Press Release

Magazzino Italian Art Announces 2020 Season

Cold Spring, NY
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Program Highlights Include: 

  • A special exhibition featuring a selection of American artist Mel Bochner’s work in dialogue with paintings, sculptures, and installations by Alighiero Boetti and Lucio Fontana, marking the first time an American artist is being presented in Magazzino’s galleries;
  • Solo presentation of sculptural canvases by Italian-American artist Namsal Siedlecki, mounted in collaboration with and presented at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU;
  • U.S. debut of traveling exhibition exploring the history and significance of multiples in Arte Povera at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, presented in collaboration with ICA Milan;
  • Lecture series on Arte Povera’s global vision, curated by Magazzino Scholar-in-Residence Tenley Bick;
  • Film festival of contemporary cinema by and about Italian artists, co-curated by Magazzino Director Vittorio Calabrese and Artecinema Founder Laura Trisorio, and mounted in collaboration with Artecinema film festival in Naples; and
  • Artist talks and book presentations with artists Antonio Rovaldi and Francesco Arena

Magazzino Italian Art announces its 2020 season, including new exhibitions, lecture and film series, artist talks, and book presentations that explore postwar and contemporary Italian art within an international context. Marking Magazzino’s fourth year of programming, the season reflects the nonprofit’s commitment to engendering new scholarship of and public engagement with Italian art from the 1960s onward.

Among this year’s highlights is a new exhibition at Magazzino, exploring the synergies between American artist Mel Bochner’s work and that of Italian artist Alighiero Boetti and Italian-Argentine artist Lucio Fontana. Additionally, the museum is refreshing its ongoing exhibition, Arte Povera, with the installation of new works by Giovanni Anselmo, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Mario Merz, and Giuseppe Penone starting February 15. The season also embraces continued partnerships with cultural institutions and peer organizations that extend Magazzino’s programming beyond Cold Spring, as well as new commissions and research at the museum.

“Our 2020 season has been thoughtfully designed to look at both Arte Povera and contemporary Italian art through a global lens, in hopes that it will inspire new perspectives and scholarship,” said Magazzino Director Vittorio Calabrese. “This year, we look forward to presenting a breadth of exhibitions and public programs at Magazzino, as well as continuing our collaborative initiatives with cultural institutions that share our dedication to providing a U.S. platform for contemporary Italian artists and cultivating a deeper appreciation of postwar Italian art.”

Magazzino 2020 Season Details


Special Exhibition Curated by Mel Bochner in Collaboration with Magazzino

June 13, 2020 – January 11, 2021 | Magazzino Italian Art

Featuring works of art from American Conceptual artist Mel Bochner's own archives in dialogue with works by Alighiero Boetti and Lucio Fontana, this special exhibition at Magazzino offers visitors the opportunity to contemplate a number of formal, procedural, and conceptual “resonances” between the three artists’ work. Curated by Bochner in collaboration with Magazzino, the exhibition explores the use of systems, language, and materials, often with a sense of irony and humor, shared by Arte Povera and Conceptualism. Addressing parallel artistic developments in the 1960s and 1970s on either side of the Atlantic—between Spatialism and Arte Povera in Italy, and Process and Conceptual art in the U.S.—and trajectories also connected to avant-garde in South America, the exhibition is the first to examine Bochner’s relationship to both Fontana and Boetti, shedding light on the artist’s special connection to Italy. 

One of the most celebrated figures in Conceptual art, Bochner was initially best received in Italy, where he has spent significant time across his career. Registering the artist’s long-term, yet understudied, engagement with Boetti and Fontana, and with Italian art, history, and culture, the exhibition includes a range of works by Bochner, among them: Meditation on the Theorem of Pythagoras (1977), one of the artist’s floor-based Fontana’s Lights sculptures, made with leftover Murano glass fragments from Fontana’s Milan studio; the somber Yizkor (For the Jews of Rome) (1993), composed of a U.S. Army blanket and extinguished matchsticks; and a bilingual wall painting, Language Is Not Transparent (English/Italian) (1969/2019). The exhibition, which includes major loans from Olnick Spanu as well as other international collections, marks the first occasion an American artist’s work has been exhibited in Magazzino’s galleries.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog, featuring contributions from Magazzino’s 2019-20 Scholar-in-Residence Tenley Bick and Bochner. Magazzino will host Bochner in conversation with Bick on October 3. Additional details will be announced later.

Namsal Siedlecki 

May 5 – June 18, 2020 | Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò at New York University 

For their fourth annual collaboration, Magazzino and Casa Italiana present a solo exhibition of new and recent work by Italian-American artist Namsal Siedlecki. Born in the U.S. and based in Tuscany, Siedlecki explores dichotomies—from public and private space, to art history and science—and integrates elements of chemical reactivity in his practice. The exhibition comprises work from a series of paintings that the artist petrified by leaving them in an underground source in France for four months, as well as results of his investigations into the production of synthetic rubies and replicating forms produced by nature. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, Magazzino has commissioned the artist to create a new, site-specific work, which will be on view at Magazzino concurrently with the exhibition at Casa Italiana. 

Arte Povera e "Multipli," Torino 1970-1975

October 27 – December 4, 2020 | Italian Cultural Institute of New York

During the early 1970s, Italian gallerist Giorgio Persano commissioned and exhibited a number of multiples, produced in rare editions, by artists—Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gilberto Zorio, Marco Gastini, Giorgio Griffa, and Salvo—out of his Torino gallery named Multipli. The activities of the gallery helped to champion the idea that multiples are unique works in and of themselves and gave rise to the significance of the multiple to the practice of Arte Povera artists.

Arte Povera e "Multipli," Torino 1970-1975 showcases a selection of works and original documentary materials from the gallery. Curated by Elena Re, the exhibition is organized by Magazzino in conjunction with ICA Milan and the Italian Cultural Institute of New York. 

On-Site Public Programs

Lecture Series: "Una visione globale": Arte Povera's Worlds 

March 21 – May 2, 2020 | Magazzino Italian Art

Magazzino’s second annual lecture series, curated and organized by Magazzino’s 2019-20 Scholar-in-Residence Tenley Bick, invites leading scholars from around the world to discuss models of globalism and internationalism in Arte Povera. Drawing its title from the texts of Germano Celant—the founder of Arte Povera—the series addresses Arte Povera’s engagement with trans-geographical and cultural politics, to explorations of Marxism and socialist humanism, to frequent natural, planetary, and cartographic references. 

Details on each program and lecturer follow below:

  • Victoria Surliuga – Ezio Gribaudo and Arte Povera: Parallel Tracks from Turin to the World (1966–1972) March 21, 3–5 p.m. - Victoria Surliuga, Associate Professor of Italian Studies, Italian Program Coordinator, and World Cinema Coordinator at Texas Tech University, explores the life and work of Turin-based artist and publisher Ezio Gribaudo, winner of the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966. A contemporary of Germano Celant, Gribaudo worked closely with many key figures of modern art from around the world, including Marcel Duchamp, Peggy Guggenheim, Joan Miró, and Francis Bacon, among others. Mirroring Celant’s endeavor to turn Arte Povera into an artistic trend with a global impact, Gribaudo had a keen interest in expanding the international scope of his artistic and editorial work. Belonging neither to Arte Povera nor any school, Gribaudo’s work is nonetheless essential to a more thorough understanding of contemporary Italian art. 
  • Valérie Da Costa – Pino Pascali: Between Arte Povera and the Mediterranean | April 4, 3–5 p.m. - Valérie Da Costa, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History at the University of Strasbourg, addresses the concept of “the Mediterranean” in the practice of Italian artist Pino Pascali. Pascali’s work across a range of materials—including water, mud, fake fur, and steel wool—led to a reconceptualization of sculpture as a medium, as well as the exhibition as a space. Focused on the artist’s sculptural turn to the Mediterranean in 1967 and 1968, this lecture offers a re-reading of Pino Pascali’s work based on anthropology and critical texts of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Ernesto de Martino, and Pier Paolo Pasolini within the historical context of the beginning of Arte Povera. Da Costa’s research focuses on Italian art in the second half of the twentieth century.
  • Tenley Bick – Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Comizi (1965–1966): Pop, Protest, and Politics in Early Arte Povera | April 18, 3–5 p.m. - Tenley Bick, 2019-20 Scholar-in-Residence at Magazzino Italian Art and Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Art at Florida State University, examines Michelangelo Pistoletto’s quadri specchianti (mirror paintings) through investigation of his understudied Comizi (Rallies) series, inspired by the political climate and tumultuous context of mid-1960s Italy. By shedding light on the Comizi and related works’ navigation of Italian labor politics, American Pop, and the cultural geopolitics of the transatlantic context of the early Cold War, this lecture introduces the Comizi as the birthplace of Arte Povera and proposes a new model of political figuration in the 1960s, repositioning understanding of the mirror paintings and the history of postwar Italian and European art. 
  • Chris Bennett – Salt and Copper: Stratified Questions and Replies from an Interview with Jannis Kounellis | May 2, 3–5 p.m. - Chris Bennett, Assistant Professor of Art History/Contemporary Art at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, explores Arte Povera artist Jannis Kounellis’ production through a transnational lens. Based on an interview with the artist conducted in New York City in 2013, the lecture focuses on four insights generated by the discussion, ranging from Kounellis’ self-described “discovery” of an ongoing global “logic” for his work, to his global and conceptual enactment of artwork as perpetually “unfinished.” Drawing on Kounellis’ frequent allusion to themes of migration and transit in his work, Bennett offers new insights to the broader history of Arte Povera through close examinations of specific works and sets out to connect Arte Povera’s very founding, as a configuration, to the broader terrain of international contemporary artistic practice.

Cinema in Piazza x Artecinema

July 17 – 19, 2020 | Magazzino Italian Art

For its third annual summer film program, Magazzino presents a weekend-long festival of films by and about Italian artists. Organized in collaboration with Artecinema—an international festival of films on contemporary art based in Naples—Cinema in Piazza is co-curated by Magazzino Director Vittorio Calabrese and Artecinema Founder Laura Trisorio. 

Details on screenings follow below:

  • Luca Vitone’s Romanistan (2019) | Screening begins at sunset on July 17 - This documentary explores the migration of the Roma people into Europe, filmed as artist and filmmaker Luca Vitone and his team traveled across the Balkans interviewing local Roma people about their lives. 
  • Andrea Mastrovito’s Io Non Sono Leggenda (2020) | Screening begins at sunset on July 18 - This animated feature film investigates themes of identity and relationships through a reimagined version of George Andrew Romero's classic horror film, Night of the Living Dead (1968). 
  • Daniele Costantini’s Il Venditore di Colore (2019) | Screening begins at sunset on July 19 - This film profiles Mimmo Mancini, owner of Ditta Poggi, the renowned and beloved art store hidden along the side streets near the Pantheon in Rome. 

Artist Talk: Mel Bochner in Conversation with Tenley Bick

October 3, 2020 | Magazzino Italian Art

For this conversation, organized by Magazzino, American Conceptual artist Mel Bochner discusses his work from the 1960s to the present, with a focus on his long-term, but understudied, interest in the work of postwar art in Italy with Magazzino’s 2019–20 Scholar-in-Residence Tenley Bick (and Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Art at Florida State University). Specific attention is paid to Bochner’s interest in Italian Arte Povera artist Alighiero Boetti and Italian-Argentine artist Lucio Fontana, highlighting “resonances” between art on either side of the Atlantic in the 1960s and 1970s and Bochner’s experiences in Italy. 

Off-Site Public Programs

Artist Talk: Antonio Rovaldi in Conversation with Dr. Steven Handel

March 3, 2020, 6:30–8 p.m. | Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò at NYU

For this artist talk, organized by Magazzino and Casa Italiana in collaboration with GAMeC - Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, Italian artist Antonio Rovaldi presents his photographic series, End. Words from the Margins. New York City, winner of the 5th edition of the Italian Council, and his book, The Sound of the Woodpecker Bill: New York City. He documents the shorelines of New York City's five boroughs while in conversation with Harvard University Graduate School of Design Visiting Professor in Landscape Architecture Dr. Steven Handel. Recently featured in exhibitions at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the GAMeC, Rovaldi's project builds on his artistic practice, which employs photography, video, sculpture, writing, and design in order to construct narratives rooted in landscapes and perceptions of space and distance. 

Book Presentation: Francesco Arena’s 5468 Days with Vincenzo De Bellis

April 24, 2020 | Rizzoli Bookstore

In collaboration with Rizzoli Bookstore, Magazzino presents 5468 Days, a new monograph highlighting 60 works produced between 2004 and 2019 by Italian artist Francesco Arena. The presentation, led by Walker Art Center Visual Arts Curator Vincenzo De Bellis and the artist, reflects on themes fundamental to the artist’s work, including man’s relationship with time and its effect on the spaces in which we live. 

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