Milan’s Miart Fair Is Making Its In-Person Return This September With a Slew of Poetry-Inspired Initiatives

The fair is asking artists about the writings that inspire them in order to create a “poetic map to the city of Milan.”

Kate Gottgens, Sensing the Trap (2021). Courtesy of SMAC Gallery and miart 2021.
Kate Gottgens, Sensing the Trap (2021). Courtesy of SMAC Gallery and miart 2021.

Milan’s international art fair, Miart, is making a much anticipated in-person return this September. The lively Italian fair was gaining new attention back in 2019 when a number of blue-chip international galleries joined as exhibitors for the first time. After segueing into a virtual platform last year, the fair is returning to a much-changed city this fall with a robust 145 international galleries showcasing everything from modern masters to emerging contemporary artists, from September 17 to 19.

After a year of upheaval and tragedy in Milan, the edition has adopted the title “Dismantling the Silence” for this year’s edition, taking the name from a collection of poems by the Serbian-born American poet Charles Simić. The fair will present a series of initiatives “designed to trigger new dialogues between past and present, history and experimentation, and promoting the blossoming of new forms of communication among all the subjects that have always animated the fair,” according to a statement. 

Courtesy of miart 2021.

Courtesy of miart 2021.

Among these is the ongoing editorial project “And Flowers / Words.” For the past three months, Italian literary and cultural figures, including Massimiliano Gioni, Mariangela Gualtieri, Luca Lo Pinto, and Emanuele Trevi, have held weekly online conversations in which they discuss the intersections of art and language. 

Now, the fair is also launching “Starry Worlds,” a project inspired by Adrienne Rich’s poem “For Memory” (1981) and the lines “freedom is daily, prose-bound, routine/ remembering. Putting together, inch by inch / the starry worlds. From all the lost collections.” 

Seeking to connect Milan’s various cultural institutions, the project is asking artists who are showing at the city’s many cultural venues and museums this September to share verses, quotes, or fragments of poetry that have influenced their works. These bits of language will then be collected to form a highly specific anthology, what the fair calls a “poetic map to the city of Milan.” Among those participating are the Fondazione ICA with Simone Fattal and Michael Anastassiades and Fondazione Pirelli HangarBicocca with Neïl Beloufa and Maurizio Cattelan.

More about these projects can be found on Miart’s website

Miart 2021 will take place September 17–19, 2021 with a VIP preview day on September 16, 2021.


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