Tour the Top 10 Booths at Artissima 2015
The fair abounds with museum-quality presentations.
Yesterday at midday, under a radiant November sun, the 2015 edition of Artissima opened its doors to VIPs and press members in Turin. Gathering 207 established and young galleries from 31 countries, the fair offered a strong selection of contemporary art, in which the two curated sections, Back to the Future and Present Future, shone particularly for their museum-quality presentations.
There is definitely a strong curatorial emphasis to the fair—credited to its current director Sarah Cosulich Canarutto, who cut her teeth working alongside Francesco Bonami at the 50th Venice Biennale—that has successfully lured a growing number of discerning international collectors, who keep coming back to the fair, seeking something beyond the artist du jour validated by a blue-chip gallery.
“Artissima is a place where you come to discover artists for the first time,” Cosulich told artnet News. “Thanks to the role that our curators play every year, the fair has become a hub for discovery. For example, the winner of our Present Future section last year was Rachel Rose, who has just opened solo shows at the Serpentine and the Whitney,” she explained. “And Tetsumi Kudo,” she added, “who was featured in Back to the Future last year and whose work was bought by François Pinault and then included in Danh Vo’s “Slip of the Tongue” in Venice, and is now showing with Hauser & Wirth.”
But it’s not just the very young who make for exciting discoveries at the fair. “Collectors here can find some really good artists, either at the beginning of their careers or ripe for being re-discovered,” Cosulich added.
artnet News has handpicked the 10 best booths of the year’s edition.
1. Proyectos Monclova (Mexico City)
The Mexican gallery stole the show with a fantastic group presentation including a superb carpet-tapestryby Christian Jankowski; two stunning leather-on-canvas works by Martin Soto Climent; a painting by Julius Heinemann; and works by Anna Virnich, and Eduardo Terrazas. Subdued at first sight, the assembly of works rewarded careful attention, gaining strength by the minute.
2. Dan Gunn (Berlin) & Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam)
Part of the section Back to the Future—devoted to works produced between 1975 and 1985 and curated by Eva Fabbris, Joāo Fernandes, Elena Filipovic, and Beatrix Ruf—the joint presentation that Dan Gunn and Ellen de Bruijne devoted to American artist Michael Smith was a joy to behold. Expertly curated, the booth offered insights into the working method of the recently rediscovered artist via a number of sketches and drawings, as well as documentation of his hilarious performances, with works priced at $3,500 – $18,000.
3. Antoine Levi (Paris)
The young Parisian gallery has not just one, but two booths at the fair: one in the main section and one in the Present Future section, focused on solo presentations by emerging artists. For the younger section, Levi once again proved his impeccable eye for finding exciting young artists working with sculpture. The two works of the Russian-born, Swedish-based Alina Chaiderov were playful materializations of childhood memories through beguiling textures and low-cost materials. The result was austere and deceitfully facing front, almost like an abandoned stage set, but viewers who stepped into the booth and walked around the piece Before 1989 We Kept Bananas in the Closet (2014) were in for a visual treat, in the shape of a bunch of real bananas sticking out of the sculpture.
4. Galleria Franco Noero, Turin
The Turin powerhouse is decidedly at home at this fair, and delivered a strong and confident booth of photography and sculptural works by gallery artists including Jim Lambie, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tom Burr, Pablo Bronstein, Sam Falls, Lara Favaretto, and Kirsten Pieroth with price tags ranging from €10,000 – €90,000.
5. Isabella Bortolozzi (Berlin) & Cabinet (London)
Also in the Back to the Future section, the power combo Isabella Bortolozzi and Cabinet delighted with a joint booth dedicated to the subversive artist, writer, and philosopher Pierre Klossowski. The older brother of Balthus didn’t obsessively paint young girls, but tirelessly reimagined his wife Denise in all sort of erotic and sexual scenes—some of them defying gravity and other physical laws—which he materialized in drawings and sculptures. Despite its sensitive subject matter, the art of Klossowski is slowly but surely transcending its “cult” status, and will be the subject of a solo exhibition at Barbara Gladstone, opening on November 10.
6. Car Drde (Bologna)
The young gallery from Bologna convinced with a group presentation in which the modernist-infused sculptures-cum-mobiles of David Casini (going for €7,000 – €8,000) and the stunning paintings and textile works of Alexis Teplin stole the show.
7. Carroll / Fletcher (London)
The London gallery participated in the Present Future section of the fair with a sprawling installation by the artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, winners of the 2016 Abraaj Group Art Prize. Entitled The Incidental Insurgents, Part 2: Unforgiving Years (2014), the piece continues the artists’ ongoing explorations of the tensions between imaginary characters and revolutionary narratives.
8. Richard Saltoun Gallery (London)
The London gallery offered an eye-catching group presentation of gallery artists working within the realm of actionism, the naked and sexualized body, and gestural performances. Loosely curated, the affinities between the punchy works of Tom of Finland, VALIE EXPORT, Friedl Kubelka, Pierre Molinier, Gina Pane, Otto Muehl, and Renate Bertlmann were not lost on anyone.
9. Zak Branicka (Berlin and Krakow)
Artissima is definitely the kind of fair where one could find a presentation devoted to the individual work of Zofia Kulik and her subsequent work as part of the duo KwieKulik. Not very well-known outside her homeland, the superb work of the Polish artist is one of the key examples of the neo-avantgarde movement in Eastern Europe. Alone, and with KwieKulik, Zofia challenged the conventions of sculpture, film, and performance, bringing daily life into her art, and vice versa.
10. Galerie Emanuel Layr (Vienna)
The young gallery showed a fantastic selection of works by Julien Bismuth, Nick Oberthaler, and Lili Reynaud Dewar, who presented parts of her installation My Epidemic, one of the most striking works included in the international group exhibition at the 2015 Venice Biennale.
Artissima 2015 takes place in Turin from November 6 – 8.
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