All-around miart A time travel through the XX century
The contingency of the present time is by definition impossible to fully grasp. In fact, sometimes it gauges our attention with more unexpected events than the tools one seems having to articulate them, or than the predictions one could make. Multiple and conflicting reactions—a sudden joy or a prolonged despair, struggle and indifference—compose the immediacy of the already-happened. However, their emerging needs to be framed into their own temporality, that is of the event, for in their unfolding they already belong to history.
Part and parcel of that ambiguous temporality is the realm of art fairs, that of magnets attracting flocks of art professionals and aficionados from around the world, each of them with their own story to tell and agenda to pursue. miart is no exception to this and, likewise, it will be thrilled to present its own story through its well-known commitment to both modern and contemporary art. This means that miart’s bedrock will work by dynamically put in dialogue the present with the past and the future.
Portrait of Alberto Salvadori
If one will ask in which way miart will do that, the Decades and Masters sections could serve as a reply to the question. Curated by Alberto Salvadori, these sections of miart invite the visitor to a mesmerising time travel through the XX century. In the curator’s words, “the area of miart dedicated to modern art, which comprise the Decades and Masters sections, is constructed by following a very rigorous selection criteria: we are working now with many galleries, 9 of which will present a special project highlighting a crucial moment for the history of the gallery or for the life of one of their artists. It will look like a series of punctuations in a speech both complex and fluid. Indeed, such combination of Decades and Masters gives us the opportunity to tell and show the last century by lingering on precise moments of a history that has still much to tell, and that fascinates both Italian and foreign collectors, dealers and public. I am very pleased and grateful for the positive responses of the big Italian galleries as well as for the effort that everyone is making to present its work to the fullest.”
“Alighiero Boetti,” installation view at Tornabuoni Arte, London, 2016. Courtesy of Tornabuoni Arte
One of the participants to the 2016’s edition of miart was Tornabuoni Art Gallery, Milan/London, which presented a very interesting booth in the Masters section. In the words of Michele Casamonti, owner of the gallery, the booth was “consistent with our research. In Milan, we exhibited the works of the protagonists of the Italian post-war, carefully chosen between the 50s and the 70s.”
The Italian post-war art has definitely been a trend in the recent years, but beyond the market’s frenzy, there are important reasons to collect that period of the Italian art. Talking with Salvadori about this, he said that “the so-called short century gave to Italy two extraordinary moments: first of all the avant-garde, whose conceptual drive nurtured both in formal and conceptual terms the arts that wanted to escape the diktats of certain intellectual conservatisms, and secondly the post-war decades. Therefore, I think that miart could also serve as an instrument for the public and the collectors to expand their knowledge of these brilliant historical moments.”
Alberto Burri, Combustione, 1960. Private collection, Florence. Courtesy of Tornabuoni Arte
Recalling his experience at last edition of miart, Casamonti affirmed that the fair went “well, even very well” for him and his gallery. On that occasion, “miart confirmed to be the first Italian and international fair of modern and contemporary art. The presence of international collectors was decent and I am sure it is something that will definitely get better, especially if one considers Milan’s geographical position, that is between the north Italy and Switzerland, which is full of great collectors. Finally, the fair has taken a further leap in quality than in previous years, and there are all the conditions for it to become a trade show at the same level of the most important ones. Being convinced about this, it does not come with surprise then that we are going to renew our participation at miart in 2017, with a booth featuring works by Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Alighiero Boetti, Enrico Castellani, Chip, Salvatore Scarpitta, and Emilio Isgrò.”
These thriving synergies testify for what miart is, according to Salvadori: “a dynamic trade show where you can build a direct and productive relationship with the gallery owners and create with them such extraordinary presentations. And nowadays Milan is the best place to work on ambitious projects like miart! Indeed, along with a few other cities, Milan has always been the engine, the Kraftwerk, of the passionate story of Italian art, collectors and gallerists, a story which is yet open to the world: we want Decades and Masters showing the best of modern art.” And he concludes: “all these elements can constitute a success, not only for miart, but for the Italian art system at large, something which should be facilitated by a revised and efficient tax policy for those who work seriously on this great opportunity.”
Cover image: Carla Accardi, Negativo e Positivo, 1956. Private collection, Florence. Courtesy of Tornabuoni Arte