Guide to miart and Milano Art Week 2023

Titled ‘Crescendo’, the new edition of the modern and contemporary art fair is expanding throughout the city with a series of parallel proposals and events. Here the ones not to be missed. 

From April 14 to 16, Fieramilanocity will host Crescendo – the 27th edition of miart; Milan’s modern and contemporary art fair organized by Fiera Milano. Its Artistic Director – Nicola Ricciardi – described it to Domus with three simple words: “trajectory, restitution and internationality.”

The three terms embody the key principles of this year’s fair. First of all, the awareness of being in the middle of a rebuilding phase, with a construction metaphor that well represents the desire to “build the first, second, and third floors” – once the solid foundations have been achieved with the previous editions. Secondly, the desire to open up to the city and its citizens in a concrete and tangible way. “Hence the creation of a programme of talks that is free and usable by all, or a widening of commissions so that even city institutions can have a positive and objective spin-off from the fair,” the director tells Domus, referring to this year’s novelties. We mention in particular the new collaborations with Triennale Milano and Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, but the Massimo Giorgetti award as well, in its first edition.

miart 2022. Photo by Marco Beck Peccoz.

Therefore, for the first time, the contents of the fair come out like roots from their own vase to graft themselves into other places in the city. Starting with Triennale Milano that will host miart LIVE at Triennale Milano – a series of meetings with big names such as Jonathan Monk and Angharad Williams, Gianni Pettena and Italo Rota, Beatrice Trussardi and Massimiliano Gioni. Particularly significant is the synergy with the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, which chooses to celebrate its first 20 years as a nomadic museum right inside the fair pavilions, with a cake by Maurizio Cattelan. And then there is the collaboration with radio stations, with The Sound of miart.

In musical language, Crescendo (Italian for ‘increasing’) indicates the gradual increase in the intensity of sound. Regarding the fair, it indicates above all the gradual growth in participation. A growth that goes hand in hand with Milan’s increasing prominence in the arts.

Stefano Calligaro, Spaghetti Uova 6 Pomodori 1 Kg Olio di oliva Pangrattato Acciughe 8, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 100x70 cm. Courtesy the artist andUNA, Piacenza.

“Over the past five years, Milan has emerged as a key contributor to the European contemporary art scene,” Ricciardi tells Domus. Because of the investments around Expo 2015, the opening of Fondazione Prada and the arrival at the helm of miart of Vincenzo de Bellis, who transformed the fair from a local event to an international one.

This resulted in many foreign collectors settling in the city – a trend further intensified following Brexit. The same rooting of collectors in Milan led foreign galleries to see the city as fertile ground to expand and grow in again. “I had worked for four years in Turin, as director of the OGR, collaborating with Artissima and many institutions in the city, achieving some good results. But they cannot compare to what we have built in the last 3 years in Milan,” Ricciardi concludes.

Not surprisingly, Art Week stretches into 2023 beyond continuity with Design Week. This year, many museums and foundations have taken the run-up, opening the week before the fair. Worthy to mention among many: Ann Veronica Janssens’ elegant solo exhibition at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Fondazione Prada with Anatomical Waxes and Fondazione ICA Milano with Nathlie Provosty. Then there are also initiatives dedicated to public art. Especially thanks to the inauguration of three new works by Rossella Biscotti, Liliana Moro, and Otobong Nkanga for ArtLine, as well as Falena – Nico Vascellari’s monumental installation designed for the exterior of the Triennale Milano building – and Franco Mazzucchelli’s works, also in the Darsena.

This year miart grows by expanding its collaborations, with a fashion brand. In addition to established partnerships such as the main partner Intesa Sanpaolo and Maison Ruinart, which will propose a special project in the VIP lounge, furnished with Kartell and Saba – the fashion brand MSGM partners with the fair, commissioning the duo Eva & Franco Mattes with a site-specific work for miart’s inauguration. 

Opening image: Yuri Ancarani, Il Capo, 2010. Still video. Courtesy Studio Ancarani

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