A guide to miart 2022 and the events not to be missed during the Milano Art Week

An essential guide to the events of the Milano Art Week and the highlights of the first 2022 contemporary art fair. A “first movement”, as director Nicola Ricciardi says.

The 26th edition of miart 2022 is just around the corner. From 1 to 3 April, the first modern and contemporary art fair in Italy – and one of the first in Europe – opens after months of stops and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include the decision to postpone the Salone del Mobile, which used to follow the art fair week, to June, as well as Artefiera in Bologna, scheduled for January.  

miart2022, primo movimento. Foto Isabelle Wenzel. Creative direction Cabinet Milano
miart 2022, primo movimento (first movement). Photo Isabelle Wenzel. Creative direction Cabinet Milano

Nicola Ricciardi, the first-time director of the fair, expects a more personal edition that is on a par with the previous one. A desire reflected in its name: primo movimento (first movement). “This term, borrowed from classical music, does not only represent the beginning of a musical form, but also a desire for acceleration, for moving all together – gallery owners, collectors, artists, citizens and visitors. Because the perfect execution of a symphony is only possible if there is collaboration and cohesion between the baton, forearms, hands, fingers, looks, faces, gestures and, last but not least, the audience in the hall,” he tells Domus.


Moreover, this dynamic framework includes the original project of performances in the city curated by Davide Giannella, an original cycle scheduled for 30 March that combines performance and public sphere, featuring visual artist Riccardo Benassi and choreographer Michele Rizzo. This project is realised thanks to the support of Fondazione Marcelo Burlon. “The entire miart and Fiera Milano team wanted to highlight the importance of getting back on the move this spring. In fact, the OutPut project was created to shape the theme of this edition effectively,” Ricciardi continues. Along with FOG Triennale Milano Performing Art, the performing arts festival presents the lecture-performance Dying on Stage by Cypriot Christodoulos Panayiotou (2 April) and the world premiere of Milano, the new work by Romeo Castellucci filmed by Yuri Ancarani (3 April).

Carla Accardi, Reciproche influenze, 2012, vinyl paint on canvas,100×120 cm, arch. n. 350C. Foto Alberto Petrò. Courtesy l’Artista e Francesca Minini, Milano
Carla Accardi, Mutual influences, 2012, vinyl paint on canvas, 100×120 cm, arch. n. 350C. Photo Alberto Petrò. Courtesy the Artist and Francesca Minini, Milan

The Milan fair is a starting point for the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. In fact, artists being on display also include some of the protagonists of the Venetian kermesse, such as Carla Accardi, Tommaso Binga, Miriam Cahn, Giulia Cenci, Louise Nevelson and Joanna Piotrowska, to name but a few. There are 151 participating galleries, from twenty countries. The galleries’ works will be displayed in three main sections, smaller than in previous editions. “The idea is to provide a clearer distribution of spaces encouraging visitors to move around,” Ricciardi continues.

For the first time, the main Established section showcases a selection of mixed galleries, combining design and modern art works with contemporary works and developing a more appropriately exhibition-oriented path. “The 2021 miart edition has shown that a closer interaction between modern and contemporary can produce common benefits. Therefore, Established Masters and Established Contemporary have been combined in order to encourage greater permeability, stimulating galleries to imagine increasingly high-quality exhibition projects and encouraging dialogues and rediscoveries.”

Enzo Mari, Progetto 1379A, Le porte, 1976-84, serigrafia su carta. 50x69.5 cm. Ed. Danese, XXV prove d’artista numerate e firmate. Courtesy Eredi Enzo Mari e Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia
Enzo Mari, Project 1379A, Le porte (The doors), 1976-84, screen printing on paper. 50x69.5 cm. Ed. Danese, XXV numbered and signed artist’s proofs. Courtesy Eredi Enzo Mari and Massimo Minini Gallery, Brescia

It is an edition that focuses on new generations and experimentation, a constantly evolving panorama that will increasingly stimulate the curiosity of collectors and visitors. This is immediately clear from the place reserved for Emergent within Fieramilanocity, the section for new generation of galleries and artists, and the associated prizes introduced, which “prove the growing interest of institutions, companies and partners.” 

Besides the support of Intesa Sanpaolo, the fair’s main partner, and the Fondazione Fiera Milano Acquisition Fund – whose collection, on display in Palazzina degli Orafi, has now reached one hundred works – there are also promotional and support initiatives for artists and gallery owners, which are reflected in several awards: Herno Prize for the best stand, LCA Prize for the best gallery in the Emergent section, Covivio Acquisition Award, which will select an artist to commission a site-specific work.

Marcia Hafif, Nr.111 (dalla serie Italian Paintings), 1966, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 70 cm. Courtesy Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna
Marcia Hafif, Nr. 111 (from the Italian Paintings series), 1966, acrylic on canvas, 70x70 cm. Courtesy Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna

Lastly, the fair’s systemic focus on the city. The partnership with Milan institutions is in fact a cornerstone of miart, which over time has grown events and exhibitions in museums, foundations, galleries and non-profit spaces opening during the fair. Despite two difficult years, Milano Art Week is not losing heart and is celebrating from 28 March to 3 April a restart characterised by big international names, who suggest quality exhibitions, in collaboration with the Cultural Department of the City of Milan. Among the many events, from the most popular to the most hidden, here are five not to be missed.

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