With only a couple of months left for this 2020, by now we know this has been a rather strange year. Especially for contemporary art fairs, as all the major ones got canceled or were only held online. I mean, if ArtBasel is canceled in all its locations, is it even a year worth living? 

And despite the initial excitement for all the online viewing rooms, as of now we all crave wandering through booths and pavilions, meeting people, and talking to artists. Because let’s be honest, even though art fairs are extremely tiring, we all miss jumping from one place to the other, while discovering galleries and artists and networking with amazing people. 
And yes, the booze and the after-parties as well. 

But do not panic!
Covid-19 might have given us a brand new set of rules to follow, but not all is lost. And slowly art fairs around the world are changing and adapting and some are being held despite a global pandemic. 

Is it safe to go? Is it even possible to reach these locations? 
I honestly think it is safe, though it is not always easy to reach the few art fairs opening in the upcoming weeks. But I would like to praise all the people trying to adapt the old fair format to these new and changing times, working extra hard to give visitors and exhibitors a way to connect and ultimately keep this sector alive.

And while I wait to see Instagram posts from friends around the world, actually able to visit Busan, Shanghai, Paris, London, or any other art fair available, I figured I can do my part and visit some of the fairs in Italy. In these difficult times, I believe it is important to support whoever is working to make things happen despite the period we live in, so here are all the contemporary art fairs in Italy I am planning to visit this autumn. 

The ReA! team – Image courtesy ReA Art Fair

ReA Art Fair, Milan (October 30, 2020 – November 1, 2020)

ReA! Art Fair is the latest addition to the Milan art scene. The 2020 edition will be its first one, but they already set a very impressive program. The fair, organized by an incredible group of women, will take place the last weekend of October at the Fabbrica del Vapore, a former train factory converted into a cultural space. 

More than just a traditional fair, ReA! is entirely dedicated to independent emerging artists. As they state: “The strength of REA!’s art fair is to push artists’ careers in ways they wouldn’t find elsewhere. REA! aims to be innovative in comparison to the traditional art fair model.
Firstly, only artists who are not represented are invited to REA!’s fair. In doing this, the REA! team does not want to push galleries and investors away but they want to give emerging artists their own space, and hopefully convince private collectors and public institutions to support them in the future. The collectors and visitors are invited to take part in peer-to-peer transactions bypassing the gallery intermediaries.” 

A curated selection of 100 artists will be on display for 3 days in Milan, the ticket to the fair is free and can be easily booked through Eventbrite. ReA! has all the elements to become an innovative platform, not just for artists and collectors in Milan, and I am thrilled to visit it very soon.

ReA! Art Fair
30.10.2020 – 1.11.2020

La Fabbrica del Vapore
Via Giulio Cesare Procaccini, 4, 20154 Milano MI

Info and tickets

The Others, Turin (November 4 – 8, 2020)

Another fair dedicated to emerging artists, The Others is usually held during the Turin Art Week. Unlike the Milanese fair though, The Others is a well-established appointment, with this being its 10th edition. Over the years the fair has animated several different spaces around Turin, aiming at rediscovering and giving new life to abandoned places of Turin. After hospitals and police stations, this year the fair will be presented inside the Torino Esposizione exhibition hall, a large and social-distancing safe space where Italian and international emerging artists will be presented to the public. 

As they say on their website: “The Others Art Fair wants to experiment with a renewed format that is able to interpret the new possibilities of action with you, them and others. A model that rejects the rules of traditional fairs to encourage a more direct and immediate dialogue between artistic proposals and the different audiences that follow the Italian and international art scene.”

Despite the cancellation of Artissima, the major fair of the Turin Art Week, this year we still have a good reason to visit Torino. 

The Others Art Fair
4.11.2020 – 8.11.2020

Torino Esposizioni
Corso Massimo d’Azeglio, 17, 10126 Torino TO

Info and tickets

ArtVerona, Verona (December 11 – 13, 2020)

Originally set to take place in October, the fair was postponed amid the first wave of the Covid pandemic back in March, and as of now, it is still confirmed for December 2020. ArtVerona is definitely not a new entry in my calendar, as it has been a recurring appointment for a few years now. The fair is a traditional art fair, with a huge exhibition space usually divided into 2 sections. The first is dedicated to more established artists and galleries, with exhibitors mainly from Italy and Europe. The other section is usually dedicated to a few different projects, from emerging artists and younger galleries to no-profit spaces and curatorial projects. I particularly like this fair as it presents a number of different approaches to contemporary art, with not just booths and galleries, but talks, lectures, and a nice calendar of events throughout the city of Verona. And moreover, it is entirely dedicated to Italian art, a sector that is often overlooked and not enough encouraged and promoted. 

This 16th edition of ArtVerona will be held from 11 to 13 December 2020, in a newly renovated fair quarter, with 130 exhibitors ready to let us discover the best Italian art on the market. A great way for me to end this strange year, a year that showed us how fragile the system can be. But also the year that taught us to appreciate and rediscover local contemporary art, slowing down and taking a break from the frenzy, waiting for a better time to resume our globetrotting journeys.  

11.12.2020 – 13.11.2020

Verona Fiere 
Viale dell’Industria, 37135 Verona VR

Info and tickets

DISCLAIMER: This article was written before the latest decrees of the Italian government. The information provided could be subject to changes and fairs could be canceled after the publication of this article.
Please always check the official websites of the events. We at Artsy Travels will try to keep this post updated, should any major change in the calendar provided occur.

Did you like this post? Are you interested in other articles about Italy?
You can check this post on Milan or this other article on Torino.