Bologna Kunst

Arte Fiera. 2023 Edition

In 2024 Arte Fiera celebrates 50 years since the first edition, making it the first art fair in Italy, and one of the first in Europe. The next edition of Arte Fiera will be held from 3 to 5 February 2023, preview on 2 February.
Simone Menegoi & Enea Righi. Foto: Alessandro Trapezio
Simone Menegoi & Enea Righi. Foto: Alessandro Trapezio

After the 2022 edition (held in May due to the pandemic), the fair returns to its traditional dates, making it the year’s first fair in Italy (and the only one to be held in the Bologna Fair District in that period). The location also marks a return to tradition: the exhibition will once again be held in halls 25 and 26, associated with Arte Fiera for years, and will use the Costituzione entrance, the Fair District’s port of entry toward the city center. Built in 1964 as part of the initial core of BolognaFiere, halls 25 and 26, recently restyled, are among the most elegant and recognisable in the entire district.

The 2023 edition also marks a change in governance: along with Simone Menegoi, confirmed as Artistic Director for his fourth edition, Enea Righi enters as Managing Director. Born in Bologna in 1956, internationally known as one of Italy’s most important collectors of contemporary art, Righi brings to Arte Fiera not only his comprehensive knowledge of the art world but also managerial skills honed in over 30 years of work at the helm of a large company. Righi will coordinate a number of critical aspects for the event’s success, focusing especially on the visitor experience. Righi’s arrival is the first, important signal of Arte Fiera’s decisive change of pace, with investments and renewal in multiple areas, including communication, attention to VIP guests, content, and partnerships, in view of an important anniversary.

Lisetta Carmi, I travestiti, Cabiria 1965-1970, Courtesy Martini & Ronchetti
Lisetta Carmi, I travestiti, Cabiria 1965-1970, Courtesy Martini & Ronchetti

2024 celebrates 50 years since the first edition Arte Fiera, making it the first art fair in Italy (and one of the first in Europe).

In this perspective, the fair renews its partnership with Art City, Bologna’s Art Week circuit. Therefore, the 2023 edition of Arte Fiera will also feature the shows and events coordinated by Lorenzo Balbi, director of MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna As Gianpiero Calzolari, President of BolognaFiere, confirms, “Arte Fiera has launched an important project of renewal, a global project that will further strengthen this historic Italian fair dedicated to modern and contemporary art. The artistic proposal of the galleries at the fair and the Art City initiatives, the result of a long-term collaboration with the City of Bologna, will once again confirm that our city is a reference point for the art market, proof of the strong synergy between the fair and local institutions”.

For Matteo Lepore, Mayor of Bologna, “The next edition of Arte Fiera demonstrates the willingness of BolognaFiere, together with the City’s administration, to relaunch the exhibition and respond positively to the stimuli received from the art world. BolognaFiere’s efforts are matched by the city’s intention to excel in the quality and quantity of its cultural projects and initiatives. These include Art City, which this year will again join Arte Fiera with projects and initiatives involving the entire city, along with many art galleries and cultural institutions and bodies. The edition will also be a launching pad for next year, celebrating Arte Fiera’s 50 th anniversary.”

Yuri Ancarani, Still da Atlantide, 2021, Courtesy Studio Ancarani, LQ
Yuri Ancarani, Still da Atlantide, 2021, Courtesy Studio Ancarani, LQ

In terms of structure, the next edition of Arte Fiera confirms the Main Section and two curated, invitation-only sections, Pittura XXI and Photography and moving images, reference points for their fields: 21 st -century painting and photography/video. These two sections will now be joined by a new one (also invitation-only), open to galleries, publishers, and specialised bookshops: Multiples, devoted to artwork in editions. The 2023 edition also launches a new format, Percorso (Path): as the name implies, not a real section, but a thematic itinerary among the stands of the Main Section. The first edition of Percorso is devoted to a medium that has been the subject of renewed interest in
recent years: ceramics.

List of Curators / Sections:
Davide Ferri – Pittura XXI
Giangavino Pazzola – Photography and Moving Images
REPLICA – Multiples
Bruna Roccasalva – Performance

Full list of participating exhibitors

Another important new aspect regards the Main Section. In the prospect of a wider collector base, selected galleries will be able to present a larger number of works. As a result, more artists may be presented at the stands. The previous limit will be significantly increased for medium-sized stands and completely eliminated for large stands. In all cases, the clarity and quality of display achieved in recent years will remain one of the standards of the exhibition. Arte Fiera 2023’s image will be curated by Leftloft, an independent branding and communication design firm whose clients include some of Italy’s most prestigious public and private art institutions. Arte Fiera’s renewal, launched in anticipation of its 2023 edition and set to consolidate in the years to come, involves a number of significant changes in the public program, the design of common areas, and the welcoming of visitors. 

Some of the main new aspects:

Opus Novum #5. In 2023, Opus novum, the commission of a new work to be presented at the fair, awarded to a mid-career Italian artist, will go to an acknowledged master: Alberto Garutti. Beyond the artist’s merit, the choice also celebrates his bond with Bologna, where in the early ’90s, he chaired the Painting faculty at the Academy of Fine Arts and became a reference point for a generation of younger artists.

Performance is a field of expression inseparably linked to Bologna and to Arte Fiera, which has made live performance an essential feature of its program of events since 2019. The next edition opens a new chapter, the result of a collaboration between the fair and the Furla Foundation –, curated by Bruna Roccasalva, the Foundation’s artistic director. There will be a single, large-scale event making its Italian debut, merging installation, performance and choreography: a live creation by Public Movement, an Israeli artistic collective. Technical partner I.E.InfrastrutturEcologia srl of Mirandola (MO).

Led Wall Commission #1. At the Piazza Costituzione entrance, a 5×9-meter megascreen will display the first LED Wall Commission: a video conceived specifically for the billboard format, to be viewed by visitors as they enter the Fair District. LED Wall Commission#1 will be dedicated to a videomaker celebrated in the field of visual arts as well as in film: Yuri Ancarani, who, during the fair, will also have a solo show at MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.

Book Talk. Once again, Book Talk, a series of chats exclusively about art books, will return to offer the public some of the most interesting books published recently in Italy. The next edition of Book Talk will be curated by Guendalina Piselli, assistant to Arte Fiera’s Artistic Director and former co-director of Fruit Exhibition – Independent Art Book Fair.

Design with Nature. In addition, the Service Centre/Centro Servizi, the area that welcomes visitors before they enter the Halls, will be redesigned by MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects. To comply with its waste-free and reuse-oriented policy, MCA proposed to readapt the “Design with Nature” installation created for the recent Salone del Mobile, Milan. The new design, with a curved, welcoming shape, will contain a bookshop, a VIP desk and an area devoted to presentations and meetings, becoming a space for cultural dialogue and debate. The installation has been designed to live on after Arte Fiera, with various configurations and functions for other events that will be held in the spaces of BolognaFiere during the year.

Food. Food, an important part of a visit to any fair, will be completely updated with the collaboration of an established catering service and some important chefs, such as Massimiliano Poggi, who will create the menu for the VIP Lounge, curated by Dettagli. The aim is to ensure the highest quality food (both fast and slow) for exhibitors and visitors, on the days when the stands are being set up as well as during the fair.

Arte Fiera 2023: 03.02.2023 – 05.02.2023, Preview: 02.02.2023

Arte Fiera
Costituzione Entrance Hall 25–26