contemporary art / history of art

Preview for the ART CITY: 9 Proposals

In Bologna, the approaching ARTE FIERA is celebrating its 50th anniversary. From February 2nd until the 4th the 47th edition will take place. At the same time, there will be the 12th edition of the ART CITY, all over the town and even outside with its huge program of exhibitions, performances, cinema films and a lot of other art events. Fortunately, this year there are already several exhibitions open. Therefore, we are able to propose a selection of 9 shows. Additionally, you should have a look into the manifold program if you are in the area during the White Night and the days around. There are many venues, which will be inaugurated in the next days and particularly during the ARTE FIERA. On Saturday 3rd February most of the exhibitions are open until midnight. However, some will close earlier.

Museo Davia Bargellini: Pegah Pasyar – Mnemosine

Galleria Cenacchi: Marco Rigamonti – Periplo siciliano

Raccolta Lecaro: CaCO3 and Davide Maria Coltro – Dalla Materia la Luce

Galleria B4: Tobia Ravà – Matematiche metafisiche

LABS Contemporary Art: Giulia Marchi – Bildungsroman

Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna: Greta Schödl- Il tempo non esiste

Galleria Studio G7: Daniela Comani – Supporto memoria – Memory Device

MAMbo: Lynda Benglis & Properzia de’ Rossi – Sculpitrici di capriccioso e destrissimo ingegno

Museo Morandi: Mary Ellen Bartley – Morandi’s Books

Pegah Pasyar – Mnemosine
24 January – 10 February 2024

Museo Davia Bargellini
Strada Maggiore 44, Bologna

Pegah Pasyar has named her exhibition and the presented sculptures after the Greek goddess of memory Mnemosyne. Not surprisingly, since the works are talking about childhood memories. Therefore, the artist assembled toys where children used to play with on structures of wire and clay. They are grouped in three installations arranged on whinstone. However, in each arrangement is one differing piece: a ready-made or found object. Nevertheless, also these sculptures are evoking souvenirs, as well as the whinstone. Thus, the title is well-chosen. With Mnemosyne, we can undertake a journey into our childhood and at the same time discover artworks, perhaps inspired by the daughters of Mnemosyne, the nine muses.

Appropriately, the exhibition is embedded in the Museo Davia Bargellini, a place of retrospection, which hosts a collection of paintings, sculptures and pieces of applied art from various eras and authors. Especially conceived for this location, there are similarities due to the colours, the forms or the subjects. There is even an ancient theatre of marionettes that communicates with the new artworks with their toys. During the visit, one should pay attention not to miss Pegah Pasyar’s work within all these objects of memory.

Besides, there is a catalogue published in occasion of the exhibition. With photos by the curator Marco Baldassari, the sculptures get another appearance as if the book features its own show.

Marco Rigamonti – Periplo siciliano
13 January – 17 February 2024

Galleria Cenacchi
Via Santo Stefano 63, Bologna
Studio Legale Iusgate
Via Castiglione 81, Bologna

The two spaces exhibition “Periplo siciliano” by Marco Rigamonti is a result of the author’s love for the island of Sicily. By its colours, the photographs make the glistering light almost perceptible. One could nearly feel the warmth of the summer sun. However, Rigamonti shows not only the bright side of the Italian island. Even though, the images show little shadow, the dark sides of deterioration in buildings, urban places and landscapes are observable. Herewith, they show a certain morbid charm, which illustrates the beauty and the problems of Sicily.

CaCO3 and Davide Maria Coltro – Dalla Materia la Luce
11 October 2023 – 18 February 2024

Raccolta Lecaro
Via Riva di Reno 57, Bologna

In the exhibition by the artist collective CaCO3 and Davide Maria Coltro dialogue two different techniques: mosaic and electronic painting. While the traditional mosaic creates light by reflexes on the support, the monitors with the pixelated images shine by themselves. Both techniques have in common that they function by abstraction. CaCO3 uses traditional material to create light pictures, whereas the luminous monitors by Davide Maria Coltro emit mosaics by the technology, generating pixelated colours.

Tobia Ravà – Matematiche metafisiche
11 January – 24 February 2024

Galleria B4
Via Vinazzetti 4/b, Bologna

In the paintings by Tobia Ravà the trees, buildings and even people are covert by numbers and Hebrew letters. Since in the Hebrew alphabet every letter corresponds to a numeral, the artist creates a codified language. In doing so, he speaks about values, ethical and moral principles in an inclusive world with a regenerated mankind. Herewith he introduces a spiritual dimension in his art, where art constructs and raises human beings. His range of subjects points to a harmony between human and nature or human and human. The paintings and sculptures radiate this harmony.

Giulia Marchi – Bildungsroman
13 January – 2 March 2024

LABS Contemporary Art
Via Santo Stefano 38, Bologna

Considering the present flood of images due to their distribution on the internet etc., Giulia Marchi reduced her photo-series to crucial elements. Inspired by philosophers and writers, she “wrote” her own “Bildungsroman” (education novel), in order to “educate” the spectator to concentrate and immerse into the pictures, instead of only brief glimpse. Resulting are five large-sized photos with the same white background. On a white table Giulia Marchi arranged fabrics, which echo to well-known paintings: The Virgin Annunciate by Antonello da Messina, the apostle Saint Bartolomeo by El Greco, the Deposition from the Cross by Pontormo and the Baptism of Christ by Masolino da Panicale. For her pictures, the artist focuses on colours of the original painting and arranges them in fabric so that the masterpiece could resound in the onlooker. A fifth image researches the colour of the void in the sense of Gilles Deleuze. In addition to the intense photos, the space between the pictures leaves enough space to immerse into them.

Greta Schödl- Il tempo non esiste
26 January – 17 March 2024

Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna
Via delle Donzelle 2, Bologna

Her first solo exhibition in a Bolognese institution gives an insight into the multifaced work of Greta Schödl. After her studies at the Academy of Applied Art in Vienna, she was immediately successful on the international stage, at that time with carpets and mosaics. Originally from Austria, she moved to Bologna in 1959 and suspended her artistic work for some years to dedicate herself to her family. However, soon she restarted her creative research, with the result of several exhibitions in the 1970s.

This is where the current show takes its point of departure. As a kind of introduction, the visitor can appreciate a collection of works on paper from the 1970s to the 1990s and discover the artist’s exploration of different kinds of papers combined with various materials. Here already, the constituting elements become obvious: scripture and gold. Both are more or less prominent. Greta Schödl’s hexagons (1980-1990) are dominated by blue acrylic shades, which overlap the written words and the nearly subordinated gold leave dots emphasise a certain rhythm. In her series of body prints, the scripture completely disappears, but gold is the main actor after the form.

Nevertheless, both components were and still are important in the artist’s oeuvre. She inscribed textiles and household objects in her beloved Austrian Kurrent script, always accentuated by gold leave dots. In 1978, she “decorated” a barrel and a tube, which triggered two of her performances on the central square of Bologna. These two events and others are documented by photographs and publications. A complement of the exhibition and a highlight of the ART CITY will be the re-enactment of three of Greta Schödl’s performances on Saturday 3rd February 2024 at 12:30 p.m. at the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna by students of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna.

Daniela Comani – Supporto memoria – Memory Device
13 January – 31 March 2024

Galleria Studio G7
Via Val D’Aposa 4/A, Bologna

In the title giving work “Memory Device”, Daniela Comani arranges photos of ancient storage mediums in form of archive boxes. This huge image is a time journey back to old photo and video cameras, cell phones, audio and video cassettes, to arrive to floppy disks, CDs and SD-cards. All these devices were used by the artist. In consequence, it is a very personal archive, which recounts a personal story. At the same time, it could bring back memories in the observer’s mind.

Seemingly more personal is the untitled photography (messa in scena di se stessi – enactment of herself). Here Daniela Comani photographed herself in double exposure in front of one of her works created in the time of her studies at the University of Art in Berlin (1990s). However, the reference to collective memory is evident, since the image in the background shows a photo of the model of Adolf Hitler’s Volkshalle (People’s Hall).

The split screen video “East Berlin 1990 – 2020” recalls the changes in Berlin in the last 30 years. Projected in parallel, the two videos show a round trip in the former Soviet Sector of Berlin. In 2020, Daniela Comani repeated the tour made in 1990 filming the streets. Depending on if and when visited the German capital the evoked memories of the observer arise differently. At the same time, it is documentary of the enormous transition.

Lynda Benglis & Properzia de’ Rossi – Sculpitrici di capriccioso e destrissimo ingegno
26 January – 26 May 2024

MAMbo, Project Room
Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 14 Bologna

The current exhibition in the MAMbo’s Project Room is dedicated to two female artists. Even though coming from different eras, they have the will in common to assert themselves in the male domain of art.

Properzia de’ Rossi (1490-1530) was a Bolognese sculptress and the only woman, which entered with her own chapter in Giorgio Vasari’s “Vite” (Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects). Next to the book, there is a Double-headed eagle coat of arms of the Grassi family attributed to the Renaissance artist. Moreover, there is a faithful 3D reproduction of the tile “Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife” (1525-1526), which she executed for the façade of the Basilica of San Petronio of Bologna, the most famous work of her oeuvre. The reproduction was necessary, since the original marble relief in the Museum of the Basilica is difficult to move. Besides her artistic life, Properzia de’ Rossi seemed to be a militant woman: according to court records she devastated the garden of a neighbour and attacked another artist by splashing colour in his face.

Lynda Benglis (born 1941, in Lake Charles, United States), makes sculptures of various materials. On view are seven marble works, coming from private collections of Italy. Attached on the wall, the nodes and abstract forms seem to float lightly in the room, despite their heavy weight. Besides her exceptional artistic work, she is known for her independence to renown male artists of her time. To underline her feeling of being underrepresented in the male artistic community, she placed advertising-like photos, where she satirises the traditional representations of women.

Mary Ellen Bartley – Morandi’s Books
31 January – 7 July 2024

Museo Morandi
Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 14, Bologna

Arisen from a residency of Mary Ellen Bartley at Giorgio Morandi’s house in Bologna, the exhibition “Morandi’s Books” presents photographs by the American artist. In a first step she arranged books of the Bolognese painter, considering the natural incidence of light in his paintings. Interrupted by the pandemic, Mary Ellen Bartley experimented in her home studio with the resulting pictures, introducing transparent paper as collage. Hereby, the books get more the character of objects and remind the still-lives of the late painter and resonate with them.

The show in the Museum Morandi with its largest collection of the painter’s oeuvre, is housed in the MAMbo. It displays two series of works, which illustrate two different kinds of photographed collages. They are accompanied by paintings of Morandi. Additionally, there is a video, where Mary Ellen Bartley describes her approach. A bilingual catalogue completes the exhibition.