Home Magazine Artissima Unplugged

Since August, gallerists, art lovers and artists from the Italian contemporary art scene have been wondering whether or not Artissima will be physically open to the public. Well, the answer is: more or less. 

Related articles: Swiss art fairs in crisis - The Best Three Projects of Hybrid Art Fair 2020 - The Art Basel and UBS Covid Impact Report confirms what many suspected

Founded in 1994, a year in which the fair was already internationally settled thanks to the participation of galleries from New York, London and Basel, and to the uncommon presence of Maurizio Cattelan among the artists, Artissima, Torino historical art fair, reacted to 2020 situation in a very original way. 

Artissima Unplugged is the smart reaction of a team that literally squeezed its mind to create something different from a boring online album. Thanks to Fondazione Torino Musei, Artissima 2020 will spread around the city. With artworks that were supposed to be exhibited at the fair booths, three exhibitions, connected by the title Frenetic Standstill and curated by the fair director Ilaria Bonacossa, will be displayed around Torino until January 2021.  




The “Unplugged model” will work on two different levels, combining physical exhibitions with digital projects. The fair physical web will consist in the following museums:  GAM - Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Palazzo Madama - Museo Civico d’Arte Antica and MAO Museo d’Arte Orientale. “We believe that art can be our guide, for it has always been a catalyst for the most innovative visions, and it will help us to open up new scenarios that reveal a profound and carefully pondered transformation”. This statement sounds a little encouraging in such an uncertain period. An epoque where embedded energy and enthusiasm were spreading around art and culture realities that are rooted into some cities that decided not to stop in front of the crisis. 

Regarding the digital side, the art fair will launch two virtual projects: Artissima XYZ, a cross-media platform with three known curated sections Present Future, Back to the Futureand Disegni, and an online catalogue comprising Main Section, New Entries, Dialogue/Monologue, Art Spaces & EditionsThese projects will be online from 5 November to 9 December 2020, Artissima usual dates. During these days Fondamenta, a collective online project, will take place virtually as well. “A select and focused curated platform that can be viewed and experienced in people’s own time, supporting the discovery of the most current artistic developments, as well as facilitating our galleries’ relationship to new art lovers and collectors from different generations” as Bonacossa said.


Renato Leotta, Senza Titolo, 2020, still da film 16mm.


As happened during the previous editions, several art realities will be part of this crucial event thanks to their collaborations and specific exhibitions. At Castello di Rivoli the exhibition Espressioni Parte I / Anne Imhof: Sexwill start on the same date as the Artissima opening and will be displayed until February 28, 2021. 

Anne Imhof and other remarkable artists, as the Italians Renato Leotta, Christian Chironi and Tomaso De Luca, will be exhibited on the section Artissima The Forerunner, “present[ing] a selection of artists who took part in past editions of Artissima and [that] are now showing work in some of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art institutions”. 

Finally, Juventus, the famous soccer team, is one of the main supporters of the fair sponsoring the beautiful project Artissima Junior, founded in 2018. 


My house is a Le Corbusier (Usine Duval _ Unitéd’Habitation Marseille), 2020, book pages folded, plexiglass, poliplat, pins, plexiglass, 37,5×32,2×9,5 © Cristian Chironi.


Cover image: Artissima Unplugged, unplugged map of the fair.

Written by Rossella Farinotti

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