Starting again from the future was the exhortation of the 26th Miart, which chose to open the exhibition with young international art
by Barbara Borgonovo
Miart is a fair in which contemporary art, modern art and limited-edition design dialogue with each other, exploring the relationships between the past and present of creativity and introducing the public to the broadest possible chronological offering, from the art of the early last century to works by the most recent generations. The fair is divided into three sections – Established, Decades and Emergent – designed to encapsulate the programming of the 140 exhibition spaces involved this year.
For the first time, Established brought together galleries exhibiting strictly contemporary works and those devoted to twentieth-century art, without overlooking those operating in the field of collectable and fine design, with a selection ranging from twentieth-century masters to the most recent productions.
Decades, curated by Alberto Salvadori, explored the last century of history through monographic designs from the 1910s through to the 2010s. In this section, a special mention goes to Galleria dello Scudo with its stand dedicated entirely to Toti Scialoja, poet, painter and important mentor of artists like Mario Schifano, Jannis Kounellis and Tano Festa to whom he dedicated the work – sold for a record price at Christie’s – “Via Veneto 2”.
Emergent, curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, was dedicated to young galleries whose programming focuses on the new generations. Twenty emerging galleries confirmed the main inclination of this new exhibition event, revealing a particular openness and attention to a comprehensive pool of international ones. Within this long corridor of booths, the Italian galleries Alessandro Albanese and UNA Gallery stood out, presenting two solo painting shows, with two immersive installations by Noah el Hachen and Thomas Berra respectively.
Milan came to life during a packed artwork. From the city centre to the outskirts, from non-profit spaces to institutional museums: everyone was networking. Not forgetting the important openings of Elmgreen & Dragset in Fondazione Prada and Steve McQueen in Pirelli HangarBicocca, as well as exhibitions on the realities faced by individual neighbourhoods.
Meanwhile, it was the first time in Milan for Sans Titre of Paris, which proposed a dialogue between the work by Alicia Adamerovich and Ezio Gribaudo in a very well-balanced installation, and an alternation of sculptures and paintings by Josephine Baker and Catalin Pislaru presented by the Nir Altman gallery of Munich. The general layout of the fair conveyed a sensitivity and curatorial accuracy that was almost closer to a museum exhibition than to a trade fair event.
DECADES, CURATED BY ALBERTO SALVADORI, EXPLORED THE LAST CENTURY OF HISTORY THROUGH MONOGRAPHIC DESIGNS FROM THE 1910S THROUGH TO THE 2010S.
The projects were handpicked to create a consistent and detailed fair. The aim was to promote dialogue between iconic works and new talents, highlighting tradition while looking to the future.
This edition marked an elegant new start, which did not permit itself any theatrical drama, instead simply balancing new proposals with important historical works. These included Chung Eun-Mo’s mural displayed by the Monica De Cardenas Gallery, an unusual landscape sculpture by Salvo at the Norma Mangione Gallery, a laser projection by Mario Airò for the Vistamare gallery in Pescara and an interesting counterpoint of works by Daniel Crews-Chubb and Kevin Francis Gray at the Eduardo Secci gallery stand.
Numerous high-profile galleries participated in the fair, such as Lia Rumma (Milan, Naples), Kaufmann Repetto (Milan, New York), Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Havana, Rome, Sao Paulo, Paris, Dubai), Mazzoleni
(London, Turin) and many others that are now familiar names to fair-goers.
There was also a significant number of Italian and international mid-career artists; this is the case of the meticulous starry compositions created by Flavio Favelli and exhibited by Francesca Minini, the now characteristic layers of pink dust by artist Sophie Ko chosen by Renata Fabbri gallery, and the brightly coloured paintings by artists Linnet Panashe Rubaya and Teresa Kutala Firmino from Osart gallery. It was also stimulating to discover among the various stands the works of some of those invited to the next Venice Art Biennale, such as the extraordinary Swiss painter Miriam Cahn, the excellent Italian artists Giulia Cenci, Grazia Varisco and Carla Accardi, and the Ukrainian artist Louise Nevelson at the Giò Marconi Gallery. Worthy of note was the small exhibition organised by Luca Beatrice for the Intesa SanPaolo space, which celebrated young Italian art by selecting artists such as Paola Angelini, Sabrina Casadei, Rudy Cremonini, Diego Gualandris and Giuseppe Mulas.
(Miart, Art in movement – Barchemagazine.com – June 2022)