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Monthly Archives

July 2018


All the autumn exhibitions not to be missed!



Fondation Beyeler, Basel

September 2 – January 1, 2019


The exhibition, in collaboration with the artist’s family and curated by Raphael Bouvier and Michiko Kono, presents fifty of the most significant works of the artist’s career and is the first major retrospective dedicated to Balthus in German-speaking Switzerland.

The artist’s bond with these places has always been strong, both for his marriage to the Swiss aristocrat Antonietta de Watteville and for the childhood spent between Bern and Geneva.

Balthus, pseudonym of Balthasar Klossowski de Rola, was born in Paris to an art critic father and painter mother, thanks to his parents he had the opportunity to travel and get closer to the world of art from an early age.

It will be the first trip to Italy in 1926 to bring him closer to the Tuscan Renaissance masters, in particular to Piero della Francesca, whom he considered to be his mentor.

Taking the compositional system from the great painters of the past, then expertly mixing it with the other Italian artistic currents, such as Magic Realism and Metaphysics: it is from this particular combination that the enigmatic static nature characteristic of his works is born, which can combine daily life and mystery, dream and reality.

Balthus has been able to revolutionize the figurative tradition in open opposition to the avant-garde currents of the time, in a historical period that featured painters such as Picasso and Matisse.

Little understood by his contemporaries, after the thirties his iconography was oriented towards the representation of nudes characterized by an almost sculptural immobility; among these his main subjects are young children in the toilet that also earned him pornography charges.

The delicacy of the nudes, caught in moments of daily intimacy and anything but mischievous, clearly expresses Balthus’s intent to tell the psychological aspect of the subjects and to cite the classical masters.

The bond with Italy is expected to strengthen from 1961, when the artist is appointed director of the Academy of France in Rome, an assignment that will last 17 years during which Balthus will create several works set in the eternal city.

The great retrospective that will end in Basel on January 1, 2019, will move to Madrid at the National Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

Balthus, Thérèse, 1938

Oil on cardboard mounted on wood

100.3 x 81.3 cm


Renzo Piano

The Art of Making Buildings

Royal Academy of Arts, London

September 15 – January 20, 2019


United by a sense of lightness thanks to the use of large windows, a mixture of invention and tradition, function and context, Renzo Piano’s buildings are now part of the public imagination.

His projects have changed the skyline of metropolises all over the world through futuristic and immediately recognizable lines, the result of a work of constant research and experimentation with materials and architectural typologies.

The exhibition, designed and curated in close collaboration with the same Plan, traces the architect’s career from the Genoese heritage of the construction builder father to the studies carried out in Florence and Milan, passing through international experiences and worldwide acclaim alongside his friend and collaborator Richard Rogers.

Focused on 16 key projects, the exhibition explores the architect’s modus operandi, highlighting the wise use of shapes, materials and engineering to materialise elegant and pioneering ideas.

The Centre George Pompidou in Paris, a project of 1971 that brought him worldwide fame, the London Shard, and the New York Times headquarters in the Big Apple stand out among the most famous projects designed by Piano.

On display there will be not only photographs and projects but also many hand drawings in which you can follow the flow of ideas and inspirations that led to the creation of futuristic buildings that have become icons and symbols of absolute modernity.

In addition to the projects that made him crown “archistar”, the lesser known ones dating back to the 1970s, the beginning of the career of the well-known Genoese architect, will also be visible.

At the centre of the exhibition is the imaginary “Island“, a sculptural installation specially designed for the monograph of the Royal Academy that brings together almost 100 projects that recount Renzo Piano’s 30 years of career.

The Shard, also called London Bridge Tower

London, 2013-2016.


Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

Abu Dhabi Louvre

September 18


Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi will be finally exhibited at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, after being purchased for the record of $ 450 million by the United Arab Emirates Department of Culture and Tourism in November 2017 during the Christie’s auction in New York.

Just one week after the museum’s inauguration, the purchase has been an excellent marketing operation and has further clarified the economic power of the Emirates

However, this is a temporary exhibition, because the work will return to the Louvre in Paris on the occasion of the exhibition that will take place from 24 October 2019 until 24 February 2020 to celebrate the anniversary of the death – 500 years in May 2019 – of the Tuscan master.

The oil on board representing Christ blessing has long been considered to come from Leonardo’s workshop, and over time the attributions by international experts, who have long debated on the authorship of the work, have been very controversial.

Painted between 1490 and around 1515, it was finally recognized as Leonardo’s work only in 2011 on the occasion of the exhibition at the National Gallery in London.

The Salvator Mundi promises to be the centrepiece of the Abu Dhabi collection and represents an excellent piece to counterbalance the Mona Lisa, exhibited in the Parisian museum of the same name.

The collaboration between the two Louvres foresees that the Abu Dhabi museum can use the name – which has become almost a brand – for about 30 years.

The terms of the agreements provide that France undertakes to guarantee a constant loan of works through the Agence France-Muséums, an institution that brings together the 13 major French museums involved in the partnership with Abu Dhabi. These thirteen museums will also ensure the rotation of four exhibitions per year for 15 years at the Arab facility.

France also has the obligation of bringing curators, experts and highly qualified figures who will train the staff to the Louvre in Abu Dhabi: in this way the museum will have time to build its own permanent collection and to manage itself within a few years.

Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, around 1490-1515.

Oil on wallnut

66 x 46 cm


The World on Paper

New Cultural Headquarters of the Deutsche Bank, Berlin.

Opening September 27th.


On September 27, the new cultural headquarters of the Deutsche Bank will open in Berlin under the direction of Svenja von Reichenbach, formerly responsible for exhibitions at the Berlin office and director of the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle since 2013.

The Centre is spread over a total area of 3,000 square metres occupying the building renamed “Palais Populaire” and the spaces adjacent to it.

In the artistic field, the German bank is known for a collection focused on photography and works on paper among the most important in the world, but the cultural centre of Berlin will host events of all kinds including exhibitions, concerts and sports.

The exhibition that inaugurates the spaces, “The World on Paper” curated by Friedhelm Hütte, sees protagonists precisely with the works of the Deutsche Bank collection, but information about it is once again very scarce, probably to intrigue the public by focusing on the surprise effect.

Exterior view of the Palais Populaire, Berlin


Real Bodies: discover the human body

Spazio Ventura XV, Milan

October 6 – January 31, 2019


The exhibition on human anatomy returns to Milan two years after the first exhibition held at the Fabbrica del Vapore, where it had reached a record attendance with 280 thousand visitors, certainly thanks to the intriguing and attracting particularity of the “objects” on display.

The 500 artifacts preserved by plastination are organs of men and women who voluntarily decided to donate their post mortem body in the name of science.

This year, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, a section of the exhibition will be dedicated to the Tuscan master, undisputed pioneer of forensic medicine and a great scholar of human body.

The thirty installations of human artefacts will reproduce Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical sketches contained in the Windsor code in a direct comparison between his studies and reality.

Another novelty compared to the previous edition is the presence of animal organs, including the heart of a humpback whale, the largest heart muscle on Earth that measures 1-meter-wide and is capable of pumping 220 litres of blood.

The exhibition, through the study of the human body, aims to make known the progress of biomechanics and reconstructive surgery, to sensitize people on the fight against addictions and to facilitate disease prevention. The high scientific and educational value makes the exhibition an unmissable appointment for school children and curious people in general.

Leonardo da Vinci, Windsor codex, detail of a drawing



Carte Blanche to Tomás Saraceno

On Air

Palais de Tokyo, Paris

October 17 – January 6, 2019


Tomás Saraceno will be the protagonist of the fourth edition of the “Cartes Blanches” series, monumental exhibitions cyclically entrusted to different artists that started in 2013 with Philippe Parreno, then continued in 2016 with Tino Sehgal and with Camille Henrot in 2017.

On Air” promises to be the largest project ever created by the artist, whose research develops and concretizes in the mixture of architecture, art science and philosophy.

The exhibition brings together a selection of his main works and new productions that will transform the 13,000 square metres of the Palais de Tokyo into a truly unique experience.

By combining the smaller and larger stairs, the exhibition will seek to reveal the connection between a spider web, a particle of dust, an architecture and the redistribution of the atmosphere through the Aerocene, an interdisciplinary artistic project that proposes a collective rethinking of the way men inhabit the world.

Aerocene imagines the creation of a new infrastructure that redefines the international right to mobility, reviewing the freedom of movement between countries and reminding us that air is a precious asset that belongs to all living beings.

The exhibition space of the Palais de Tokyo thus becomes a huge stage that shows the richness and complexity of everything that makes up the universe, transporting us to a place where the microscopic and the cosmic coexist, transcending human perception to explore the world from different points of view.

Flanked by a team of international professionals that sees the participation of architects, researchers and astrophysicists from all over the world, Tomás Saraceno invites us to rethink our way of experiencing the planet.

Tomás Saraceno, detail of a work, 2017


Picasso Metamorphosis

Palazzo Reale, Milan

October 18 – February 17, 2019


The European exhibition promoted by the Musée Picasso in Paris also stops in Milan and presents 200 works that include both works by Picasso and pieces of ancient art from important international museum institutions.

The focus of the exhibition is the relationship between the painter and the myth of antiquity, a source of inspiration highlighted by the many references that Picasso has included in his works during his artistic career: therefore, the mythological themes emerge thanks to a direct comparison between pieces of ancient art and master’s works.

The exhibition is part of a series of events dedicated by the Royal Palace to the Spanish painter, which began in 1953 with the exhibition of Guernica in the Sala delle Cariatidi and ended with the large monographic exhibition of 2012.

Pablo Picasso, Women at the spring, 1921

Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie

Oil on canvas

50 x 52 cm


Mario Merz


Hangar Bicocca, Milan

October 24 – February 24


The exhibition curated by Vicente Todolí and created in collaboration with the Merz Foundation, offers the unique opportunity to be able to admire for the first time 30 igloos from private collections and museums, created by the artist between 1968 and 2003.

The exhibition opens with 1987’s “La Goccia d’Acqua”, which with its 12 meters in diameter is the largest igloo created by Merz for an internal exhibition space, on the occasion of the solo exhibition at the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Bordeaux .

In the space of the Navate, with an area of 5,500mq, the exhibition itinerary then proceeds in chronological order starting with the igloos created in the sixties.

Thanks to this substantial body of works, the exhibition takes us through the most innovative aspects and components of Merz, very tied to the particular use of both natural and industrial materials and attentive to the dialogue between natural space and architecture.

A key figure in Arte Povera, Mario Merz was among the first in Italy to use the artistic installation as an artistic means of expression, inserting neon and everyday objects on the canvas. In addition to these, he has often also used some elements belonging to the scientific field, such as the Fibonacci sequence.

It is from 1968 that he introduces a theme that will remain one of the most representative of his research: the igloo.

This particular type of home becomes a metaphor for the relationships between physical space and conceptual space, between individual and community, a place of refuge and ephemeral isolation from external reality.

Igloos are often created through metal structures covered with various elements, from clay to glass, from stone to jute.

Since the 1980s there has been an evolution in the structure of the igloos, which become more complex, characterized by intersecting lines and the addition of neon writing.

The symbolic value of these delicate installations sometimes assumes even political meanings, thus opening up to contemporary debates.

Mario Merz, The Drop of Water, 1987

Diameter: 12 meters


The shades of the rainbow of art are infinite: choose your favourite!

Italian Auctions June 2018

The beginning of the month featured national auctions of modern and contemporary art, which achieved excellent results and confirm the market trend that sees the figurative and sculpture sector growing.

Il Ponte, thanks to a very accurate catalog edited by Freddy Battino, has achieved a remarkable result with sales that have exceeded 6 and a half million euros with a sales rate of 90% in lots and has also set new records for the artists Antonio Sanfilippo, Irma Blank, Mario Negri, Emilio Scanavino.

The latter with the work “Triumph of death” reached € 140,000 from a starting estimate of € 70-100,000.

During the auction, Palazzo Crivelli was crowded with collectors and dealers from all over the world and many foreigners also participated by telephone, especially from China, Japan and Russia.

Top lot of the evening “White surface – 2 – II” the work of 1977 by Enrico Castellani that from an estimate of 200-250 thousand euros has flown to 450 thousand euros including auction rights, a sale that suggests the recovery of the market of a great master who passed away recently.

Enrico Castellani, “White surface – 2 – II”, 1977

Acrylic on stretched canvas

100 x 120 cm


Emilio Scanavino, “The Triumph of Death”, 1961

Oil painting on canvas

200 x 300 cm


Blindarte of Naples (total auction € 1,400,000 including fees) stands out for two sales in particular: “Portrait of the Princess Giovanna Pignatelli d’Aragona Cortés”, the highly sought-after screen-print by Andy Warhol of 1975, which from an estimate of € 120,000-180,000 reached the 210,000 euros including fees.

“Opening”, the work of 1983 by Richard Hambleton, was awarded to an American collector for 185,000 euros (including fees) against the initial estimate of 7-10 thousand euros.

It can be said that he is one of the protagonists of the auctions of this spring, given that on 26 June another of his works, “As the world burns” will be auctioned by Artcurial for € 474,000 (price including expenses) with an initial estimate of just 120-150 thousand euros.

Andy Warhol, “Portrait of Princess Giovanna Pignatelli d’Aragona Cortés”, 1975

Acrylic and screen printing on canvas

66 x 56 cm


Richard Hambleton, “Opening”, 1983

Acrylic on canvas

217 x 139 cm


This also a very positive period for the auction house Wannenes Art Auctions, which closes at 1,147,410 euros including fees.

Also in this case, the sales confirm a growing trend for magic realism and figurative painting, as shown by the excellent result obtained by Antonio Vonghi’s “Vase of flowers” of 1936, which reaches 56,250 euros including fees, from an estimate of € 40-50,000.

Protagonist announced – the work was on the cover of the catalog – Alighiero Boetti, awarded for € 137,000 including fees with “Melting like snow in the sun”, small white embroidery from 1988: award record of the smallest work ever sold at auction and figure never reached by a total white Boetti on the public market. The tapestry started from an estimate of € 20,000-30,000.

Alighiero Boetti, “Melting like snow in the sun”, 1988

Embroidery on fabric

20 x 21,5 cm


Farsetti Arte di Prato, with its auctions held on 8 and 9 June, reached a total of 4,000,000 euros including fees.

Artists renown internationally, now historicized and representing a solid and safe investment, far from the cautious speculations of the art market, were presented at the auction.

Spearhead Alberto Savinio who, with the oil on canvas “Pégase”, is awarded 272,200 euros including fees, was initially estimated of 200-300 thousand euros.

The small work of mixed technique on paper by Alberto Burri, “Combustion T. n. 7″of 1959, as often happens, exceeded the maximum estimate reaching € 204,950, including fees.

Alberto Burri, “Combustion T. n. 7”, 1959

Paper, acrylic, vinavil, burning on paper

35,5 x 26,6 cm


Alberto Savinio, “Pègase”, 1930

Oil painting on canvas

74 x 92 cm


Pandolfini closed the auction on 11 June at € 1,201,542 including fees, and at 65% sale rate in lots.

Among the works on auction, three works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, typical “postcards” of the early 1980s depicting themes dear to the artist, were awarded for € 93,750, € 62,500 and € 131,250 respectively (lots 82-83-84; expenses included) for a total of almost 300,000 euros.

Sebastian Matta, the Chilean artist, a point of reference for Italian abstractionism, also reached excellent results with the work “Tu beninteso cascellato” of 1963 sold for € 56,250 from an estimate of € 40,000-60,000.

Mario Schifano reached 31,250 euros with the large work “Untitled” depicting palms and hearts.

The sculpture section features Giò Pomodoro’s bronze “Marat, volume sculpture ” was sold for € 47,500 from an estimate of € 40,000-60,000.

Sebastian Matta, “Tu beninteso cascellato”, 1963

Colored sand on canvas reproduced on panel

120 x 175 cm


Giò Pomodoro, “Marat”, volume sculpture, 70s


180 x 60 x 60 cm


Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Untitled”, 1982

Lot 82

Acrylic, oil and organic pigments on postcard

17,78 x 12,7 cm


Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Untitled”, 1981

Lot 84

Acrylic, oil and organic pigments on postcard

17,78 x 12,7 cm


Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Untitled (Everlast)”, 1982

Lot 83

Acrylic, oil and organic pigments on postcard

17,78 x 12,7 cm



The shades of the rainbow of art are infinite: choose your favorite!

Fairs in June 2018

June was the month of major international contemporary art events: Art Basel in Basel which in turn includes eight major collateral fairs; Miami Design; Masterpiece London; Manifesta12 in Palermo and Milan Photo Week.



Manifesta, the European nomadic Biennale, was established in Amsterdam in the early 90s thanks to the art historian Hedwig Fijen. Aimed at promoting social integration in Europe, Manifesta invites the international artistic community to create works and installations in the context in which it takes place: it is therefore a site-specific project that aims to establish a dialogue between social structures, culture and art.

The travelling fair opened the doors of the splendid Sicilian city, little accustomed to the artistic avant-garde compared to other European metropolises, but perfect frame for the event.

Selected by the Manifesta committee, Palermo was the ideal city to organize this edition thanks to some of its characteristics, which well represent two crucial themes of today’s Europe: the issue of migrants and the change in global climatic conditions.

Throughout history, Palermo has been occupied by different civilizations and therefore has an interesting cultural stratification and strong ties with North Africa and the Middle East thanks to its geographical position, a crossroads of three continents.

For the city it could be an excellent opportunity for redevelopment and an opportunity to help citizens regain possession of certain areas of the urban structure.

Manifesta brings with it 71 side events selected through an international call, whose programs take place in parallel with the main one of the Biennale.

The curators of this edition are four: the Dutch Bregtje van deer Haak, the Spanish Andrés Jacques, the Swiss Mirjam Varadinis and the Italian Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli.

There are also four main sections: Garden Flows (Botanical Garden, Palazzo Butera), Out of Control Room (Kalsa district, ancient Arab heart with Palazzo Forcella De Seta, Palazzo Ajutamicristo), City on Stage (Palazzo Costantino) and Teatro Garibaldi (general neighborhood of the Biennale).

The most politically engaged section is undoubtedly Out of Control Room, which is divided into two main offices: Palazzo Ajutamicristo and Palazzo Forcella De Seta.

The first opens with the spectacular installation “Citizen ex” by James Bridle, featuring colorful flags fixed to the ceiling. The journey ends with “The Third Choir” by Lydia Ourahmane, which brings 20 oil barrels exported from Algeria to Palermo in 2014, each of which contains a mobile phone.

James Bridle, Citizen ex

Installation at Ajutamicristo Palace


Continue to Palazzo Forcella De Seta, a beautiful building renovated in the nineteenth century. Here the video installations almost become journalistic documentaries on immigration and colonization thanks to Kader Attia’s film “The Body’s Legacies. The Post-Colonial Body” and a “Liquid Violence” by Forensic Oceanography.

More sculptural work “The Soul of Salt” by Patricia Kaersenhout, which fills one of the rooms of the palace with a pyramid of salt: visitors are invited to interact with the work thanks to the possibility of taking and bringing home some salt to remove negativity from one’s life.

Patricia Kaersenhout, The Soul of Salt

Installation at Palazzo Forcella De Seta


Garden of Flows is perhaps the most poetic section of the Biennale: it starts with the Botanical Garden, where the works of eight artists are inserted among the wonderful plants of the park, in a bucolic context reminiscent of the nineteenth-century romantic gardens.

Radiceterna was created in an entrance hall, a refined library and project room that focuses on the combination of Art and Nature. Here will alternate exhibitions of Poi and Calzadilla, Kathinka Bock, Bjorn Braun and Ignazio Mortellaro.

Radiceterna, a project created in collaboration with the Mario Merz Foundation, refers to the artist’s work “If the shape disappears, its root is eternal” of 1984.

In the spaces of the Botanical Garden the theme of this edition of Manifesta finds its perfect stage: the metaphor of the garden as a place where life is born, a land where the diversity of plants and living beings that coexist side by side is cultivated .

Another seat of this section is Palazzo Butera, a splendid residence of the Princes of Branciforte recently renovated thanks to Massimo and Francesca Valsecchi, who in 2019 will bring their collection here to make it become a center of contemporary art.

Inside, the beautiful frescoed rooms exhibit six artists, who interpreted the theme of Manifesta in totally different ways: from the documentary “Night Soil” by Melanie Bonajo to the majolica by Maria Thereza Alves “A proposal of Syncretism (this time without genocide) ”, a project born from some tiles found at the Palermo market in Piazza Marina.

To conclude the photographed “Theater of the Sun” by the American collective Fallen Fruit that covers one of the rooms of the Palazzo with brightly colored wallpaper: an “immersive” / enveloping installation that depicts the fruit trees of the Palermo area and creates a sort of mapping of shrubs often overlooked or ignored.

Fallen Fruit, Theater of the Sun

Palazzo Butera


In the historical center, Palazzo Mazzarino hosts various exhibition projects for the occasion, some of which are site specific.

At the entrance of the building, in the internal arcaded courtyard, you can admire “Games without borders”, an interactive sculpture by the Polish artist Marcin Dudek.


Marcin Dudek, Games without frontiers

Palazzo Mazzarino


In the former horse riding spaces Cavallerizza, the installation of Per Barclay implemented by Francesco Pantaleone creates a mirror, in which the colonnade is reflected, a play of reflections made possible thanks to the use of waste oil. The Norwegian artist carries out a reflection on the passage of time through a game of references between ancient architecture and the present space.

Entering the innermost rooms we meet the works of the collective “The call of Cthulhu”, an exhibition curated by Lorenzo Benedetti that presents seven artists.

The last room hosts the “La Febbre” project, a collective exhibition curated by Vincenzo Schillaci that presents 10 international artists.

Per Barclay, Cavallerizza

Palazzo Mazzarino


The most proposed collateral events have a central role in the installations proposed in recently restored churches.

The Church of the Madonna del Soccorso, also called “della Mazza”, closed to the public for about forty years, finally reopens its doors thanks to the project of Duskmann, a collective established in 2015. The installation “Prelude” culminates in a huge marble heart placed in the center of the nave and has the additional advantage of accentuating the sober elegance of the interior of the church.

Duskmann, Prelude

Church of the Madonna del Soccorso


Another church that has been closed for a long time due to the renovation works is the Church of Santa Venera, built in 1493 and remodeled at the end of the 18th century in the neoclassical style at the time. On the occasion of Manifesta, the small nave hosts two works by the Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere entitled “Mantel I” and “Mantel II”, presented by the Galleria Continua.

The torn blankets, exposed to the elements for months, are inspired by the habit of Saint Francis painted by the Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664): works that are certainly less provocative than those most known by the artist, but which blend in well with the religious space.

The Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa’s first Sicilian solo show is also very interesting, exhibited at the headquarters of the Francesco Pantaleone Contemporary Art gallery, a stone’s throw from the Quattro Canti and Palazzo Mazzarino.

Through his installations, the artist guides us through a reflection on the relationship between society, architecture and the surrounding environment.

“Garden”, a scale representation of a landscape, subverts reality in an alienating operation that places the visitor as “an almighty god”, giant compared to the nature reproduced. The small monitor showing a dead tree surrounded by ruined buildings takes us back to reality: man’s powerlessness in the face of defeats and, worse, his destructive hand as a negative entity and not as a life-creating superior essence.

“And after, what will we do?” is a site-specific installation that brings together, thanks to the large windows, wooden beams recovered from old Palermo buildings with the external buildings. Small plastic ants that have imaginary buildings instead of the head, prowling the beams and devouring them: a metaphor for the city that builds itself and devours itself, but also a controversy on sustainability and the relationship between man and architecture.

Carlos Garaicoa, And after, what will we do?

Site specific installation


Pinksummer Gallery in Genoa offers a collective entitled “Pictorial Goose Turn”, which can be visited until 6 October in the spaces of Via Patania, in collaboration with the Palermo curator Paolo Falcone. The title of the exhibition joins the title of William J. T.’s essay “Pictorial Turn” and the goose game, also in reference to the nine exhibition rooms that could ideally correspond to nine boxes of the game.

Among the exhibited artists, Peter Fend, Invernomuto, Tobias Putrih and Tomás Saraceno.

Tomás Saraceno

Pinksummer Gallery goes to Palermo


The International Center of Photography directed by Letizia Battaglia, inaugurated at the Cantieri Culturali della Zisa in 2017, which currently hosts a group of international photographers, is a must for all photography enthusiasts.

We had the honor of meeting the great photographer in person, who dedicated precious moments to us by telling us about her own path, closely connected with a Palermo, marked by the interference of the mafia in the life of the city and its inhabitants.

Among the goodies that we were lucky enough to visit are the temporary seat of the Galleria Viasaterna in Milan, which in an ancient building has created an atelier, halfway between the residence and the exhibition space, involving eight Italian and international artists, who will exhibit alternating weekly. At the time of our visit it was the turn of Theo Drebbel, an artist originally from Naples, who creates delicate dioramas composed of small figures and plant elements.

Oli Bonzanigo’s artist studio instead gave us an atmosphere of the past, almost dreamlike, in a space that develops between romantic frescoes and a breathtaking view.

The Milanese artist will also exhibit his visionary embroideries at the Viasaterna Gallery from 16 to 22 July.

Another atmosphere, refined and once again seeming to take us back in time, is the one you breathe on the main floor of Palazzo Mazzarino, where the imposing works of Damien Hirst perfectly interpenetrate in a highly sought-after space of noble taste, among frescoes , brocades and the “Portrait of Franca Florio” (1901-1924) by Giovanni Boldini.

During these days dedicated to Manifesta, Palermo really amazed and fascinated everyone with the decadent beauty of its buildings, which also made them look away from the works on display, sometimes more “informative” than contemplative.

The city also amazed at the degree of real integration between different cultures: it is impossible not to realize that Palermo is used to welcoming “the different” much more than many could have imagined. The perfect theater to stage the artistic debate: as the director of Manifesta called it, Hedwig Fijen “complex and layered, it is a city much more than European, transnational”.

A global but problematic Palermo, which has to deal with immigration, the emigration of Sicilians to the big cities of the north, the tourist impact and climate change.



June 28 – July 4

The 9th edition of Masterpiece London took place at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a historic building designed by Christopher Wren, which saw the participation of 190 galleries, including the most prestigious in the world.

Among the 29 new entries stand out the Kallos Gallery, specialized in antiquity, Hauser & Wirth that stands out for modern painting, Landau Fine Art which has proposed a fantastic portfolio of works including a late Picasso, a rare René Magritte and a Modigliani.

Masterpiece is certainly the most important fair in the world for the joint collection of heterogeneous sectors: it ranges from archaeological finds to modern and contemporary art, from design to jewelry, from ancient books to watches to cover a range of six thousand years of history.

This mix of different artistic genres makes Masterpiece London the only happening that combines art and luxury, a fair that, since the first edition of 2010, has distinguished itself for the very high quality of the pieces offered and which is destined to improve over time.

All this is made possible thanks to the artistic commission made up of 150 international experts from the major public and private institutions, who examine every single piece to certify and guarantee its quality.

The arrangement of the stands by President Philip Hewat-Jaboor, in turn a collector and art advisor, has promoted and enhanced the mix of different genres and sectors, an idea that has had the advantage of making collectors known and purchased even objects unrelated to their usual terrain of action.

Starting from last year, the Masterpiece Presents section was introduced, a space at the entrance of the fair used for the exhibition of innovative works.

This year to welcome visitors was “Five Stages of Maya Dance”, an installation by Marina Abramović, consisting of 5 portraits of the artist carved in alabaster with three-dimensional rendering and illuminated by LEDs.

Presented by Factum Arte (a company based in Madrid, Milan and London specializing in digital mediation) in collaboration with Lisson Gallery, 3D portraits manage to combine performance, sculpture and digital technology thanks to the translucent properties of alabaster: as the spectator moves you have the feeling that Abramović’s image is decomposing into intricate landscapes, creating the effect of a sort of performance.

The work, created over the past five years, represents the five stages of the Mayan dance and is the result of a series of reflections on the ephemeral and eternity.

Marina Abramović, Five Stages of Maya Dance, 2013

Masterpiece Presents 2018


Another contemporary star is the Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, famous for the enveloping cobwebs, who has created an immersive site-specific installation for the Blain Southern Gallery. Red threads completely enveloped the space furnished with suitcases, maps and books, often personal belongings of Shiota that symbolize delicate existential issues.

Chiharu Shiota, Turning World, 2018

Blain Southern Gallery, Masterpiece London 2018


Taking a step back in time, many stands exhibited impressionist and modern works.

Die Galerie focused on works by three surrealist artists: has presented a monumental bronze statue of Max Ernst, works by André Masson and Roberto Matta.

Mazzoleni, present for the fourth consecutive time, has proposed works by great artists dating back to the 20th century, both Italian and international, including Giacomo Balla, Agostino Bonalumi, Alberto Burri, Marc Chagall, Giorgio de Chirico, Lucio Fontana, Hans Hartung, Fausto Melotti , Victor Vasarely.

Robilant + Voena has instead decided to broaden the spectrum by exhibiting works from different eras: from the serigraphs of Andy Wharol to the Views of the eighteenth century. The absolute rarity proposed by the gallery is the support surface of a table belonging to the collection of Francesco I de’ Medici, dating back to the regency period between 1568 and 1577: the beautiful slab is composed of colored marbles and hard stones set to form a geometric design in shades of ocher and cobalt blue. Perfectly preserved, there are only three specimens in the world that still have the original border and inlaid apron.

Precious stone table belonging to Francesco I de ‘Medici,


Marble and hard stones

141.5 x 87 x 70.5 cm

Robilant + Voena, Masterpiece London 2018


M&L Fine Art presented paintings from the early twentieth century, including a 1916 “Metaphysical Composition” by Giorgio de Chirico, and works from the post-war period by Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana and Enrico Castellani.

The Ronald Philips gallery, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Chippendale, exhibited as a tribute to the famous British cabinetmaker about 20 pieces of furniture made by the master.

There was no shortage of rarities that attracted the attention of many visitors: among them a gogotte exhibited at the stand of the Art Ancient gallery, a very rare anthropomorphic sculpture dating back to 30 million years ago formed from quartz crystals and calcium carbonate. This particular sculptural stone presents modern forms and gives the impression of having just been conceived by a contemporary artist, despite his birth dating back to the Oligocene period.

The curiosities presented by Art Ancient to satisfy lovers of natural history and the mystery of the creation of the world did not stop at gogotte: the gallery also exhibited a rare meteorite formed 4.6 billion years ago and a lightning bolt frozen in the sand of the desert, then sold for £ 70,000.

During the days of the fair many negotiations were concluded, some of which also featured major institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Getty Museum.

Piano Nobile, a London gallery, sold the plaster model of the 1938 sculpture “Recumbent Figure” by Henry Moore to a British collector, whose bronze copy is on display in the Tate Collection. Asking price: £ 250,000.

Henry Moore, Recumbent figure, 1938

Plaster model

Piano Nobile Galerie, Masterpiece London 2018


Mazzoleni sold Giorgio de Chirico’s 1971 “Great Metaphysical with Teams” for about € 430,000 and Victor Vasarely’s “Bellatrix-Bie” for € 100,000.

The fair was held in conjunction with the London Art Week which featured the auctions of modern, contemporary and Old Masters art, a factor that certainly attracted collectors already present in the city to visit Masterpiece by registering about 51,000 visitors, for 16 % more than the last edition.

The exhibition, born in 2010, was purchased in December 2017 for 67.5% by the Swiss group MCH Group, already owner of Art Basel and other international artistic events.

The main sponsor of the fair for the 5th year in a row was the Royal Bank of Canada.


The next appointment is set for June 27, 2019.


The shades of the rainbow of art are infinite: choose your favorite!

Openings of all exhibitions at Palazzo Reale suspended until further notice

Following an accident that occurred on July 9, a day before the birthday of the great master Agostino Bonalumi, the opening of the exhibition dedicated to him has been postponed.

“Bonalumi 1958 – 2013” presented by Palazzo Reale in Milan is the first major anthology on Agostino Bonalumi and aims to retrace his steps from the beginning until the passing in 2013: there are 120 works on display, the most significant of the entire production of the Milanese master, who became one of the greatest abstract artists of the twentieth century.

Famous for everted and monochrome canvases, Bonalumi began his artistic career / took his first steps in art in 1958 with Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni with an exhibition at the Galleria Pater in Milan, which was followed by other exhibitions in Rome and Lausanne.

Recently the artist has achieved an international rediscovery and revaluation, also thanks to the large exhibition organized in 2013 by Robilant + Voena in London; subsequently in 2015 the catalogue raisonné published by Skira gave further stability to the auction prices.

The retrospective exhibition “Bonalumi 1958 – 2013” should have been inaugurated in a few days, but during the staging, his historic assistant and right arm Luca Lovati – 69 years old – fell from a height of three meters.

The accident seems to have happened due to an illness that suddenly caught Lovati, while he was at the top of a ladder in an attempt to place a work.

This is the sculpture Modular white structure, an installation composed of square modules in fiberglass, exhibited for the first time at the XXXV Venice Biennale in 1970 in a personal room entirely dedicated to Bonalumi.

The structure is part of a group of three large installations that characterize the exhibition itinerary of the Palazzo Reale exhibition: together with the white modular structure, it is possible to admire the Habitable Blu, a work of environmental painting, and the third work presented in 2003 at the Institut Mathildenhöhe of Darmstadt in Germany, consisting of a very large wall.

These large installations, artistic typology often not easy to set up, presuppose a great knowledge of the artist’s work and a technical mastery that not everyone possesses: Luca Lovati, restorer and owner of the fitting company, had collaborated for a lifetime with Bonalumi, he knew every detail of the artist’s work and probably for this reason he had decided to climb this ladder personally.

Following the accident, the Prosecutor’s Office opened a file to clarify the incident and understand if the law on safety at work was violated and if all the necessary precautions had been taken during the preparation.

As a sign of condolence from the city of Milan, the inauguration of the exhibition “Pino Pinelli Painting beyond the limit” was also suspended. It had to take place on the day of the tragedy. The Sicilian artist (Catania 1938), master of Analytical Painting, seeks the overcoming of the shape-painting by resorting to monochrome to find the sensitive value of color. Established internationally, the artist is part of that artistic movement that since the 1960s has been seeking the destructuring of the painting as a physical-spatial limitation.

We express deep condolences to Luca Lovati’s family for the tragic loss.

Cover image of the work presented at the Venice Biennale in 1970, on which Luca Lovati was speaking.

“The shades of the art rainbow are endless: choose your favorite!”


Report Aste Giugno 2018


“The Writings on the Wall”

Parigi, 26 giugno 

Il catalogo della casa d’aste parigina proponeva 76 opere di Street Art, alcune delle quali firmate da grandi nomi di questa corrente artistica.
Il risultato ha superato le stime previste raggiungendo un totale di 1.543.120€, complici anche due nuovi record mondiali che vedono protagonisti Richard Hambleton e DRAN.

“As the world burns” di Hambleton viene aggiudicato alla cifra di 474.000€ contro la stima di 120.000-150.000€. L’artista canadese, scomparso a giugno scorso, era l’unico membro supertstite del gruppo che, insieme a Keith Haring e Jean-Michael Basquiat, ha fatto la storia della street art newyorkese negli anni ‘80.

Il secondo record vede protagonista “Escape”, opera del 2008 dell’artista DRAN venduta a 46.800€: conosciuto anche come “il Banksy francese”, DRAN affronta temi legati alla denuncia sociale e mette in atto una forte critica verso consumismo e capitalismo.



Richard Hambleton
As the world burns, 1983
Acrilico su tela
244 x 244 cm



Escape, 2008
Pittura spray e pastello su tela
120 x 100 cm





Arte contemporanea e del XX secolo

Londra, 26 – 27 giugno

Day Sale 26 giugno : £ 10.757.313
Evening Sale 27 giugno : £ 34.416.000

Ottimo risultato per l’asta serale di Phillips che può vantare un “White Glove Sale” con tutti i 31 lotti in catalogo aggiudicati.

La casa d’aste era già partita bene con il Day Sale, che aveva raggiunto il risultato più alto mai ottenuto nella storia della compagnia.

Ad aprire la serata un autoritratto di Martin Kippenberger aggiudicato a £8.4 milioni, il prezzo più alto raggiunto dall’artista tedesco in Europa.

Protagonisti di molti rilanci sono stati Lucio Fontana con “Concetto spaziale, Natura” del 1960, Jonas Wood e Sean Scully con un lavoro del 2014.


Martin Kippenberger
Ohne Titel (aus der Serie Das Floß der Medusa), 1996
Olio su tela
150 x 180 cm




Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Londra, 26 giugno

44 Lotti.
Stima pre-asta: 80-108 milioni di £.
Risultato: 125,3 milioni di £.

Ottimo risultato per Sotheby’s che raggiunge un tasso di venduto pari al 98% con tre nuovi record e cinque opere acquistate sopra i 10 milioni di sterline.

Tra i principali protagonisti della serata troviamo 5 pittori inglesi appartenenti a correnti stilistiche diversissime tra loro ma che insieme ci accompagnano nella storia dell’arte britannica del dopoguerra.

Primo tra tutti Lucian Freud che raggiunge la cifra record di 22,5 milioni di £ con un nudo di grandi dimensioni datato 2002-2003, stima iniziale – già molto alta – di 17-20 milioni di £.

“Portrait on a white cover”, capolavoro tardo dell’artista, rappresenta Sophie Lawrence e il tema è uno dei preferiti di Freud, il nudo sdraiato.
Segue un lavoro “difficile” di Francis Bacon, uno studio per figura maschile del 1954 piuttosto cupo ma che faceva parte della collezione Gianni Agnelli, acquistato per poco più di 3 milioni di £.

David Hockney, con il dittico datato 1994 “Double East Yorkshire”, supera di poco la stima bassa raggiungendo 11,3 milioni di £ ma rispetto a 5 anni fa il prezzo di aggiudicazione in asta dell’artista si è triplicato.

Gli altri due artisti inglesi viventi che ottengono ottimi risultati sono Peter Doig e Cecily Brown, quest’ultima contesissima viene acquistata per 3 milioni di £ rispetto a una stima di partenza di 750.000-950.000 £.

Tra i primi dieci top lots troviamo ben tre lavori di Jean-Michael Basquiat venduti per un totale di 26,7 milioni di £ e un “mobile” di Calder aggiudicato sotto la stima bassa.

Accoglienza positiva anche per altri artisti viventi che segnano i tre nuovi record: Henry Taylor raggiunge i 275.000£ grazie a un collezionista asiatico, Sam Gilliam supera di molto la stima con 910.000£ dopo una battaglia tra cinque collezionisti (il vincitore anche in questo caso è asiatico) e Jennifer Guidi contesa da sei offerenti per poi essere acquistata a 274.000£.


David Hockney
Double East Yorkshire, 1998
Olio su tela
Dittico. Dimensioni totali : 152,4 x 386 cm




Lucian Freud
Portrait on a white cover, 2002-03
Olio su tela
116,5 x 143 cm




Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

Londra, 20 Giugno

Serata molto positiva per l’asta serale di Christie’s su arte moderna e impressionismo che realizza un totale di 128.081.750£.

La serata è iniziata molto bene già dal primo lotto, il pastello “Le moineau” di Eva Gonzalès che viene battuto a 200mila sterline (248.750£ incluse le spese) e stabilisce un nuovo record per un lavoro su carta dell’artista francese.
La stima dell’opera era 200-300.000£.


Eva Gonzalès, Le moineau, 1865-1870

Dettaglio. Lotto n. 1

Pastello su carta

61,5 x 50,5 cm

Ottimo risultato anche per Marc Chagall che con il delicato dipinto del 1926 “La chaise à Toulon or Les fleurs du Mourillon” quasi raddoppia la stima massima di 1.800.000£, per essere venduto a 2,6 milioni di sterline (spese incluse 3.128.750£).


Marc Chagall, La chaise à Toulon or Les fleurs du Mourillon, 1926

Lotto n. 3

Olio su tela

100 x 81,5 cm



Non sono mancate però le sorprese, come nel caso del dipinto “Téte d’homme” di Picasso, in copertina al catalogo, rimasto invenduto a 2 milioni di sterline a fronte della stima di 2,5 – 3,5 milioni.
Stessa sorte per due opere su carta dell’artista spagnolo che restano invendute rispettivamente a 210.000£ e 380.000£.
È andata meglio invece ad altre due opere, sempre su carta, battute a 2 milioni di sterline e a 680 mila sterline.
Bene anche per l’olio su tela del 1942 “Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar)” che, partito da 14 milioni di sterline, viene venduto a 17 milioni (19.358.750£ spese incluse).


Pablo Picasso, Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar), 1942

Lotto n. 20

Olio su tela

92 x 73 cm


Uno dei protagonisti indiscussi della serata è stata l’opera “Drei Pferde” del 1912 di Franz Marc che ottiene il record mondiale di vendita dell’artista in asta e viene battuto a 13.500.000£ (spese incluse 15.421.250£), partendo da una stima di 2.500.000-3.500.000£.

Il dipinto è stato oggetto di moltissimi i rilanci, conteso da un collezionista in sala e dall’art dealer Jeffrey Loria al telefono da New York, che alla fine riesce a spuntarla.


Franz Marc, Drei Pferde, 1912

Lotto n. 14

Gouache su carta

33,5 x 47,5 cm


Altra opera molto contesa e di indiscussa bellezza “La Gare Saint-Lazare, vue extérieure”, un Monet del 1877 combattuto a lungo tra due collezionisti presenti in sala: viene aggiudicato a 22 milioni di sterline (24.983.750£ incluse le spese).
La stima era di 22-28.000.000£.


Claude Monet, La Gare Saint-Lazare, vue extérieure, 1877

Lotto n. 25

Olio su tela

60,4 x 80,2 cm


“Landscape”, gouache del 1911, segna il record per un lavoro su carta di Kazimir Malevič e viene battuto a 6.800.000£ (incluse le spese 7.883.750£).
La grande tela quadrata dell’artista russo che ha teorizzato e fondato il Suprematismo, anticipa la creazione di questa corrente artistica e fa parte di un gruppo di opere denominate “The Red Series”, contraddistinte per un uso espressivo del colore e pennellate molto gestuali con chiari rimandi al Cubismo e al Fauvismo.
L’opera “Landscape” è stata esposta per oltre 50 anni al Kunstmuseum di Basilea, prima di essere restituita agli eredi dell’artista.


Kazimir Malevič, Landscape, 1911

Lotto n. 17

Gouache su carta

106 x 106 cm



La sezione dedicata alla scultura ha avuto la sua punta di diamante nella statua di Rodin “Baiser, moyen modèle dit Taille de la Porte – modèle avec base simplifiée” del 1890, che da una stima di 5-7 milioni di sterline viene aggiudicata a 11 milioni (12.608.750£ incluse le spese), anch’essa dopo essere stata a lungo combattuta tra sala e collezionisti al telefono.



Auguste Rodin

Baiser, moyen modèle dit Taille de la Porte – modèle avec base simplifiée, 1980

Lotto n. 21

Bronzo, patina marrone con sfumature rosse

Altezza: 86,4 cm




Ottimi risultati anche per le quattro sculture di Camille Claudel, allieva, collaboratrice e amante di Auguste Rodin che riesce a ricreare nelle sue opere un incredibile senso del movimento e dinamismo.
Le opere vengono battute rispettivamente a 300, 950, 600 e 920 mila sterline (spese non incluse) per i lotti 38, 39, 40, 41, tutte sopra la stima massima tranne la prima, il lotto 38.
La scultura che più rappresenta la maturità artistica di Claudel è “La Valse” (Lotto 41), tema di cui esistono diverse versioni – una delle quali esposta al Museo Rodin di Parigi – di chiara ispirazione musicale forse influenzata dalla sua amicizia con il compositore Claude Debussy.


Camille Claudel, La valse o Les valseurs, grand modèle, 1895

Lotto n. 41

Bronzo, patina nera

Altezza: 46,5 cm


Il risultato molto positivo dell’asta serale è stato sicuramente dovuto all’accurata selezione dei lotti, molti dei quali mai proposti in asta negli ultimi 20 anni.
Primo tra tutti il dipinto di Monet, seguito dalle opere su carta di Franz Marc e di Kazimir Malevič.
Altro fattore che ha aiutato la buona riuscita dell’appuntamento londinese è stato probabilmente anche il tour in Asia di alcune opere avvenuto nei mesi precedenti l’asta: non a caso molti degli acquirenti provenivano dal continente asiatico.


Le sfumature dell’arcobaleno dell’arte sono infinite: scegliete la vostra preferita!

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