The other finalists are Petrit Halilaj, Gili Lavy, Shahryar Nashat and Suha Traboulsi and they were shortlisted by members of the pre-selection judging panel, Marisa Merz (artist), Nicholas Cullinan (Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London) and Claudia Gioia (independent curator).
The five finalists will participate in a group exhibition (March 8 – May 21, 2017) at the Fondazione Merz, Torino (Italy), curated by Beatrice Merz and showcasing the most significant works by each of the finalists.
The public will be able to vote for their favorite artist by visiting the exhibition or logging into the website mariomerzprize.org
More information about the exhibition can be found here.
The International Mario Merz Prize was established with the desire on the one hand of commemorating Mario Merz, and on the other to launch a new project looking to the future of art and which, thanks to a wide international panel of experts, would make it possible to identify and highlight exponents in the field of art and in parallel enable composers to propose an innovative project for contemporary music.
It is with profound sadness that we mourn the passing of one of the greatest and most inspirational Artists of the 20th Century. Jannis explored the space between Art and Life and broke the boundaries of tradition. His revolutionary work remains an authentic and poetic expression of the world around him.
Arte & Libertà! W KOUNELLIS!
–Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu
The earth, plants, animals wool, charcoal, iron, fire, wood, lead. And so, in original and poetic fashion, with a fragrant language, suspended amidst whispers and echoes of distant images, Kounellis succeeded in bringing life into art, but also art into life. No longer reality in place of fiction, but a single great theater where everything happens contemporaneously, where things tell of themselves and their own culture, where words are never abstract but always incarnated in the bodies and stories of the actors. Now that this time seems to have come to an end with an unexpected turn of events, it helps to stop and think that, more than any other message, the figure and work of Kounellis will always remain on the world stage, bearing witness to the knowledge of an authentic cultural identity, the ethics of an ancient language and the expressive force of a modern way of thinking lived to the fullest. Biographical fact notwithstanding, an artist like this is not destined to die.
Jannis Kounellis was born in Piraeus, Greece in 1936. He studied art in Athens until 1956 and then at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Rome, where he permanently moved in 1956.
In 1960 he had his first solo show at La Tartaruga Art Gallery in Rome. Here, after a period of only exhibiting painting, he first presented works featuring found sculptural objects such as actual street signs. This newfound convergence of painting, sculpture, and performance was Kounellis’ way out of traditional art.
In 1972 he participated for the first time in the Venice Biennale.
His work has become integral to numerous renowned, international museums’ collections and has been exhibited all over the world, including Europe, the USA and South America.
We have been honored to host Pier Paolo Calzolari and his wife Karine Arneodo at the Olnick Spanu House in Garrison last Saturday and to guide them on a special visit of the Collection. A very special day with one of the masters of Arte Povera.
It is with profound sadness that we note the passing of our very dear friend, Sauro Bocchi. Giorgio and I met Sauro in Rome in spring of 1992 as we were beginning our exploration into Italian Art. As a knowledgeable gallerist with a keen eye for quality from all types of artists, both known and unknown, we were exposed to extraordinary pieces of art and learned so much. Sauro’s passion for art was limitless. His wry sense of humor and straightforward attitude always made us laugh. We owe Sauro so much not only for his guidance and expertise but more importantly for his loyal and loving friendship.
Sauro, we will miss you greatly but you will always remain in our hearts!
-Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu
Sauro lived for art and for the art world: he invested all of his capital, all of his time, and all of his energy in it. When Barbara Tosi and I met him he had a shiny new Ferrari. He came from a rich Modenese family but he had left everything – his family, the company – to go and study art history in the DAMS program at the University of Bologna. Then he came to Rome, a city he adored (he was perhaps the only one who still loved it so much), and he opened a small gallery in a beautiful place: Palazzo Ricci.
For a few years, that space – frequented by critics like Achille Bonito Oliva and artists like Luigi Ontani – became something of an institution, with little dinners that Sauro would cook himself. He sought to have a conversation that was more cultural than commercial, promoting artists in whom he saw something, but who were not recognized for it. He wasn’t interested in following trends, and we know that this is in no way easy. He made room for some very talented women artists: Cloti Ricciardi, for example, and Lisa Montessori, recently – and rightly – rediscovered.
I had suggested to him that he work with Fabio Mauri, an artist I had always loved and with whom I had a wonderful friendship. It was thus that, in 1991, the splendid exhibit Due acquerelli (Two Watercolors) came about, which I presented with Barbara Tosi: a large, old pantograph skewering two black monochromatic watercolors, echoed by a miniature model. The little catalogue was humble (but pretty), because Sauro had no money. But he always tried, when he could, to produce small publications.
He continued to work with Mauri for some time, and supported him during some tough years; I think one of the first zerbini (doormats) that Fabio made was for Sauro. With his ties to the great Luciano Pistoi, he had participated, along with his friend Stefania Miscetti, in “Bellissima,” the fair started by Luciano in Florence. He also sought to collaborate in the organization of projects and exhibitions. After the death of Gino De Dominicis, he organized a show in his honor, which I curated (with the help of Arianna De Rosa, a close friend of mine and of Gino’s, and, from that moment on, of Sauro’s) at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in London.
We worked together several times; I recall the exhibit of works made of fabrics and textiles in the former prisons in Spoleto. And, in particular, I remember Trasparenze (Transparencies), the project on alternative energy (produced by Fabula in arte) at MACRO Mattatoio in Rome and MADRE in Naples, with works realized for the occasion by Nari Ward, Ackroyd and Harvey, Georges Adéagbo, Liliana Moro, Bruna Esposito, and a masterpiece by Tony Cragg. I remember a wonderful discussion on Pistoletto’s “Mediterranean” table, with Michelangelo and Councilor (for Culture and Communication) Croppi.
Although he came from a family of entrepreneurs, he didn’t really have a managerial side, and even though he was a merchant, he didn’t really have a knack for business (and much less the ruthlessness of a wheeler and dealer). What he did have, however, was the trust, the respect, and the fondness of careful and sophisticated collectors like Rosa and Gilberto Sandretto, and Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu.
On January 30, 2017 Michelangelo Pistoletto’s installation Il Terzo Paradiso, also known as Rebirth, has been inaugurated at the Verona Arena, and it will be on view until February 28, 2017.
Il Terzo Paradiso is a representation of the symbol of infinity: two circular elements are joined to create a bigger central circle thus alluding to the nature’s cycles of regeneration and also to the social role that art plays in responsibly transforming the society in harmony with science and nature.
Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Il Terzo Paradiso, Verona Arena
Il Terzo Paradiso was initially created in 2003 and presented at the Venice Biennale in 2005 and after that has travelled around the world reaching several of the most significant places of international culture, as the Louvre Museum in Paris. In 2015, on the occasion of the seventy anniversary of the United Nations, a permanent installation of Il Terzo Paradiso was created at the United Nations Palace in Ginevra.
In Verona Pistoletto conceived his installation specifically within the space of the Arena, which is the centre of the city. Il Terzo Paradiso is made of 96 small wooden boards covered with aluminium and it thus changes its colors according to the light and the perspective of the viewer.
The installation is curated by Sandro Orlandi Stagl and Fortunato D’Amico and it was realized under the supervision of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto.
On January 21, 2017 the public installation Follow the Shape by the artist Paolo Puddu entered the collection of the Museum at the St. Elmo Castle, Naples and is now permanently on view.
With Follow the Shape Paolo Puddu won the Fifth edition of the contest “A work for the Castle”, curated by Angela Tecce and Claudia Borrelli, which aimed to rethink the function of the St. Elmo Castle and its connection with the surrounding areas.
Paolo Puddu succeeded in creating an original bond between the castle and the adjacent environment. The panoramic fortifications became a place to live different kind of unique sensory experiences starting from writings inspired to Naples. By using the braille writing system the artist encourages the visitors to have a tactile experience thus offering them a different perspective from the visual one.
More information about Follow the Shape can be found here.
Paolo Puddu was born in Naples in 1986. He works with photography, sculpture and installations and has exhibited all around Italy.
More information about the artis will soon be available here.
On January 28, 2017, on the occasion of the inauguration of the 2016-2017 Academic Year, the artist Giulio Paolini will be awarded the Honoris Causa Diploma in Painting at the Accademia Albertina of Fine Arts, Turin, Italy.
Paolini will also be delivering a Lectio Magistralis on the same day.
The exhibition Grigio Lieve, curated by Roberto Pinto and featuring works by the Italian artist duo Ornaghi & Prestinari, is opening at Casa Morandi, Bologna, Italy, on January 20, 2017.
The show will be on view at Casa Morandi, the house of Giorgio Morandi, until March 24, 2017 and it arises from the artists’ idea of creating sculptures starting from the shadows in Giorgio Morandi’s paintings. Thanks to the virtual reconstruction of his studio through a special 3D-rendering software, Ornaghi & Prestinari were able to reproduce the paintings settings and their specific object arrangements in order to seize the hidden sights and use them to model object-free shadow cones.
More information about the show can be found here.
Based in Milan, Valentina Ornaghi and Claudio Prestinari have worked together since 2009 and have exhibited their work throughout Italy and Europe. Blending together pictorial and plastic figuration, reflections on key motifs from 20th century Italian modern art, conceptual art and personal experiences, Ornaghi and Prestinari focus their practice on the dualities between thinking and acting, paying particular attention to spontaneous and unpredictable intuitions.
The artists are supported by Magazzino Italian Art, that in October 2016 organized, in collaboration with NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò and Galleria Continua San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana a solo exhibition of their work at Casa Italiana, New York.
Gioia Marchegiani’s illustrations for “Il campanellino d’argento”, a story by Maria Lai, an artist featured in the Olnick Spanu Collection, have been selected to be exhibited at the International Exhibition of Illustrators during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which will take place from April 3 through April 6, 2017.
In Summer 2017 Gioia Marchegiani’s illustrations will be published by the publishing house Topipittori in the Book “Il campanellino d’argento,” a story by Maria Lai inspired by a fairy tale belonging to the Sardinian tradition, thanks to the support of Maria Sofia Pisu, Maria Lai’s niece and the President of the Fondazione Maria Lai. The book will be published in the series of almost classical fairy tales.
Gioia Marchegiani is an illustrator and painter based in Rome, Italy. She graduated in Illustration at the European Institute of Design, Rome and she co-founded a non-profit culture association, Semidicarta, which intends to promote reading and creative educational activities.
Further information about Gioia Marchegiani che be found here.
The exhibition Murano: Glass from the Olnick Spanu Collection is on view at the Consulate General of Italy in New York through February 24, 2017.
The show, open by appointment only, features a selection of Murano glass works dating from 1914 to 1933 drawn exclusively from the Collection of Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu and it is a tribute to the celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of the Italian Republic.
Watch this fascinating interview with Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu to discover more about their over 500 hand-blown Murano glass works and the singular passion that inspired them in their journey into glass collecting.
More information about the exhibition can be found here.