November 2016

Artissima is enriched by a new section, a new prize, and a structure that brings relevance to experimental and emerging art. The 2016’s edition comprises seven sections, three of which are each selected by a board of international curators and museum directors. Dialogue, one of the new sections, presents booths featuring a maximum of three artists in a coherent and curated project.

We spoke with art dealers Kim Savage from FOLD Gallery in London and Antoine Levi from the eponymous gallery in Paris to learn more about what we could expect at their booth in this section, how did they feel about this format and also about topics such as the role of the art fair and its future formats.

As Kim Savage (FOLD Gallery) has told us “The presentation proposed for Artissima is very much one of dialogue – a dialogue between two artists and two galleries. annex14 and FOLD both represent Callery and Ward in their respective countries. Both galleries feel that by opening up a conversation between each other, and facilitating a discussion between the artists and their work, will bring an expansive view and direct view on contemporary painting to a wider audience. The stand will consist of large paintings some protruding from the wall others occupying the floor and will showcase the artists individual take on the materiality of painting and how it exists as object.”

The new format brings a new dynamic edge while still allowing the galleries to expand their programs to a wider audience. As Kim points out, this is the main role of the art fair for a small emerging gallery like his: “…the role of the fair is very much one of introduction. To introduce the gallery and our artists to new audiences and expand our reach beyond our existing collector base. I am not sure what the future of the fair is – as a UK gallery we now need more than ever to reach beyond London.”

Antoine Levi who opened his gallery in Paris in 2013 will be presenting Alina Chaiderov, Francesco Gennari and Piotr Makowski. In his own words: “The decision to assemble those three artists arises from a common feature among them: the “self-referentiality”. Each one investigates in their own way the limits and perspectives of their own body and intimacy. Alina Chaiderov (she will also have a solo show at the same time of the fair at Castello di Rivoli) will present a new installation of a Persian rug resembling the one from her parents’ living room where she will place a pyramid of tennis balls of the brand Wilson, the same name of the syndrome she is living with since a few years. The superimposition of the pyramid represents the weight, albeit light, of an occurrence on her previous life interpreted by the rug in her childhood house. Francesco Gennari proposes a photographic piece from 2010 entitled “Autoritratto come eclissi di sole/Self-portrait as an eclipse of the sun”. Here the torso of the artist becomes the refraction field of a sunbeam striking the vivid orange color sweater, leaving the rest of the body into the darkness. Along with it, we will present a sanguine pencil drawing on paper as an ideal and sublime (in the Romantic meaning) scenography of a mountain landscape, the translation of a utopian iconography. Piotr Makowski presents a new series of small silver point drawings on a green Veronese primed paper. Displayed in line spanning on one wall, all these delicate drawings are self-portraits in which the artist sublimates his own image in a series of geometric or vegetal themes.”

About the format Antoine feels that it compels the gallery to the necessity of playing in triangle with three artists while finding the best key combination. Having deliberately chosen to opt for a modernist exhibition within a new and fresh sector of a fair: “this is a small challenge to try to swim against streams and to foster an ideal salon room. (…) It is paradoxical to present ourselves as a 4 year-old gallery under the nuances of a traditional Post-War project, but this precisely what we aim at the Dialogue Section.”

As for the role and future of the fair, Antoine thinks fairs are the occasions for the gallery to develop the artist’s practices in a new context, under different latitudes and a different audience. “Besides the galleries exhibitions the artists need to to have the opportunity to show other sides of their ongoing researches. The future of the art fairs? With our fellow friends galleries colleagues co-founders of Paris Internationale we felt the need to create different energies, a sort of convivial feeling that one can find either at Art-O-Rama in Marseille, at Granpalazzo in Rome and at Liste in Basel. This is not a revolution or a reaction to the fairs syndromes, but a need to sew back up the relationship with the artworld audience and to work in different contexts. Artissima’s sectors have proven since many years now that curated sections helps the dialogue; mixing sections with carefully selected projects diversifies the fair’s panorama.”

We are looking forward to see the final result of both Kim’s and Antoine’s booths in a section that will also present the programs of galleries such as annex14, FOLD Gallery, Antoine Levi, Gabriel Rolt, The Gallery Appart, and many more.

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