FATMA  BUCAK, Promised Land, 2014, Digital archival pigment print - 72.5x90 cm, Courtesy Pi Artworks and the artist

FATMA BUCAK, Promised Land, 2014, Digital archival pigment print – 72.5×90 cm, Courtesy Pi Artworks and the artist

Among the news of the 25° edition of Artissima there are also many newcomer galleries. We have met some of the gallerists that will take part for the first time to Artissima to talk about their expectations and the projects they will display during their Turinese debut. In this second round we present the foreign galleries: Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, (New York/Harare)Dastan Gallery, (Tehran)Division of Labour, (London), PI Artworks, (Istanbul/London)Sariev contemporary, (Plovdiv).

#ArtissimaLive | THE DEBUT pt. I

ATP Diary: What prompted you to take part to Artissima? Is there any specific aspect of Artissima that attracted you the most?

Catinca Tabacaru Gallery: I have lived, worked and travelled in Italy throughout my life. Torino was the first city I visited as a child, and the first place where I fell in love. I later studied at the University of Bologna and worked in Milan. Italy is part of my cultural and personal history, so it was about time it became part of my art world context. On a practical level, the collection of dealers and artists this fair brings together, and the curatorial prowess with which each gallery shows up is beyond impressive. My heroes and mentors are here. I am honoured to be invited to the party.

Dastan Gallery: The curatorial perspective and the critical acclaim of Artissima have been the most inviting aspects the fair. Additionally, through participating in Present/Future we will be able to join a plethora of exciting presentations and booths.

Division of Labour: I have been looking for opportunities to work in Italy, meet artists, collectors and curators in my favourite country in the world! Division of Labour has been concentrating in the Northern Europe, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands so our invitation to present the work of Priscila Fernandes was a welcome one. I am also very interested in the ethos of Artissima as I’m curating my own fair in the U.K., Manchester, this, my first year. I’m interested in the more inclusive, artist centred and ethics behind our respective fairs.

PI Artworks: Artissima has been pushing the boundaries of innovation and keeping its self dynamic over all these years. This mission fits perfectly with our gallery vision. And we would like to believe that Pi Artworks will be a valuable contribution to Artissima’s gallery line up.

Sariev contemporary: Artissima has always had the reputation of a prestigious forum that brings together collectors, curators, professionals, gallerists from all over the world. It is a place where this whole audience is open to new positions, new authors, which absolutely responds to the line of our gallery and its list of represented artists, as we are mainly profiled in rediscoveries and new discoveries, aside from the established artists. In this regard, we would really like to show and revive at Artissima an emblematic site-specific work “So Many Reasons…”, 2004, by the gallery represented artist Pravdoliub Ivanov. Of course, I was also attracted by good Italian food and the nice weather!

NARIMAN FARROKHI, Untitled, 2018, Acrylic Paint, Spray Paint on Canvas, 90x60 cm - Courtesy Dastans Basemente, Teheran

NARIMAN FARROKHI, Untitled, 2018, Acrylic Paint, Spray Paint on Canvas, 90×60 cm – Courtesy Dastans Basemente, Teheran

ATP Diary: What will you present? Do you have any specific way to highlight your artworks among the large quantity of galleries that take part in the fair?

Catinca Tabacaru Gallery: As a gallery, we’re very united and run around the world together exploring foreign territories and communities. This leads to fresh, fearless works. You will see collaborations made in Zimbabwe that address local and global race politics. These will hang next to works referencing 14th century etching, and some will even hang on top of wallpaper designed with drawings of mouse penis bones… yes, we’re getting a bit weird, but you asked how we’ll stand out. Let’s just say I value fearlessness.

Dastan Gallery: We will present a solo booth of artworks by Nariman Farrokhi. The main differentiating feature of our presentation will be the layout, which features more than 140 drawings, and a multimedia installation.

Division of Labour: Working in collaboration (a real division of labour) with Cinnamon gallery from Rotterdam. We are presenting the Portuguese artist Priscila Fernandes. Fernandes, who lives and works in Netherlands will be presenting seven heroic in scale paintings, the new series is entitled “Free, to do whatever we…” (2018), they are encaustic paintings on raw cotton, a new system developed following Fernandes’ interest in the new scientific painting methods championed by the neo-impressionists. I think the series will appeal to collectors, they are both illuminating and economic, uniform and simple they feel transparent, light of touch and almost magical in appearance, the painting process and imagery dances across the canvas. We are open to early collectors, museum acquisitions for the entire series, however following the preview we will be placing the works individually. So early interest is advised.

PI Artworks: This will be the first time our primary artist Susan Hefuna takes part in a commercial setting in Italy. In 2009 Daniel Birnbaum showed 350 of Hefuna’s layered drawings at Venice Biennial’s main exhibition. And last year Guggenheim’s Map show toured to GAM museum and showed Susan Hefuna’s city drawings. We will be showing new city drawings from three different series. We are quite excited about it. We will be showing another female artist who is no stranger to Artissima, or Torino, Fatma Bucak. Fatma has recently shown in Merz Foundation, and now the exhibition has toured to GAM Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Palermo. Fatma Bucak’s “So As To Find The Strength To See” is on view till December 2018. Along with two powerful female artists, we are also showing Kemal Seyhan. We will have his large scale graphite drawings at the booth.

Sariev contemporary: We have a specific way to highlight our works, as we are presenting something very specific – the site-specific work “So Many Reasons…”, 2004 by Pravdoliub Ivanov, that we are reviving specially for our booth at Artissima. It consists of a functioning door and a kitchen table placed in a discomfort nearest, intersecting their physical dimensions, and a painted wall. Thus, the work occupies the whole booth, and you can enter the booth by going through the door. The work itself was inspired from thoughts about tolerance as a mutual process, playing with the idea that we could create common space only if we step aside and keep it for the other. In this regard, we believe it is absolutely suitable for the Dialogue section, as it creates a dialogue with the audience, on one side, and on the other – with the rest of the works presented at our booth.
This peculiar landing of big human issues, such as tolerance and common space, can be also found in the drawings from the cycle “Crucifixion for the Fisherman”, 1991-1992, by Luchezar Boyadjiev, where we find Jesus Christ “landed” on the Earth and living among each and every one of us.
Similar to Pravdoliub Ivanov, our third author Rada Boukova also presents objects related to the everyday life: vitrines from furniture (the series “Vitrines”, 2014) and the work “Bread”, 2013.

PRAVDOLIUB IVANOV So Many Reasons…,   Courtesy SARIEV Contemporary Photo: Hans-Christian Schink, 2004 cut door and table, painted wall Courtesy SARIEV Contemporary Photo: Hans-Christian Schink

PRAVDOLIUB IVANOV So Many Reasons…, Courtesy SARIEV Contemporary Photo: Hans-Christian Schink, 2004 cut door and table, painted wall Courtesy SARIEV Contemporary Photo: Hans-Christian Schink

ATP Diary: How much importance has taking part to fairs for your gallery generally?

Catinca Tabacaru Gallery: Fairs are the most direct way to meet new collectors, curators, and other art world aficionados. This is where the relationships begin to then continue inside and around the gallery spaces. 

Dastan Gallery: One of the key aspects of working in an emerging art scene is to have a great degree of focus on international presence. Art fairs provide an important opportunity for this purpose and thus they make up a significant part of our attention.

Division of Labour: Regrettably in todays art world everything! I say “regrettably” not out of a sense of ungratefulness for the system, fairs like Artissima are important working in support of artist communities and an arts ecology, but the way gallery attendance and sales are decreasing is changing the landscape. Who knows if it’s for the benefit of art?

PI Artworks: Pi ARTWORKS has been doing several international fairs every year since 2005. We believe this is the best way to create new platforms for our artists and audience. We like to collaborate with local galleries, and explore local artists. We have been enjoying our experience in Asia. Art Basel Hong Kong has been our platform to connect with the entire region past nine years. Fairs can be very empowering when the goal is to add value and take social responsibility. For example this year, Pi Artworks has taken part in Frieze London’s Social Work section. This invitational feature section highlighted female artist whose work emerged in response to the global social and political schisms of the 1980s and ’90s. Outcome was very similar to a museum show.

Sariev contemporary: Bulgarian contemporary art is rarely presented at the Venice Biennale and other big forums for various reasons. To us at gallery Sariev Contemporary, this fair is an opportunity to present these contemporary artists and art works that often have museum and historical value and are award winners.
In addition, we are dedicated to popularizing Bulgarian contemporary art scene at international forums through various events, such as book presentations of gallery publications, public talks and other accompanying events.
Our mission and activities are far from the mere art trade. To us, art fairs are forums for communication and meeting with other gallerists and art experts, which would aid our efforts to present Bulgarian art at the international art scene. This is an overall line of work for us, as we also run a foundation that supports Bulgarian art and culture called Open Arts Foundation.

PRISCILA FERNANDES, Nós, redes e tramas, 2018 - Encaustic painting on raw cotton 200x150 cm - Courtesy the artist and Division of Labour Gallery

PRISCILA FERNANDES, Nós, redes e tramas, 2018 – Encaustic painting on raw cotton 200×150 cm – Courtesy the artist and Division of Labour Gallery