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The international modern and contemporary art fair, miart, makes its highly anticipated return to Milan this week, open September 17—19. Organized by Fiera Milano, miart’s 25th edition is directed for the first time by Nicola Ricciardi. Hosting 145 galleries from 21 different countries, miart is organized into five sections: Established Contemporary, Established Masters, Emergent, Decades, and Generation.
Inspired by Serbian-born American poet Charles Simić’s 1971 collection, “Dismantling the Silence,” and in an effort to encourage dialogue between past and present, miart’s theme, “A blossoming of trust,” pays special attention to poetic word. Surrounding the theme, miart’s initiatives seek to promote new forms of communication among the featured artists that has always been an essential part of the fair.
The first of these initiatives, an editorial project titled And Flowers / Words, took place over the course of three months and involved weekly conversations between several artistic and cultural figures, including Massimiliano Gioni, Mariangela Gualtieri, Luca Lo Pinto, and Emanuele Trevi. Work from And Flowers / Words can be found here.
The second of these initiatives, Starry Worlds, was inspired by work by American poet, Adreinne Rich, in particular verses from her 1981 collection For Memory:
“freedom is daily, prose-bound, routine / remembering.
Putting together,/ inch by inch / the starry worlds. From all the lost collections.”
From Rich’s themes, Ricciardi drew connections between different Milano institutions by asking artists to share quotes, fragments, or lines of poetry that have impacted their artistic process. The pieces of poetry were then collected in an anthology and used to form a poetic map of Milan.
In an ongoing effort to promote the work of new and established artists, miart will continue in its tradition of awarding prizes. Among them, the Fondazione Fiera Milano Acquisition Fund provides €50, and aims to grow Fondazione Fiera Milano’s collection, which presently consists of 99 works in the Palazzina degli Orafi. Others include the sixth edition of the Herno Prize that will award €10,000 to the artist with the best exhibition booth. In collaboration with the LCA Studio Legale, miart will also present €4,000 to the artist with the best presentation within the fair’s Emergent section. Finally, the Rotary Club Milano Brera Prize for Contemporary Art and Young Artists, introduced in 2009, will support its recipient, an emerging or mid-career artist, by purchasing a piece of their artwork to then be donated to the Museo del Novecento in Milan.
A VIP preview of “A blossoming of trust” will be held on September 16. As part of their VIP Lounge, and in partnership with Maison Ruinart, miart will feature selected works by British artist David Shrigley.