an active and fascinated public at their live events, taking place both at the fair and in outdoor spaces around Torino.  

Artissima, 2016. Image courtesy of Artissima.

Great success was experienced by other public initiatives too for the public: Walkie Talkies, a series of informal dialogues that explore the Oval pavilion through the eyes of collectors and curators; What is Experimental, a new project of conversations between contemporary art professionals, curated by Stefano Collicelli Cagol, in which five international curators allow the public a chance to confront explore some of the most experimental international institutions that support the production and dissemination of contemporary art; the Ypsilon St'Art Percorsi in Movimento, a free programme of thematic visits to gallery stands; and the UniCredit Art Advisory Programme, Italy’s first free and independent consulting service for new art collectors.  

Another significant success was the annual project In Mostra, this year entitled ‘corpo.gesto.postura’ (body.gesture.posture) and curated by Simone Menegoi, which, for the first time, united works from major museums and foundations in Torino and the Piemonte region with significant pieces from private collections. This section, dedicated to the human figure and the exploration of the body in art, presented the works of 43 Italian and international artists.  

Finally, Artissima 2016 extended the range of awards presented at the fair – some historical, which have become genuine stepping stones for emerging artists, others more recently introduced – to a total of seven prizes (one more than in previous editions), thereby reiterating Artissima’s concrete commitment to supporting creative research.

Artissima, 2016. Image courtesy of Artissima.

illy Present Future Prize - Now in its sixteenth year, this established prize of Artissima is dedicated to the most interestingstandout artists in the in Present Future, the section devoted to emerging talentss. The 2016 edition was awarded to C with the work XXXXécile B. Evans, presented by Galerie Barbara Seiler, Zurich, for the work What the heart wants (2016).  

Sardi per l’Arte Back to the Future Prize - The Sardi per l’Arte Back to the Future Prize of 5,000 €, now at its third edition, is awarded to the gallery with the most deserving project in terms of historical relevance and of the stand presentation of the stand. It was awarded to Galerie in situ – Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, that presented a project on Lars Friedrikson.  

Prix K-Way Per4m - The third year of the award for the most relevant and meaningful work of performance among those presented in PER4MPer4m, the section dedicated exclusively to performance, was given to Juliette Blightman, presented by Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, for her piece Now, Soon, Wait (2016). The prize of 10,000 € represents the importance of this form of experimentation in the artfair context.  

Reda Prize - Created during the last edition of Artissima to support the research of a new generation of artists (up to 35) who use the language of photography. The winner will have the opportunity to realisze a monograph, produced by a prestigious publisher in the field. The prize was awarded to Joanna Piotrowska, presented by Madragoa gallery, Lisbon, in the New Entries section.  

Mutina “This is not a Prize” - Among the innovations of the 2016 edition, this award – defined as unconventional owing to its ability to establish outside of a predetermined grid, a ‘"love at first sight’" situation between company and artist, eluding conventional criteria –- was awarded to Giorgio Andreotta Calò, presented by Sprovieri gallery, London, in the Main Section. With a value of 5,000 €, this prize signals the beginning of a dialogue that will take shape while new projects in support of the work of the winning artist are developed.  

Owenscorp Prize - Dedicated to the New Entries section, the prize is born the result of an ‘“elective affinity’” between this particular section of the fair and the Owenscorp, and is conferred upon the gallery deemed most deserving for the its work of research and support of experimental languages. The prize, with a value of 5,000 Euro €, was awarded to Cavalo gallery, Rio de Janeiro.  

Fondazione Ettore Fico Prize - Established in 2009 to promote the work of young artists. With a value of 5,000 €, the award aims to support a publishing project or an exhibition by the winner. This year it was awarded to Gian Maria Tosat, presented by Lia Rumma gallery, Naples and Milan, in the Main Section. 

Artissima, 2016. Image courtesy of Artissima.

With the numerous museum acquisitions in the 2016 edition, Artissima represented yet again an important appointment for Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT, with the acquisition of 10 works destined to Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino, for a total of 400,000 €. Among the works selected there are also What the heart wants (2016) di Cécile B. Evans, winner of the illy Present Future Prize, and the performance by Dora García The Synthome Score (2014-2016). Moreover, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco has acquired the work Bugs, Frogs, Animals (2015) by Joan Jonas, represented by Raffaella Cortese gallery; Fondazione Ettore Fico has acquired from Lia Rumma gallery the work 2_Estate – archeologia (2014) by Gian Maria Tosat, winner of the Ettore Fico Prize.  

The 2016 edition of Artissima inaugurated Flying Home, a special off-site project by Thomas Bayrle. Curated by Sarah Cosulich in collaboration with Sagat | Torino Airport, is located in the Baggage Claim area of the airport. Thomas Bayrle is an influential German artist, considered a forerunner of the digital language. Since the 1970s, he has conceptualised works that are the result of an infinite manual duplication of images that only a computer could process automatically. On occasion of Artissima 2016, Bayrle reveals the ‘“backstage’ of his work:,” the complex manual development behind his workpractice. Flying Home is a series of images reproduced on a lightbox, which reveal the hidden, human side behind the production of his mammoth work, Flugzeug (from 1984), a large-scale print of a plane made up of a million small aeroplanes. With this initiative and original collaboration with Torino Airport, Artissima consistently proves its commitment to invest in experimentation and in the creation of new synergies able to connect the city in and unprecedented way. The photographs show the hands of the artist and his assistants, intent on manipulating and distorting images printed on latex, juxtaposed one beside the other to create the figure of a gigantic colossal aeroirplane. The project will be running through Sunday, 28 May 2017, welcoming visitors who arrive in the city via the airport, but it can also be seen by non-travellers (booking required, for information please visit

Artissima, 2016. Image courtesy of Artissima.

At the conclusion of the fair, Director Sarah Cosulich said:  

“Having guided Artissima for 5 years, has been a great responsibility and an enormous privilege; shaping the fair’s identity, imagining its growth in prestige and fostering high-profile innovation and experimentation in dialogue with hundreds of galleries, collectors, international curators, sponsors, journalists and partner institutions. Our objective has always been to produce a fair that can dialogue with the world, and this year – even more – we have made significant progress towards that direction, having received a tremendous and enthusiastic response from the art scene worldwide, from institutions and from the general public. I wish to thank all of those who have allowed me to experiment, to innovate — even sometimes to dare exploring unchartered territory —in order to make Artissima what is today. On this day I present it back to the city after a five-year adventure: this fair is a place of encounters and thought, an economic asset for an entire territory and an engine to foster the development of the art of our time.”   


Artissima, 2016. Image courtesy of Artissima.


ARTISSIMA 2016 International Fair of Contemporary Art  
4–5–6 November 2016  
OVAL, Lingotto Fiere  
T +39 011 19744106 | [email protected]  
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