ITALIANS – A COLLECTIVE BOOTH OF 8 ITALIAN GALLERIES a project by Italian Cultural Institute – Hong Kong

May 21-23 May, 2021 (upon invitation)

Art Basel Hong Kong 2021, Booth No 1D28, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

The Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong, spearheaded by director Stefano Fossati, is delighted to organise and present ITALIANS, a collective booth of 8 leading Italian galleries, at Art Basel Hong Kong 2021, running from May 21 to May 23 2021, with preview days on May 19 and 20, 2021. The initiative comes as a strong institutional support for Italian businesses, particularly in the arts, amidst the global pandemic. It also introduces Italian Style, a larger initiative to celebrate Italian art, design, and fashion. 

We are very glad to support the Italian galleries’ participation in Art Basel Hong Kong, the most important art fair in the region,” says Stefano Fossati, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong. “This initiative is an important part of Italian Style, a larger initiative to introduce Italian art, design and fashion to the Asian audience in a more systematic way.”

The initiative results in a finely designed group show titled ITALIANS and curated by the Italian art historian and curator Fabio Cavallucci, well-known in the area for being one of the chief curators of the 2019 Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism of Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Eight of the most important Italian galleries, all regular attendees of the fair, joined the project: Alfonso Artiaco from Naples; Cardi Gallery from Milan; Galleria Continua with venues in San Gimignano, Beijing, Boissy-le-Châtel, Havana, Paris, Rome and São Paulo; MASSIMODECARLO with branches in Milan, Hong Kong, London and Paris; Galleria Maggiore g.a.m from Bologna; Galleria Franco Noero from Turin; Mazzoleni with locations in Turin and London; and Rossi & Rossi, with headquarters in Hong Kong and London.  

Michelangelo PistolettoconTatto, 2017, Silkscreen on polished stainless steel mirror, glass and marble. Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, Photo by: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio

ITALIANS will feature high quality works from all the participating galleries to celebrate the wide range of Italian artistic production. The selection will include Italian classics such as Giorgio Morandi, Lucio Fontana, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Giulio Paolini and Giovanni Anselmo, masters of 

Arte Povera, and Nicola De Maria of Transavanguardia; together with former young artists now world-famous Paola Pivi and Francesco Vezzoli. 

Additional works in various media by Getulio Alviani, Massimo Antonaci, Bertozzi & Casoni, Alberto Biasi, Agostino Bonalumi, Vittoria Chierici, Lara Favaretto, Martino Gamper, Gian Marco Montesano, Luigi Ontani, Mimmo Rotella, Serse and Elisa Sighicelli will be on view.

More than a historical itinerary, the exhibition is a large review that suggests, through combinations and correspondences, some characteristics of the Italian style. From the exhibition emerges a calmness and craftsmanship, with light flowers (Morandi, De Maria, Montesano, Gamper, Rotella), hands pre-washed from the history of art (Pistoletto, Paolini, Sighicelli), vague references to the national flag, and many other suggestions.

In alignment with the Institute’s ongoing commitment to promote contemporary Italian art, the exhibition is an instrumental part of a larger project, Italian Style. A series of exhibitions and online initiatives will follow, celebrating the diversity of Italian art, design and fashion, with interviews and conferences that aim to decipher precisely the term “Italian Style” — that everyone can recognize and appreciate, but which seems so difficult, perhaps impossible, to circumscribe.

Fabio Cavallucci – curator

Fabio Cavallucci (Santa Sofia, 1961), one of the most important Italian art critics and curators, from 2001 to 2008, he directed the Galleria Civica of Contemporary Art of Trento (Italy). He coordinated Manifesta 7-The European Biennial of Contemporary Art (Italy, 2008), directed the 14th edition of the International Sculpture Biennale of Carrara (Italy, 2010) and the Polish-Ukrainian section of the 1st Biennale of Kyiv (2012). From 2010 to 2014, he oversaw the Contemporary Art Centre of Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw) and directed the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato, Italy from 2014 to 2017, which he re-opened with the large exhibition The End of the World after the realization of an extension in 2016.

In 2019 was one of the chief curators, together with Carlo Ratti and Meng Jianmin, of the Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in Shenzhen with the project “Ascending City” that brought together a number of prestige architects, artists, filmmakers, writers and museum advisors, as well as interdisciplinary professionals.

Elisabetta Zerbinatti – assistant curator

Elisabetta Zerbinatti graduated in 2018 from the department of Oriental Languages and Culture at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, having written her thesis in the field of Chinese contemporary art. In 2019, she obtained a master’s degree in Arts Management from the Catholic University of Milan and she then worked for Ordet, Milan and Electa, Milan.

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