Miart returns to Milan from 17th to 19th September with its twenty-fifth edition, an edition that confirms the identity of the fair, which rests on the dialogue between modern and contemporary art. What’s new - aside from being scheduled for the autumn, thanks to the slippage of appointments from last spring, just like the Salone del Mobile.Milano – is its artistic direction, entrusted this year to Nicola Ricciardi, formerly curator of the OGR in Turin. The new director has decided to carry on along the same lines as his predecessors, Alessandro Rabottini and Vincenzo de Bellis, who gave a crucial nudge to the reinstatement of the fair. As before, the attention of the public and collectors alike is being trained on art historical cross references to the Novecento, with intergenerational dialogues at the fair stands.
This is also true of design, for example, Nilufar’s stand will be featuring Martino Gamper paired with Gio Ponti. The focus of the presentation will be a console produced by Gamper for the 2008 performance of Gio Ponti translated by Martino Gamper, in which the designer from Alto Adige broke up and then reassembled furnishing pieces designed by Ponti for the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento, it but will also feature a comparison of pieces by both designers: Gamper’s ironic Wikatoria pouffes and Berber rugs, alongside Ponti’s upholstered Mod. 803 sofas and armchairs, floor lamps, sconces and small table, including one from the Hotel della Città et de la Ville in Forlì, produced for the Garzanti Foundation.
Unlike previous years, at this edition there will not be a dedicated design section, known as Object, perhaps also due to Covid, which may also be to blame for a drop in the number of gallerists taking part. In any event, the director has chosen to avoid the distinctions between art and design, mixing up the galleries and thus valorising those previously dedicated to design, which didn’t actually enjoy a particularly privileged position. “One of the things that has set Miart apart from other fairs is its ability to reflect the history of the city in which it’s held,” said Ricciardi, explaining his decision. “Obviously the history of Milan is closely bound up with that of design. For that reason many stand-out works in this field – both local and not – will be included. However, I don’t feel particularly passionate about labels, and have found it much more stimulating to work with the galleries to ensure that, rather than being compartmentalised, design is represented in all the different sections – from Contemporary to Masters, from Emergent to Generations – thus underscoring the nuances, the different spirits, the interconnections and the historic and stylistic evolution. We have been guided by the individual projects, not by an a priori categorisation.”