contemporary art / history of art

Bologna in autumn 2020 – The galleries are still there!

Many countries are in the second lockdown. In consequence, theatres, cinemas and also museums are closed. Still, there is no need to renounce cultural activities completely: in several regions, the galleries are still open! Self-evident, the current sanitary regulations such as masks and hand disinfection are followed. Since galleries are rarely crowded after the inauguration, the security distance shouldn’t be a problem.

In all kind of galleries, there are interesting exhibitions to discover with artists, which might enter in museums only in a few years’ time. The entrance is free and there is no obligation to buy. Skilled staff will be happy to provide you with information. In case, you have some money left to embellish your home for the next lockdowns, the artists and gallerists will be grateful. They all need support at this moment. If you are interested, do not hesitate to ask for prices. Sometimes you might be positively surprised.

Here some examples from current exhibitions in Bologna. Some might be even longer on view as indicated, depending on the development of the pandemic. If you are not in Bologna, there might be other interesting galleries in your town. The gallerists will be pleased to welcome you.


Galleria Studio G7: Giulia dall’Olio, Paola de Pietri – Per ogni estatico istante

P420: Merlin James / Marie Cool Fabio Balducci

Gallleriapiù: Marco Ceroni – SLAG

Magma Gallery: Vhils, Bezt Etam, Gonzalo Borondo – Renaissance

Galleria B4: Marjan Babaie Nasr – Sher o Saharab

Galleria Spazia: Ferro e Fuoco

Galleria de’Foscherari: Giovanni d’Agostino

Galleria Stefano Forni: Luciano Ventrone – Wunderkammer

CAR DRDE: David Auborn – Eyrie

Studio Cenacchi: Mario Lamma, Maurizio Tangerini – Momenti dilatati


Giulia dall’Olio, Paola de Pietri: Per ogni estatico istante
Galleria Studio G7
Via Val D’Aposa 4A, Bologna

25 September – 21 November 2020

In the exhibition “Per ogni estatico istante” (For every ecstatic moment) two artists from different generations meet. Paola de Pietri (*1960) explores the plain of the river Po via black and white photography. Giulia dall’Olio (*1983) mystical landscapes in charcoal on paper, might surmount the given frame from time to time. Despite the given differences, the works of the show communicate with each other. They seem to be only another form of interpretation of a related environment.

Merlin James / Marie Cool Fabio Balducci
Via Azzo Giardino 9, Bologna

25 September – 23 December 2020

The gallery P420 features two exhibitions at the same time. Merlin James has a wide range of creations. There is a pseudo-naïve painting of architecture and an observing look on a “Viewer”. Other works tend more to abstraction. Most of these pictures have a pastose paint application in common. Additionally, there are his “negative” collages, which remind the back of paintings and reveal the wall behind them.

Since 1995, the artist duo Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci work together. Their materials are coming from company bankruptcies or redundancies. In focussing on erstwhile office furniture and equipment, they refer to bygone productivity and herewith political, social and economic circumstances. At the same time, their creations have a poetic-sensual component and create abstract pictures, both in the filmed actions and in the setups of the objects. An over a desk pushed sheet of paper becomes a white rectangle on black ground, an overturned desk communicates with a reflected window and a long adhesive tape converts to a red thread, which binds the exhibition together.

Marco Ceroni: SLAG
Via del Porto 48 a/b, Bologna

25 September – 19 December 2020

After his first steps in working with ceramics by a collaboration with the Carlo Zauli museum in Faenza, Marco Ceroni developed another series in this material: animal dentitions in ceramic, now on view at the Gallleriapiù. For the exhibition, Giorgio Bartocci and Stefano Serretta created a frame by wall paintings. A promoting video featuring Marco Ceroni by Veronica Santi is also on view. Due to this campaign like presentation, the gallery becomes a Temporary Store to launch the brand “SLAG”. Consequently, an adequate packaging cannot be missing, designed by Gabriele Colia.

Vhils, Bezt Etam, Gonzalo Borondo: Renaissance
Magma Gallery
Via Santo Stefano 164, Bologna

3 October – 28 November 2020

For the exhibition “Renaissance”, the three presented artists reflected on the significance of the term in the sense of rebirth or revival. In Vhils’ (Portugal, 1987) works arise portraits out of given materials as a door, a metal plate or even from advertising posters. Bezt (Poland, 1987) large-sized paintings recount stories shimmering between hyper realistic and surreal manner, including video game icons, so that the observer is torn between dream world and virtual reality. Gonzalo Borondo (Spain, 1989) depicts the four human temperaments: choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine and melancholic. These originally static sculptures made of plexiglass plates, become lively by the internal lights.

Marjan Babaie Nasr: Sher o Saharab (Poesy and Vine)
Galleria B4
Via Vinazzetti 4/b, Bologna

8 October – 14 November 2020

The Galleria B4 features the Iranian artist Marjan Babaie Nasr by a solo exhibition of her paintings. In contrast to her “Flower-Series”, with its photorealistic blossoms of fruit trees, there a more recent works with calligraphic and ancient fresco elements. Hidden in these images appears a quirky red fish, which surprisingly doesn’t seem to be an alien component in this for him unusual environment.

Ferro e Fuoco
Galleria Spazia
Via dell’Inferno 5, Bologna

10 October – 12 December 2020

In its group exhibition “Ferro e Fuoco” (Iron and Fire) the Galleria Spazia presents works by seven artists mainly created from the 1960s to the 1980s. As the title indicates, the oeuvres by Fausto Melotti, Edgardo Mannucci, Nanni Valentini, Eliseo Mattiacci, Luigi Mainolfi, Mauro Staccioli and Giacinto Cerone have their origin from fire, might be by the process of clay firing or forming metal by heating it.

Giovanni d’Agostino
Galleria de’Foscherari
Via Castiglione 2b, Bologna

13 October 2020 – 16 January 2021

Also the Galleria de’Foscherari turns towards the past. On view are some key oeuvres by the late Giovanni d’Agostino, influential as teacher in several Italian Academies of Fine Art. There are his wax works from the 1970s, luminous images based on white. Contrasting to these is “Gong” from 1985, a black grounded triptych, which visualises sound. And finally one of the late works from 1999, five panels in colour grading from dark grey to black with a “Hypertext” written on.

Focus: Luciano Ventrone – Wunderkammer
Galleria Stefano Forni
Piazza Cavour 2, Bologna

17 October – 15 Novembre 2020

With its new series, the Galleria Stefano Forni focusses on its represented artists. To start, we are invited to Luciano Ventrone’s “Wunderkammer” (Wonderroom). His photorealistic paintings attract the attention, since the fruits, vegetables and flowers are depicted following the great masters of art history. In one example, the light direction in front of a dark background reminds Caravaggio. However, there is no biblical scene featured, but an opened pumpkin. Its inner fruit fibres recall the grotto in Florence’s Boboli Gardens.

David Auborn: Eyrie
Via Azzo Gardino 14/a, Bologna

24 October – 19 December 2020

CAR DRDE presents a series of miniature paintings, created in the short period of only thirteen days, after the artist moved in his new studio in the attic of a four-story building. Hence, “Eyrie” the exhibitions title. David Auborn investigates about the meaning of the current existence. Hereby he interrogates external and internal sources, the surrounding world and his unconscious. Resulting are small extracts of a seemingly mysterious world, which nonetheless appears somehow familiar.

Mario Lamma, Maurizio Tangerini: Momenti dilatati
Studio Cenacchi
Via Santo Stefano 63, Bologna

31 October – 28 November 2020

With “Momenti dilatati” (Dilated Moments) at the Studio Cenacchi two artists featuring nature meet. Maurizio Tangerini seems to stop the time in his deserted landscapes. In his watercolour paintings, he expands the moment to eternity. Whereas Mario Lamma freezes the instant. He captures ephemeral moments like stones under flowing water, frost flowers and iced surfaces. With his photos, he immortalises this transience.