The year 2020 was also in the cultural sector very different from all the other years. After a traditional start in January and February, exhibitions, art fairs and many other art events had been postponed, cancelled or relocated into the virtual space. Still, there were some real exhibitions. Moreover, we presented artist books and made an artist interview. Sadly, two of our artists, Maria Rebecca Ballestra and Petra Warrass, passed away and we republished their artworks of the month.
Our first artwork of the month in 2020 was “Buzz” by Kelly Reemtsen. The painting depicts an anonymised woman, who has resolved the contradictions between power and femininity.
In the last January days, the Bolognese Art Week took place, with its numerous events.
We made 13 proposals of venues throughout the city, including traditional galleries, museums and for art uncommon places.
Moreover, we visited the ARTE FIERA, the Bolognese art fair with its 155 represented galleries and 345 artists.
Donatella Lombardo offered with “Analogue Remediation” the artwork of the month of February, an installation where ancient and current media are incorporated.
Additionally, we visited the newborn art fair “BOOMing”, which was conceived as complement to the traditional ARTE FIERA. Under the two guidelines “Environment” and “Feminisms”, the organisers invited 31 national and international galleries with around 100 artists.
As a last glance to the Art Week, we presented the SetUp sales show in the Autostazione di Bologna, where 47 donators offered 70 artworks to support a renewal of the alternative SetUp Contemporary Art Fair.
With Silvia Levenson’s glass sculpture “Love” as artwork of the month of March, we reflected on the concept of the sacred family, which is supposed to give individuals love, safety and security. However, much too often this safe harbour turns out to be a deadly trap.
Then, cultural life came to a standstill, due to the pandemic. Quickly many concerned institutions developed concepts to stay connected with the public.
An ancient archive as the Archivio Storico del Monte di Pietà di Bologna (Historical Archive of the Mount of piety from Bologna) is not only interesting for economic and social research, but also for artists. Elena Franco photographed the painted book edges of the volumes and arranged the images of the Christ of Pity as posters. The series 1 of the “Imago Pietatis” was our artwork of the month of April.
In her artist book “On Thieves and Love” Thyra Schmidt recounts a story about two persons – her and him – who meet or have contact in several circumstances. We reviewed the book, with its multiple ways of reading and contemplation.
The video “Au Coucher du soleil – At Sunset” by Patricia Jacomella Bonola enabled us to make a journey over the ocean and enjoy a sunset over the sea. In times of lockdown and standstill, this artwork of the month of May is a way to another perception of time.
Also Thomas Neumann’s exhibition “Exact Confidence Limits. Photography since 1994” at the Weltkunstzimmer in Düsseldorf was victim of the pandemic. It had to be closed shortly after the opening. Fortunately, he published a deepening book with the same title where one can appreciate his works from 1994 on, which he made during his visits in countries of the former Soviet Union. We interviewed Thomas about his connection to these countries and the background of the works.
Our artwork of the month of June was the photo “Self-portrait with my mother” by Anna di Prospero. It reveals by its visual language the intimate relationship between mother and daughter.
Finally, the Italian galleries were allowed to reopen after the first lockdown. We visited 12 venues with their new shows. Since the international transport was still difficult, many galleries conceived astonishing exhibitions with their pre-existing artists. It was like a meeting with good old friends.
Before the summer break, we revisited our first six artworks of the month.
Katia Miranda points with her work to the contradictions of our lifestyle, which produces beautiful things, but also a lot of waste that pollutes our environment. For our artwork of the month September, “Permanent Maze”, she focussed on plastic packing belts, handsomely arranged in her painting.
Due to the pandemic, the makers of the Milan based art fair miart, decided to replace the physical event with a digital encounter. Many of the participating galleries exploited the platform to present their artworks and artists in various ways.
Tiziana Bendall-Brunello’s sculpture “Proud”, the artwork of the month of October, refers to many classic preceding artworks, but also the British history and the artist’s personal story.
Already planned for the beginning of the year, the Fondazione Carlo Gajani could finally present the grand retrospective of its 10 years ago deceased artist Carlo Gajani: a look back to 40 years of artistic creation.
Despite the second lockdown and many closed cultural institutions, galleries stayed open in several countries. We visited 10 Bolognese autumn exhibitions.
Our artwork of the month November, “Fatigue Mom” by Grit Richter refers to the special situation of parents during the lockdown, but also in general to the contradictory feelings in parenthood.
With the ARTISSIMA Unplugged another Italian art fair went online. Initially planned as online and offline event, it was transformed to a 100 % digital show, with various interesting offers accessible via internet. The main components are still online until the 9th of January 2021.
“Benefit for Artists” was conceived as support from artists for artists. During three days at the beginning of December, it was possible to buy the 30 presented artworks on an internet platform. The special point of this project was that all participators profited of the collaboration, whether their artworks were sold or not. Initiated by Thyra Schmidt and Juergen Staack in cooperation with TAIFUN Project e.V., the project will be continued in the future.
As our artwork of the month of December, we have chosen one painting of Kirsten Klöckner’s newest series of emojis: Gefällt mir! (I Like it). The artists came across that the given statement buttons are often limited to express the real feelings about an information, article, image or film. Hence, she made her own ones.
We concluded the year 2020 with a review of Hannes Norberg’s artist book “27” were he invited us to a voyage into extraordinary landscapes.
Thank you for following us in 2020. We hope you’ll be our guest again in 2021!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!