2019 Combat Prize finalist, G. Fattori Museum, Livorno/Leghorn

Selected as finalist for the 2019 edition of the Combat Prize, Painting category, the group exhibition features the selected work (La vasca / Bathtub – acrylic on canvas, 110x110cm at the Giovanni Fattori Museum, Livorno/Leghorn.

The research is based on several photographic images mainly from the 50s and 60s. The exhibited Combat Prize artwork shows an alla prima painting, without afterthoughts and preserving the required and immediate tension that derives from the constant activity of drawing. The outrightness and the will to highlight the expression of the moment and the subject depicted, is sought after. The act of painting takes on the value of emotion and reveals that which is darker than matter.

The exhibition presents to the public the 80 artists who have been shortlisted for the tenth edition of the Combat Prize, with their artworks selected by a grand jury, among the 1200 works from 52 different countries, divided into 5 categories: Painting, Graphics, Photography, Sculpture/Installation and Video.

Selection held by: Andrea Bruciati (Villa Adriana e Villa d’Este director, Tivoli, Roma), Daniele De Luigi (Modena Gallery curator – Modena Arti Visive Foundation), Francesca Baboni (independent curator and art critic), Lorenzo Balbi (MAMbo director, Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna), Matteo Bergamini (journalist and art critic, editor-in-chief of Exibart magazine), Paola Tognon (director of Museo della Città – Luogo Pio Contemporary Art and Giovanni Fattori Museum, Livorno/Leghorn) e Stefano Taddei (independent curator and art critic).

The Combat Prize was born with the purpose of investigating the most interesting ideas in international contemporary art.
The prize shares the same objective, which is maybe ambitious but certainly effective from a cultural viewpoint: to go to the frontline to search for different trends in the international art world and to document at the same time the new artistic languages as they develop. It represents a new kind of research model based on a cultural discourse, which is free from any commercial constrictions.

Through artistic research, the Combat Prize promotes a useful and non-banal “comparison-clash”, a sort of cultural battle that is really vital and necessary in these uncertain times.

The shortlisted artists for the Painting category: Gianluca BiasiCecilia BorettazFilippo CristiniMiriam Del SeppiaNatalija DimitrijevićJingge DongMargarita EgorovaMattia FerrettiElisa FilomenaAlessandro FogoLaura FortinYiming HeLin Yung HuangMarta LorenzonAnna MarzuttiniGiacomo ModoloDario MolinaroMaria Giovanna MorelliSetsuko OnoEnrico PierottiMaria PilottoFederica PolettiGiulia QuerinCarlo Alberto RastelliSonia RiccioFilippo RizzonelliAlessio VaccariMarco VecchiatoCveto VidovicXi Zhang.


The participation of 1,211 artists from fifty-two countries confirms that the Combat Prize, now in its tenth edition, is a truly important event. It delves into different contemporary languages, allowing artists to pursue their objectives in the freest and most open manner.

Having reached this important ten-year milestone, the Combat Prize continues consolidating its bonds with our area. And, at the same time it seeks to seize the vitality and the visions that contemporary artists present. Therefore, it offers our city an opportunity to reflect on how artistic creativity is expressed in today’s social and cultural context.

The Combat Prize is an event that will extend throughout the city: in the rooms of the Granai di Villa Mimbelli, the Fortezza Nuova and the SAC, Spazio Arte Contemporanea Livorno/Leghorn, the new headquarters of the Blob Art cultural association that will host the various sections and will further enrich our city’s cultural offering, by harmoniously fitting into the context of our “relaunch project” that is taking root and developing in our cultural institutions and in our neighbourhoods.

It is particularly important to note that cooperation between public and private entities in the world of culture is indeed possible, and – as in the case of the Combat Prize – it creates synergy as they strive towards shared goals. Therefore, we want to thank all the organizers, sponsors and artists who are working and have worked on the success of this event. And it is to the artists themselves that we wish to extend our heartfelt wishes that their works be evermore “combative” going beyond the market’s restrictions and always projected towards pure experimentation and innovation.

The City of Livorno/Leghorn


If – as I believe – it is true that, as it reflects our identity, contemporary art is essential for envisioning our cultural, social and economic future, then the tenth edition of the Combat Prize – a goal that we had set for ourselves since the first edition – bears witness to a decade characterized by great social and cultural transitions which have led to the changed perspectives through which art today is produced, analyzed and marketed.

To mark this tenth Combat Prize, we have decided to meet this new challenge by staging the best possible exhibition and face the task with the seriousness and ambition that have distinguished all previous editions. Consistency, coherence and continuity in the exhibition’s format, aims and roles have succeeded in improving the visibility of our participating artists and their competitiveness on the art market.

This has created mobility within the “system” making it possible to give voice to all the creative experiences that comprise most of contemporary artistic output and its enormous, inexhaustible wealth. It is this coherence that has gradually brought the Combat Prize into the national spotlight, to the point that it has become one of the most popular competitions in Italy and acknowledged as an important growth opportunity for artists during various phases of their careers.

Many voices of the contemporary, and the works of the more than nine thousand artists who have participated in the competition’s editions, are an excellent key to reading the past decade. And, thanks to hardcopy publications and digital archiving of the works produced over the years, they will surely become a tool for analyzing a period in which the boundaries of an area inhabited by just a few have expanded making it a place open to all in an mass phenomenon representing society’s fast changes.

The municipal government of Livorno/Leghorn has played an important role, and deserves enormous praise as do the partners who have always supported the project, along with the city’s places of culture such as the Museo Fattori, the Granai di Villa Mimbelli, the Fortezza Vecchia and the Fortezza Nuova, the Museo di Storia Naturale and the Villa del Presidente, that have hosted the competition. In turn, these places have grown and reinforced their respective missions – education and training, planning and opening their doors to all artistic production with special attention to those that extend the process over the long-term.

Heartfelt thanks to all the artists, curators and collectors who have participating in the previous editions and to the one thousand two hundred arts from fifty-two countries taking part in this year’s Combat Prize. Their careers have developed in many and different ways, but they are all characterized and united by a shared desire to record our world, blazing new trails and through their explorations, find innovative answers. I hope that the Combat Prize will prove to be a marvellous voyage of exploration that will bring you new knowledge and awareness.

Paolo Batoni, president of Associazione Culturale Blob ART


The 140 pages catalogue will contain all the texts of the jury in both Italian and English. The copies will be available for purchase during the final exhibition or directly on the editor’s website: https://www.sillabe.it/it/cataloghi-di-mostra/743-premio-combat-2018.html


Curated by Associazione Culturale Blob ART

From 22nd June until 13th July 2019

Opening times: Tuesday-Friday 4 pm – 7 pm and Saturday-Sunday 10 am – 1 pm / 4 pm – 7 pm

Group exhibition vernissage on Saturday, 22nd June at 4.30 pm

Giovanni Fattori Museum

65/71, via San Jacopo in Acquaviva, Livorno/Leghorn


Please click on the following links for further details: