The Torino ArtWeek is possibly the most anticipated and thrilling art event in Italy. Not only Torino is a great destination year-round for contemporary art lovers, but during the Art Week it is further enriched by fairs and collateral events, openings, performances, and most of all a crazy amount of exhibitions.
I had been to Torino before, and it is genuinely one of my favorite cities in Italy. Despite the art frenziness, it is such an enjoyable place, and people are super friendly and polite. This time, since I had a (tiny) little bit more time, I decided to visit some new spaces around town, and once again they did not disappoint.
From big venues to smaller museums, I found quality exhibitions, very well-curated spaces and programs, and, overall, a very high value in all these different locations.
There are still many, many other spaces that would need a mention and that are doing a great job in assessing Torino as the contemporary art capital of Italy, not to mention the many galleries that are located around the city. But, hey, this only means I have one too many reasons to go back, and you should too!
So, since sharing is caring, here are some of my new favorite places to discover contemporary art in Torino.
Museo Nazionale della Montagna “Duca degli Abruzzi”
Not only this is a great spot for exhibitions, but this is possibly the best view you will get over Torino. Climb up the Monte dei Cappuccini, and at the very top of this (little) mountain, you will find a church and monastery, with a beautiful terrace overlooking the Po river and the center of Torino, with the majestic Alps in the background. This view by itself is worth the climb!
Now that you have soaked up the view, turn around and you will find yourself in front of the Museo Nazionale della Montagna “Duca degli Abruzzi”. The first nucleus of this small museum was originally assembled in 1874, but nowadays the museum hosts a variety of different activities. Together with exhibitions and screenings dedicated to mountains and mountaineering, the museum hosts a compelling program of temporary exhibitions dedicated to modern and contemporary artists. In particular, the contemporary art program, curated by Andrea Lerda, focuses on sustainability and environmental issues, and boasts a program of exhibitions and related events that are extremely well-curated and interesting.
I had the pleasure to visit their latest exhibition, The Mountain Touch, with the curator, and I really enjoyed both the artists, the theme, and the mix of art and scientific research upon which the exhibition was built.
Museo Nazionale della Montagna “Duca degli Abruzzi”
Piazzale Monte dei Cappuccini, 7 – Torino
Info, exhibition, and opening hours: www.museomontagna.org
Another great discovery I made during my recent trip to Torino was Pinacoteca Agnelli. It is not super easy to spot, as you have to enter a huge mall to find the entrance, but believe it is worth the hunt!
The Pinacoteca was originally opened in 2002, and it is hosted inside a beautiful glass structure, the “Scrigno”, designed by Renzo Piano. It was meant to host the collection of Gianni e Marella Agnelli, which comprises 23 pieces ranging from Canaletto to Picasso.
From May 2022 Pinacoteca Agnelli, under the leadership of the new director Sarah Cosulich, has started a new course, becoming a dynamic cultural center. Together with the permanent collection, the space hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists as well as site-specific projects, commissioned to both Italian and international artists for its indoor and outdoor spaces.
The space itself is amazing, as it is built on top of the Lingotto complex, and the exhibitions are top-quality. They host both monographic exhibitions dedicated to contemporary artists as well as interventions by contemporary artists, that reflect on the permanent collection to develop related temporary projects.
But the most amazing part of the Pinacoteca is the so-called Pista 500. This iconic track on the Lingotto rooftop was once used by the FIAT factory for testing cars, and it is opened to the public for the first time and turned into a roof garden that hosts site-specific installations. Follow the curved lines of the former track to discover the installations, and marvel at the view of the Alps in the background, before immersing yourself in the Pinacoteca collection. I guarantee you, this is a unique experience you don’t want to miss!
OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni
The last space I want to talk about is easily one of my favorites. Unsurprisingly, it is an industrial building turned into an art and events venue, with massive spaces and plenty of room for different projects.
Originally built in the XIX Century, OGR served for over one hundred years as a repairs workshop for locomotives, railcars, and railway wagons. Abandoned in the 1990s, it was later acquired by a private company that turned this massive complex into what we see today.
Nowadays, the space hosts exhibitions, conventions, and talks, as well as concerts, and music festivals. It is a vibrant space, with plenty to do. You can stop here to enjoy a meal or coffee, while also visiting top-class exhibitions, or just chill outside in the sun.
Honorable mention since exhibitions are free, despite being really high level, and the space is conveniently located not too far from the center of Torino, but still in a convenient position.