Carla Accardi

November 18th, 2022 by

Carla Accardi was born in Trapani on 9 October 1924.
After studying art in high school, she continued her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo, where she met Antonio Sanfilippo. In 1946 she moved to Rome, where the following year she signed the manifesto of the Forma 1 group, being the only woman in the group. These artists aimed to reconcile Marxist and formalist political views through abstract and realist art. Each of the participants would develop a personal language over time. Accardi’s language is characterised by a feminist vein which, through the creation of new enigmatic signs, aims to disrupt the association between delicacy and the feminine in art as well as to criticize the patriarchal tradition of the Western world.
Between November and December 1950, Accardi had her first solo show at the Age d’Or library-gallery in Rome. During those years, her artistic language was based on black and white abstract signs. At the base of Accardi’s research there is a continuous experimentation: in the 1960s she began to use coloured paints and supports such as sycofoil that lead her to the first experiments of an installation art. Examples are the well-known Tenda (1965-66) and Ambiente Arancio (1966-68). In 1964 she participated for the first time in the Venice Biennale, where she would then return for several following editions. In the 1980s, the artist returned to the canvas, using it as support for large and colourful signs. In 1994 she took part in the historical review on Italian art “The Italian Metamorphosis 1943-1968” at the Guggenheim in New York. In 1996 she became a member of the Brera Academy and the following year she was proclaimed advisor to the Commission for the Venice Biennale. In the early 2000s, Accardi was dedicated solo exhibitions by important Italian and foreign institutions, including the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2002 and the MACRO in Rome in 2004. Numerous museums have Accardi’s works in their collections, such as: Guggenheim in New York and Venice, Centre Pompidou in Paris, MAMbo in Bologna and GAM in Turin. Carla Accardi passed away in Rome on 23 February 2014.

Photo: “Gruppo Forma 1”: Pietro Consagra, Mino Guerrini, Ugo Attardi, Carla Accardi, Achille Perilli, Antonio Sanfilippo e Piero Dorazio (Roma, 1947)

Oliviero Toscani

November 17th, 2022 by

Oliviero Toscani is internationally known as the creative force behind the most famous brands in the world, creator of images that have changed the history of communication. His institutional and corporate campaigns have brought subjects of social responsibility into the mainstream.

Toscani was one of the founding professors of the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture, he taught visual communication in various universities and wrote books on communication.
After nearly six decades of publishing innovation, advertising, film and television, he is now interested in the creativity of communication applied to various media, producing editorial projects, books, television programs, exhibitions and workshops.
He has won numerous awards such as the Golden Lion four times at the Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Prix d’Affichage twice, the UNESCO Grand Prix, the Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Hero Award and several Art Directors Club awards from around the world. The Academy of Fine Arts of Urbino awarded him the Il Sogno di Piero prize. He received the title of Academic of Honour from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and that of Academic of Merit from the Academy of Perugia. In 2021 he received the Lorenzo il Magnifico Career Award at the XIII Florence Biennale. In 2017 he obtained honorary degrees from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brescia and from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, and in 2018 from the University of the Arts in Zurich. Oliviero Toscani is an honorary member of the Leonardo Committee and of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Marinella Senatore

March 9th, 2021 by

Trained in music, fine arts and film, her practice is characterized by public participation, initiating a dialogue between history, culture and social structures. Rethinking the role of the artist as author and the public as recipient, Senatore’s work merges forms of protest, learning theatre, oral histories, vernacular forms, protest dance and music, public ceremonies, civil rituals and mass events, reflecting on the political nature of collective formations and their impact on the social history of places and communities.

Her work has been exhibited widely throughout Italy and abroad, including:
Bienal of Sao Paulo ; Manifesta 12; Centre Pompidou; Kunsthaus Zurich; MAXXI Museum; Castello di Rivoli; Palais de Tokyo; Schirn Kunsthalle; Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago; High Line, NY; Berlinische Galerie; Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen; Faena Art Forum; Bozar, BXL; Queens Museum; Petach Tikva Museum; Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation; Serpentine Gallery; CCA Tel Aviv; Madre Museum; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; ICA, Richmond; BAK Utrecht; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo; Palazzo Grassi; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Moderna Museet; UABB Bi Shenzhen; Biennale de Lyon; Thessaloniki Biennale; Liverpool Biennale; Athens Biennale; Havana Biennale; Göteborg Biennial; Bienal de Cuenca; 54th Venice Biennale «ILLUMinations».

Senatore is the winner of the 4th and 7th editions of Italian Council; The Evelyn Award at York Museum, UK and the Art Grant from
The Foundation of Arts and Music for Dresden, Germany in 2017; The MAXXI Prize and AMACI (Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art) Prize in 2014; Castello di Rivoli Fellowship in 2013; The American Academy in Rome Fellowship, Gotham Prize and 23rd M.Bellisario Prize in 2012; The New York Prize and Terna Prize in 2010; The Dena Foundation Fellowship in 2009.

In addition to teaching at various universities, the artist regularly lectures at international institutions such as Goldsmiths, London; ICA-Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Foundation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris; NYU, Berlin; Guggenheim, NYC;  Academy of Fine Art, Naples ERG, Brussels; University of Madrid; University of Granada; University of Turin; Beursschouwbug, Brussels; Academy of Fine Arts, Mechelen; New Academy of Fine Arts, Milan; IUAV, Venice; Hochschule für Gestaltung, Frankfurt am Main.

Marinella Senatore lives between London and Rome.

Andrea Francolino

December 20th, 2019 by

Andrea Francolino (Bari, b. 1979) lives and works in Milan.
At the centre of his reflections is the “crack” – as in cracked surfaces – in all its universality and its “infinite variants”, without criticism and prejudice. “Looking at a crack is like looking at the universe, I reflect on the meaning of life and the meaning of things”, says the artist. Taking a multidisciplinary approach spanning aesthetic, ethic and ecology, Francolino tries to honour Nature in his works and has coined the term econcrethic, a combination of the words eco (eco), concreto (concrete), etico (ethical), to describe his work with natural materials.”
In 2013 he wins the “San Fedele” Prize with Et onne Tempo, an ephermeral installation in concrete’s dust that traces the floorplan of the largest shopping centre in the world. The work is a reflection on the exasperation of contemporary consumerism and human vanitas. The relationship between man/product and nature/universe is instead at the basis of Performance di una pianta (Performance of a Plant), 2013-2015, heap of rubble of destroyed works from which a plant spontaneously grows: it is Nature that reaffirms itself and gives new life to what used to be inert and abandoned.
From 2015, Francolino has been working on Percorsi (Pathways), a series of casts of cracks in cement dust imprinted on paper. The title of each work reports the day, time and satellite coordinates of the place where they were created, recording the precise localization of each artistic intervention.
In the series A-Biotic, where the anthropic representation of nature is shown through a continuous association with plant forms. It investigates the paradox of competing with nature by trying to imitate or replace it.
In 2018, the crack becomes the total protagonist of a work that bears its own name. On a wall of Spazio Aperto San Fedele (Milan) appears a fissure coated and filled with 22k gold leaf. As Fracolino affirms, “the crack, on objective manifestation of a process of becoming, evokes and sometimes reveals a link between opposites, generation an infinity of reflections.”
From 2022, Francolino has started the so-called “water series.” In the works from 2019-2020, Limiti (Limits), he used to use concrete or earth dust to imprint on paper the cracks found in specific places between nature (meadows, rivers) and manmade (roads, buildings). In these new 2022 works, the results are a series of sculptural positive of cracks in the soil, where the support “absorbs” their three-dimensionality.
Francolino is among the four founders of The Open Box, non-profit art space opened in 2015 in Milan.

Among the most important solo shows are: Mazzoleni, Turin (2022); Museo Novecento, Florence (2020/21) with performance between Palazzo Vecchio and Museo Novecento; Spazio Contemporanea, Brescia (2020); Spazio aperto San Fedele, Milan (2018); The Open Box, Milan (2018); nm>contemporary, Monaco (2017); Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2016); Galleria San Fedele, Milan (2015); Spazio Testoni, Bologna (2013).

Among the numerous collective exhibitions are: The Open Box, Milan (2022); Church of the Saints Giusto and Bartholomew, Peccioli (Pisa), site-specific work (2022); Woolbridge Gallery, Biella (2021); Embassy of Italy in London, London (2021); Austrian Cultural Forum, Rome (2021); Palazzo Barbò, Torre Pallavicina (2021); Mazzoleni, Turin (2021); CAMERA Centro Italiano per la Fotografia and Mazzoleni, Turin (2020); Mazzoleni, London (2020); AGI Verona and University of Verona (2019); Palazzo Palmieri, Monopoli (2017); Frittelli arte contemporanea, Florence (2016); The Loft, Works from the Servais collection, Brussels (2016); Quartiere Intelligente + MADRE, Naples (2014); Courtauld Institute of Art Somerset House, London (2012); Italian Cultural Institute, New Delhi (2011); Spazio Oberdan, Milan (2010); Villa Ponti, Arona (2010).

Salvatore Astore

September 19th, 2019 by

Salvatore Astore was born in 1957 in San Pancrazio Salentino, in the Province of Brindisi. He currently lives and works in Turin, a city where he moved to with his family at a young age. After studying art in secondary school, he later graduated from the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts.
Astore has been active on the Italian and international scene since the 1980s. His preferred artistic languages are sculpture, painting, and drawing. His diverse body of works corresponds to different historical periods and existential phases and is characterised by a profound desire to experiment with techniques and materials related to the urban industrial context, as well as by a specific interest in the condition and destiny of humankind.
After the pictorial series Anatomie (Anatomies), which comprises human and animal anatomies, in 1984 Astore began his production of medium and large-sized sculptures, initially made of welded and painted iron and successively of stainless steel. These works strongly relate to the artist’s desire to create a vocabulary of new and authentic forms inscribed in the logic of organic structures. The Calotte (Skullcaps), the Containers, and the Suture e Forma (Sutures and Form), along with the paintings from the series Cervelli (Brains), inaugurated an intense exhibition period focussed on the investigation of the plasticity of the form, intended as free from the self-reference of the figurative and centred on ​​a renewed interest in the individual and his time. In 1987, the exhibition Immagine Eretta (Erected Image) at the Gondrand warehouses in Turin clarified the way these new “organic minimalism” and “modern anthropocentrism” are envisaged.
In the late 1980s, Astore started to exhibit in Milan at Valeria Belvedere gallery. Those were years of research for the artists belonging to generation following the one of Arte Povera. In 1991, Astore was invited to the exhibition Anni’90 (1990s), curated by Renato Barilli, Dede Auregli and Carlo Gentili, and hosted by the Galleria d’Arte Moderna of Bologna, the municipal museums of Rimini, and the former colony “Le Navi” of Cattolica. In 1992, he took part in Avanguardie in Piemonte 1960-1990, curated by art historians Mirella Bandini and Marisa Vescovo; in 1996, he participated in the 12th Quadrennial in Rome.
In the mid-1990s, the encounter with the American artist Sol Lewitt – who Astore has always admired – influenced and reinforced the spirit of his artistic research. He exhibited in Rome at Valentina and Alessandra Bonomo gallery, and in Bari at Marilena Bonomo gallery. More recently, after a series of pictorial works, the sculpture came back at the 13th Biennal of Sculpture in Carrara in 2008; at the solo exhibition C’era una volta e una stanza (Once Upon a Time and a Room)) at the 107 Foundation in Turin in 2010; and at the Frost Art Museum in Miami in 2011.
In 2018, the exhibition Anatomico Organico Industriale (Anatomic, Organic, Industrial) at the 107 Foundation reconnected the creative environment of the 1980s Turin, with a focus on the artistic research of Salvatore Astore, Sergio Ragalzi, and Luigi Stoisa. In the same year, Astore took part in the collective exhibition 100% Italia, Cent’anni di capolavori at Museo Ettore Fico in Turin.
In the most recent years, the long-lasting relationship with the Mazzoleni family has strengthened with a variety of projects curated by the gallery, including: Speciazione, a complex of iron sculptures installed in the garden of the Reggia di Venaria on the occasion of the ART SITE FEST (2019); and Anatomia Umana (2021), installed at the corner between Giardini G.Ferraris and Via Cernaia in Turin.
“Nature and Culture have always been reference points for my artistic research, but instead of speaking about the religion of art I’d rather speak of the sacredness of art; I feel closer to a non-confessional religious context, definitely non-mystic, though dogmatic in the sense that I prefer building certainties for myself, rather than asking questions of myself.” Salvatore Astore
Among the numerous critics and curators who have written about Astore’s work there are: Mirella Bandini, Luca Beatrice, Maurizio Calvesi, Luciano Caramel, Martina Cognati, Enrico Crispolti, Paolo Fossati, Flaminio Gualdoni, Francesco Poli, Elena Pontiggia, Tommaso Trini, and Marisa Vescovo.