contemporary art / history of art

Bologna in autumn 2019: Quite a lot to see!

After the summer break, there are various new exhibitions in Bologna on view. There are different artists with diverse techniques and subjects. Nevertheless, the exhibitions have in common that they invite to pause and to contemplate the objects to discover them deeply.


Goethe-Zentrum: Bauhaus Reloaded 1919-2019: Architettura Bauhaus 1919-1933

Spazio Testoni: Human Places

Magma Gallery: Organised Chaos

Galleria B4: INTERLACE 178 Show

Localedue: Mono – Piedi Bocciati (Enej Gala)

CAR DRDE & P420: Piero Manai

Gallleriapiù: Gaia Fugazza – Ostaggi e amici

MAMbo Bologna: Cesare Pietroiusti – A Certain Number of Things


Bauhaus Reloaded 1919-2019: Architettura Bauhaus 1919-1933

Via de’Marchi 4, Bologna

13 September – 8 October 2019

The German photographer Hans Engels, specialised on architecture, made a series of buildings designed by former Bauhaus masters and students. Thereby he focuses not only on well-known creations by Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but also on less familiars. It is a choice of edifices, built during the active time of the important school in six European countries. Interesting is, that the pictures show the current conditions of the architecture, nearly 100 years after their construction.

Spazio Testoni’s History # 1: Human Places

Spazio Testoni
Via d’Azeglio 50, Bologna

14 September – 12 October 2019

As first part of the gallery’s glance at its longstanding artists, Spazio Testoni shows works by six artists: Filippo Centenari, Ulrich Egger, Andrea Francolino, Fabio Giampietro, James Kalinda and Alan Maglio. “Human Places” is partly a glance on the artists’ reflexion on architecture, like the paintings by Fabio Giampietro, the frayed photos of metropoles by Filippo Centenari or the extended pictures by Ulrich Egger. Alan Maglio portrays people and let their urban environment slip into the images. James Kalinda talks in his paintings about the human condition and its atmosphere and Andrea Francolino deals with consumer objects and revises them.

The second part of the exhibition will be opened on 19 October 2019 with “Woman in Art”. Until 25 November works by Maria Rebecca Ballestra, Dellaclà, Lea Golda Holterman, Caroline Le Méhauté, Donatella Lombardo, Melissa Provezza, Elisa Saggiomo and Caterina Sbrana will be on view.

Organised Chaos

Magma Gallery
Via Santo Stefanp 164

14 September – 9 November 2019

In the exhibition “Organised Chaos”, the Magma Gallery unites three different artists, who have in common to be still relatively young. Nevertheless, they are already recognised by international shows.

The US-American painter Andrew Schoulz creates more or less abstract pictures in flashy colours, which are vibrating. They seem to move or give the impression that parts of it will jump out of the canvas. Whereas the Canadian Kathryn MacNaughton works, with exceptions, have restrained colours. Seemingly depicted marker lines are soft, but also energetic. Three-dimensionality results from overlapping and also by colour changes within one line. With her most recent works, “Onda” and “Flor” the artist steps into the “real” three-dimensionality by adding wooden lines on the coloured ground.

An interesting complement outline the sculptures by the Italian artist Alberonero. He handles with industrial materials like steel, copper and cement. These he often contrasts with wood in its natural grown form and adds some colour highlights. Calming by their colouration, the sculptures are exciting by their construction, by negating the laws of gravity or our viewing habits.


Galleria B4
Via Vinazetti 4/b, Bologna

19 September – 19 October 2019

At the Galleria B4, three artists deal with an almost bygone technique to ensure stable film images: the interlacing. Depending on their artistic orientation Fabio Belletti, Davide Manti and Pierluigi Vannozzi imagined photos, which simulate interlacing on LCD monitors. Pierluigi Vannozzi captured blurry movements in black and white. They remind a bit the early days of photography. Davide Manti works are similar, but he depicts portraits in flashy colours. The framed pictures are grouped to units. Some are overlapping; others break away from the entities. Fabio Belletti assembles single detailed colour photos to tessellated compositions. He also demonstrates the effect in videos. For the visitor, there is a lot to discover in this technological time travel.

Mono: Piedi Bocciati (Enej Gala)

Via Azzo Gardino 12/c

Already before the summer break, Localedue started its series “Mono”. This is an unusual form of presentation: the art space presents only one single work, which is very new. The only given information is the name of the artist and the title. Left out is any curatorial, biographical or critical material, to invite the visitor to concentrate on that single artwork and reflect without a before given interpretation.

According to the concept, there is not so much to see. Nevertheless, the focus on only one piece, endows the spectator not be distracted and to go deeper into the artwork and reflect on it. Currently on view is Enej Gala’s painting “Piedi Bocciati”, which shows nine feet entering more or less into a shoe.

Piero Manai

Via Azzo Gardino 14/a, Bologna

Via Azzo Gardino 9, Bologna

28 September – 9 November 2019

The two neighbouring galleries CAR DRDE and P420 present a common solo exhibition of the in 1988 prematurely deceased Bolognese artist Piero Manai. While CAR DRDE mainly shows still-lifes and polaroids, P420 concentrates on depictions of human bodies and heads. All works originate from the 1980s, a troubled period for the artist, at that time in his twenties. He fell ill and recovered only years later. This tragic experience also influenced Manai’s artistic oeuvre. In his early oeuvre, he ranged between “hyperrealism and conceptual abstraction” (Pietro Bonfiglioli). Now, his subjects changed and he depicted the human body, deprived from individual features, floating in an undefined space. Even in the more complex still-lifes, it is questionable if one sees geometric forms and in others bowls with round fruits or if there are rather heads portrayed.

Gaia Fugazza: Ostaggi e amici

Via del Porto 48 a/b, Bologna

28 September – 9 November 2019

Also the featured artist by Gallleriapiù reflects on the human body. However, Gaia Fugazza points on the relationship between human being and its natural environment. She invents landscapes in which she positions bizarre beings, partly human, partly animal. The oeuvres on view are mostly very recent and all made on wood. This ground remains visible and allows the work with different layers. Besides the traditional picture surface, the Milanese artists mills lines and fields into the wood, so that its materiality becomes visible. To create a supplementary layer, she adds beeswax to highlight some areas. Additionally, some works are coated with black foil, whereby the pictures borders become more vaguely. Immersing into Fugazza’s pictorial world, the spectator enters into new states of consciousness.

Cesare Pietroiusti: A Certain Number of Things

MAMbo Bologna (Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna)
Sala delle Ciminiere
Via Don Minzoni, Bologna

4 October 2019 – 6 Januray 2020

For this season, the MAMbo proposes a special exhibition, presenting the work of the Italian artist, lecturer, initiator Cesare Pietroiusti. Thought as kind of retrospective about the longstanding activity of Pietroiusti, the show gives an overview in the form of “oggetti-anno” (year-objects), which guide through the artist’s life from 1955 until today. Nevertheless, there is no strict chronology and many of the displayed items are simultaneously documentation of past interventions and contemporary creations. A group of artists and theoreticians in cooperation with Pietroiusti mostly produces them during the preparation of the exhibition. Additionally, this process continues by the last year-object, relating to 2019. It is placed in the middle of the main room as a structure hosting workshops, occasionally accessible to the public. Important to the artist, is this “gerund”, an enduring statement, which is anchored in the past but is still ongoing.

A good example is at the very beginning of the show. In the entrance area, there is a door representing the year 1988 and the group exhibition “Dal zero all’infinito” (From zero to infinity) held in the village Bar di Radda, instead of the designated spaces in Chianti. Pietroiusti simply placed a reproduction of the inner side of the toilet door at the external side. So he made the anonymous messages from the private inside public. One year later, in 1989, he turned the Galleria Alice in Rome partly inside out. This time he projected the downsized photos on a cuboid, where the onlooker can walk around the inner and outer view of the gallery, depending on his/her position. Since 2004, Pietroiusti started to concentrate on the subject of exchange and its paradoxes concerning the economic order. An example of these reflections is the oeuvre standing for the year 2017. “Untitled (incomplete drawing)” is an extension of his contribution to an exhibition at Rome’s Modern Art Gallery: a series of 400 drawings made with fire, presented next to a “Combustione” by Alberto Burri. For the current show, the artist created a new series of fire sketches and the MAMbo added Burri’s “Bianco plastica” from its own collection. Like in the show in 2017, the drawings are freely distributed to the visitors, as long as stocks last.

One of the rear rooms is dedicated to the childhood and adolescence. Framed by children’s and other furniture, there are relicts of Pietroiusti’s early life: a photo “With Rosa, the wet nurse” (1955), the school report from 1968 or the self-modified Roma cards, where the youngster added a false birthday to have access to “r” rated movies. These documents give not only inside to the artist’s past, but also to the circumstances of this time. Up from 1977, there are many interesting items concerning his artistic practice on view. The visitor of the exhibition should take his/her time to plunge into this world of past and gerund.