Ilaria Bonacossa is the new director of ARTISSIMA, international contemporary art fair

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Ilaria Bonacossa is the new director of ARTISSIMA, international contemporary art fair
Ilaria Bonacossa is a curator and art historian. Photo: Nuvola.

TURIN.- The board of directors of the Fondazione Torino Musei has chosen the new director of ARTISSIMA, selected from a shortlist nominated by an external committee composed of Andrea Bellini, Michela Bondardo, Silvia Evangelisti, Guido Guerzoni and Francesco Manacorda.

Ilaria Bonacossa, age 43, will lead the Contemporary Art Fair of Torino for the next three editions, 2017–19.

After careful evaluation of the candidates and projects selected by the external committee, the board of directors of the Fondazione Torino Musei identified Ilaria Bonacossa as the ideal candidate to guide the next three editions of Artissima, according to the following motivation: “The decision was based on her professional profile and on the project submitted, which was very well structured and in line with the objectives of such an important and complex contemporary art fair. Her project is aimed at strengthening the cultural identity of Artissima, with great attention paid to the development of artistic strategies, as well as a particular sensitivity to the fair’s marketing and commercial policies”.

Ilaria Bonacossa succeeds Sarah Cosulich, who has directed Artissima for five years, having won a three-year call, which was extended for other two editions. The public nature of the fair required for a new call.

“After five years as Artissima’s director, I am leaving the fair in new hands”, says Cosulich. “Leading this organization has been a precious opportunity and a great challenge, and I am proud of the astonishing results that, together with our wonderful team, we have achieved. I present back to the city a healthy and strong project both commercially and artistically, a fair with a unique experimental and curatorial identity which has become one of the most respected international events. We have launched new models inside the fair as well as “chain reactions” around Torino: from the acclaimed Maurizio Cattelan-curated ‘Shit and Die’ exhibition to Thomas Bayrle’s installation in the Torino airport baggage claim area. I would like to thank all the special people – collaborators, gallerists, collectors, curators, journalists and partners – who have made a difference for Artissima in these years, and I wish my successor, Ilaria Bonacossa, all the best on this fantastic adventure”.

The new director, Ilaria Bonacossa, says: “I am happy to return to Torino: a city that I love and where I lived for almost ten years. Since 2002, I have not missed a single edition of Artissima, and I believe that the quality of the fair’s cultural offer is undeniable. I take up this important legacy with responsibility and enthusiasm, and I believe that the strength and the international excellence of Torino’s cultural institutions make Artissima an exceptional opportunity for Italian contemporary art. It will be an exciting challenge, played alongside the galleries and collectors that have always been central to the history of contemporary art. I thank the Fondazione Torino Musei for the confidence they have shown in me”.

Ilaria Bonacossa is a curator and art historian. Having received a BA in Contemporary Art History from the Università Statale di Milano and an MA in Curatorial Studies from Bard College, NY, she worked as research assistant for the 2003 Whitney Biennial and as curatorial assistant for Manifesta 3, Ljubljana. From 2002 to 2009 she was curator at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, in Torino, where she curated major exhibitions such as ‘Subcontingent, contemporary art from the Indian Sub Continent’. Since 2012 she has been the artistic director of the Public Museum for Contemporary Art Villa Croce, in Genova, where she has successfully experimented with an innovative form of management in partnership with the Genova Municipality and Palazzo Ducale Cultural Foundation. At Villa Croce she has curated numerous shows with Italian and international artists such as 'Andy Warhol sul Comò. Works from the Barabino Collection'; 'Cosmic Jive. Tomás Saraceno The Spider Sessions'; and 'Julieta Aranda, If a Body meet a Body'. She has been a member of the technical committee for acquisitions of FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur of Marsiglia (2007–13), member of the scientific committee of PAC Milano (2013–16) and responsible for Italy of the Artist Pension Trust. In 2007 she was a member for the Golden Lion jury at the Venice Biennale, and in 2013 member of the nominating committee for the Inamori Foundation Prize, Kyoto. She is a founding member of Art@Work, a collective that develops contemporary art projects in the non-profit sector and for private collections. She has personally curated site-specific installations for Antinori Art Project and La Raia Foundation. She has also curated solo shows by Thomas Grunfelde, Zhang Enli, Tony Conrad, Julieta Aranda, Massimo Grimaldi, Alberto Tadiello and Katrin Sigurdardottir, and written on such artists as Cristof Yvoré, Kees Goudzwaard and Marlene Dumas.

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