Magazine article Artforum International

Divided We Stand

Magazine article Artforum International

Divided We Stand

Article excerpt

Unlike France or Great Britain, Italy has no single city from which the nation's cultural life radiates. Instead, our country's history of decentralization-until the middle of the nineteenth century it was a medley of small independent states - has given us a wealth of diverse urban centers, large and small, with disparate cultural legacies sustained by a range of economies. Taken together, they create a variegated fabric that makes Italy, depending on one's point of view, either a big backwater or a sprawling capital.

When it comes to institutions of contemporary art, this general decentralization is intensified to the point of paradox. This is particularly the case in the north. Two of the most important contemporary art museums, Castello di Rivoli and Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, are found not in an international center like Milan, but in the small cities of Rivoli, outside Turin, and Prato, near Florence. When it comes to galleries and private foundations, though most are located in the largest cities, the decentralized model applies as well: any thorough tour of northern Italy's most influential venues for contemporary art would have to include a series of excursions - not only to Turin, Milan, or Venice, but also to the regions surrounding them.

Some years ago the Tucci Russo gallery, one of the most important in Italy, moved from Turin to Torre Pellice. Located in the heart of a valley inhabited for centuries by Italian Protestants, this gallery has shown the work of Tony Cragg, Jan Vercruysse, and Thomas Schutte, and more recently, Alfredo Pirri, Miroslaw Balka, and Luigi Stoisa. A half hour by car from the Piedmontese capital is Castello di Rivara. Run by Franz Paludetto (a former art dealer from Turin who has worked with Julian Opie and Sylvie Fleury, among others), this forward-thinking institution is known for surveys of contemporary art with a particular emphasis on developments in Germany; memorable solo shows in recent years include those by John Armleder, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Dan Graham.

Of the numerous art spaces that dot the Lombardy countryside around Milan, the most prominent is Massimo Minini's, in Brescia. Minini has been a leading figurefigure on the Italian art scene since the '70s, working with established figurefigures such as Ettore Spalletti, Peter Halley, and Bertrand Lavier, as well as younger artists like Eva Marisaldi, Serse, and Marco Mazzucconi. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.