The 46th edition of Arte Fiera, organized by BolognaFiere in the Bologna Fair District, just concluded. It had 50 thousand visitors, in line with pre-Covid editions and significantly more than in the 2022 edition. The high numbers of Italian and foreign collectors and VIPS were the result of a precise selection and invitation campaign, supported by extensive media and social coverage.
The key elements for this edition’s success - the return to the event’s traditional dates and locations (halls 25 and 26) as well as its new governance, with collector Enea Righi as Managing Director alongside Artistic Director Simone Menegoi, and a strong emphasis on the visitor experience - were enthusiastically received by gallerists, who responded with important exhibition projects and made numerous sales in all sections from day one.
There were seven awards presented during Arte Fiera 2023: the first edition of the Righi Collection Award assigned to Massimo Grimaldi, represented by ZERO…, with the work Translucent Island; the ColophonArte Award to Elena Mazzi, represented by Ex Elettrofonica; the Lexus – Morini Group Award to Andrea Respino of Monitor Gallery; the Osvaldo Licini by Fainplast Award to Lorenza Boisi of Ribot Gallery; the Rotary Award to Ncontemporary; the Spada Partners Award to Silver Lomè by Flavio Favelli, represented by Studio Sales, and The Collectors.chain by Art Defender Award to Maha Malluh with the work The Mouse, represented by MLZ Art Dep Gallery.
This year, two works, by Micol Assaël (Rome, 1979) and Lucia Marcucci (Florence, 1933) were purchased, added to the works by Riccardo Baruzzi, Eva Marisaldi and Serena Vestrucci previously acquired for the collections of MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna by the TRUST for Contemporary Art. The selection was made by the Trust’s Public Collections Committee – composed of Sarah Cosulich, Chiara Parisi, and Claudio Spadoni – from among the works of artists represented by galleries at Arte Fiera 2023, for a total investment of 30,000 euros. The TRUST for Contemporary Art, the first of its kind in Italy, has created and manages a fund devoted to today’s art, represented by resources provided by BolognaFiere, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna, by main contributor Gruppo Unipol, and by supporting contributor Emil Banca Credito Cooperativo. The works acquired were: Micol Assaël, reality is not contemporary (Galleria ZERO…) and Lucia Marcucci, Anarchism (Galleria Frittelli Arte Contemporanea).
Beyond the undeniable quality of the exhibitions in both halls and of the Main Section, there was very positive feedback for the curated sections, with increasing attention to Pittura XXI, once again entrusted to critic Davide Ferri, and to Photographs and moving images, curated for the first time by Giangavino Pazzola. The new Multiples section, devoted to works in edition, curated by Lisa Andreani and Simona Squadrito, and Percorso, the thematic itinerary linking significant works in ceramics, we also very successful. Although almost invisible in the light of day, the installation by Alberto Garutti, which lit up the fair’s halls in the absence of the public, was duly noted by critics. The new performance chapter opened in collaboration with Furla Foundation was a resounding success, this year presenting a single, ambitious project with the Israeli group Public Movement. The 5x9 metre megascreen that greeted visitors with Yuri Ancarani’s work had an enormous impact; the book talks, held in the curved Connecting Green Hub installation by MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects, were well attended, with a rich daily programme curated by Guendalina Piselli.
Arte Fiera had very extensive coverage in the national press and important coverage in international media. The main newspapers for the general public and for the sector, offline and online, devoted ample space to the exhibition and to the special projects that defined its return, with numerous reports on all of the top TV and radio channels. Over 600 reporters registered during the 3 days of the fair.
There were 180,000 hits on the site (60% more than in 2022 and 30% more than in 2020), and 60,000 visitors (twice as many as in 2022, 10% more than in 2020) with peaks of over 17,000 visits a day. 1,600,000 total social coverage generated by web actions, more than double the last two physical editions: Arte Fiera’s social channels have further enlarged their fan base (+ 20% in just 4 months) by directly involving galleries, the public, and art content creators.
The renewal of Arte Fiera has begun. See you in 2024!