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Current exhibitions

Lindsay Kemp Claudio Barontini. Drawings and Photographies

curated by Marzia Ratti in cooperation with Eleonora Acerbi
critical essay in catalogue by Vittorio Sgarbi

The Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art hosts an important exhibition which presents a series of photographic portraits by Claudio Barontini of Lindsay Kemp (one of the greatest British choreographers, actors, dancers, mimes and directors in the world), alongside a fair number of drawings by Kemp himself, who died on 24 August this year at the age of 80.
The show is accompanied by a catalogue with a critical essay by Vittorio Sgarbi (Bandecchi& Vivaldi publishers for CAMeC), who will be at the CAMeC on Wednesday 7 November at 9 p.m. for the presentation of this catalogue.
The show is not so much a deserved, timely homage to the extraordinary recently-deceased artist as the concretisation of a project which had developed out of Kemp and Barontini’s acquaintanceship and had been in the making for months. It is the precious result of the Leghorn photographer’s skilful and sensitiveuse of the camera to create a series of intense images mainly restricted to the artist’s private sphere.
The exhibition project had in fact been enthusiastically embraced by the British choreographer, who was to have performed at the opening at the CAMeC in La Spezia and in other initiatives planned for the following months.
In fact, on hearing of Kemp’s death Paolo Asti, councillor for culture of the Municipality of La Spezia, recalls his visit to the artist with Barontini thus: “I met Lindsay Kemp in his house in Leghorn last April. The idea of a show of his at the Teatro Civico theatre to be scheduled in parallel with an exhibition at the CAMeC for his eightieth birthday had fascinated both of us. So with the photographer Claudio Barontini, the scientific team of the CAMeC, and the theatre commission, we immediately set to work to organise it for the Autumn. With Kemp we had agreed to make a tour of the museums and the theatre together”. And regarding the exhibition project Asti adds:“It’s a light but powerful show of international dimensions; I say this not only because from the 1960s on Lindsay Kemp left his mark all over the world on theatre, dance and music, influencing the style of many of the following decades; but also because what the visitor can admire is a rare dance of drawings and images where, thanks to the skilful art of Claudio Barontini, the protagonist is the expressive force of a figure who, by combining irony and the melancholy of a clown, renders himself sublime. The credit for this show which projects the CAMeC into the high ranks of the art scene, goes wholly to Claudio Barontini, who has had the sensitivity to rediscover in his adopted town of La Spezia the old relationship which linked Kemp from the early 1980s to our Teatro Civico theatre”.
At the opening, Daniela Maccari (lead dancer, choreographer and Kemp’s assistant) and David Haughton (Kemp’s close collaborator since the company’s debut) were present to pay homage to Kemp.
It is a hard task indeed to describe Lindsay Kemp’s complex physiognomy. Master and mentor of theatre/dance and mime, author and inimitable actor of shows performed all over the world (the La Spezia public remembersh is celebrated Flowers at the Teatro Civico theatre, brought here by that unforgettable art director of the theatre, Antonello Pischedda). A charming, irreverent genius who explores with great naturalness all the territories of creativity (crossing paths for example with David Bowie, who became his pupil and wastransformed by him into Ziggy Stardust; also Federico Fellini, Rudolf Nureyev, Mick Jagger, Kate Bush…); the secluded visual art, which he had cultivated since childhood. The characters he drew rapidly and sketchily on paper are mostly sailors, prostitutes, clowns, bull-fighters, dancers…personal heroes, archetypes created in a few seconds with very few blobs of colour, all sharing that thrill of precariousness that likens them to the artist.
Claudio Barontini, born and educated in Leghorn, exercises the profession of experienced photojournalist at the same time as exploring a more eminently creative dimension, whereby he takes his placeas one of the greatest and most original interpreters of the photographic portrait, strictly in black-and-white. This has involved him with numerous important personages from various fields, of whom he has created extraordinarily intense images (to name only a few, apart from the important collaboration with the sculptor Pietro Cascella: Prince Charles, Robert De Niro, Vittorio Gassman, Sofia Loren, Patti Smith, Liv Ulmann, Vivienne Westwood, Franco Zeffirelli).
In his critical essay in the catalogue, Vittorio Sgarbi writes: “[…]I confess that, looking at the fine and precious photos that Claudio Barontini created of Lindsay Kemp just before his death, I was surprised to realise that his flesh, although inevitably tired, still bore clear signs of the legendary ’68 of Flowers […] And Kemp’s drawings which are alternated in this exhibition with Barontini’s photos are also enlightening, revealing his eternally child like spirit. Light, volatile drawings which might be called Fellini - or Matisse - like, since Fellini and Matisse had the ability, not granted to other sentient beings, of capturing in rapid drawings the fantasies which pass through our heads. Kemp the impenitent enchanter, as minimal on paper as he is overloaded on the stage. In his drawings, the airiest concepts and the memories of a youth which he always carried within him (note the ancient, never-forgotten sailor’s telnjaska) combine into a single, impalpable elegy without any precise continuity.  Sweetness, purity, playfulness, also in contexts which only a depraved soul could call sinful; this is the secret of Lindsay Kemp, which in the end is hardly a secret at all.”   

Exhibition promoted by


Municipality of La Spezia
The Mayor, Pierluigi Peracchini
The Councillor for Culture, Paolo Asti


and produced by


CAMeC Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art
Director of Museums and Cultural Services, Marzia Ratti



with the contribution of
Enel, Cora's, Coop Liguria

Critical essay in catalogue: Vittorio Sgarbi
Direction and technical-scientific coordination: Marzia Ratti, in cooperation with Eleonora Acerbi, Cinzia Compalati e Cristiana Maucci.
Presentation of the catalogue with Vittorio Sgarbi: 7 November, 9.00 p.m.

Alice Barontini |  |+39 375 5983793
Press office Municipalityof  La Spezia: Luca Della Torre | +39 0187 727324 |



October 27, 2018/ February 24, 2019




From Vedova to Vedova

Grafic artworks by Emilio Vedova from the Albicocco collection

a cura di Roberto Budassi e Marzia Ratti

A homage to Emilio Vedova, the  great master of Italian informal art, through thirty years of his engraving production.
On display are more than 70 graphic artworks from the Albicocco collection. Albicocco is the historic art printing press of Udine with which Vedova collaborated on frequent, challenging projects from 1979 up to 2006, the year of his death.
Emilio Vedova’s vast, significant graphic work, which started in the 1950s, is one of the fundamental expressive components of his art. This work consists above all of etchings and aquatints which support his explosions of black marks with great intensity. The collaboration with Corrado Albicocco goes back to 1979, within the AS printing press of Albicocco and Santini in Viale Volontari della Libertà in Udine. It continued in the 1980s in the Via Gemona 100 premises, and reached was perfected in the Stamperia d’arte Albicocco in Via Ermes di Colloredo, where Vedova created several sets of etchings and participated in precious artist’s books such as Frammenti (Fragments), with five etchings and aquatints, and Gli angeli di Vedova (The angels of Vedova), with a critical commentary by Massimo Cacciari, published for the Tavolo Rosso editions.
This fruitful collaboration culminated in 2002 when the Udine printing press dedicated a monographic exhibition to the artist’s etchings. Corrado Albicocco has clear memories of that long, intense period: “Emilio had scattered all the printing proofs around the studio, he explained to me with an unseen enthusiasm that what we had created together was everything he had always wanted: deep, velvety blacks, non-chalky whites and incredible greys. The Oltre (Beyond), for me the most important and powerful cycle of his whole production, had been born. And he told me with an almost disarming candour: ‘I wish I could achieve in painting what we’ve managed to do in etching’.
The exhibition is enriched by some works from the Cozzani and Premio del Golfo collections of the CAMeC, thus testifying to Vedova’s special bond with the town of La Spezia. This culminated in 1954, the year in which the work Le vie del mondo (Roads of the world, tempera on canvas, 210x90 cm, 1953) was awarded the Ministry of Education prize/purchase.
The lithography Immagine del nostro tempo (Image of our time, 1962), from the same collection, participated in the prize in the 1963 edition. This work has close connections with the birth of the contemporary art museum, as shown by the words the author has written on the plywood enclosing the cardboard, which reveals that the artist intended it for the still-to-be-created “La Spezia gallery”. 


Born in Venice in 1919 into a family of workers and artisans, from the 1930s onwards Vedova began an intense activity as a self-taught artist. In 1942 he joined the anti-Novecento movement known as Corrente. An anti-Fascist, he participated to the Resistance from 1944 to 1945 and in 1946, he was one of the co-signers of the Beyond Guernica manifesto in Milan. In the same year he was one of the founders of the Nuova Secessione Italiana followed by the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti. In 1948 he made his debut in the Venice Biennale, the first of many appearances in this event: in 1952 an entire room was devoted to his work, in 1960 he was awarded the Grand Prize for Painting and in 1997 the Golden Lion award for Lifetime Achievement. In the early 1950s he created his celebrated cycles of works: Scontro di situazioni, Ciclo della Protesta, Cicli della Natura. In 1954, at the São Paolo Art Biennial he won a prize that would allow him to spend three months in Brazil, where he encountered a hard reality that would leave its mark on him. In 1961 he designed the sets and costumes for Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza ’60; in 1984 he would work with the composer again on Prometeo. From 1961 onwards he worked on his Plurimi, creating the Venetian series followed by works made from 1963 to 1964 in Berlin including the seven pieces forming the Absurdes Berliner Tagebuch ’64 presented at the 1964 Kassel documenta, where he showed in many occasions.
From 1965 to 1967 he worked on Percorso/Plurimo/Luce for the Montreal Expo. He carried out intense teaching activities in various American universities followed by the Sommerakademie in Salzburg and the Academy of Venice. His artistic career was characterized by a constant desire to explore and innovate. In the 1970s he created the Plurimi/Binari in the Lacerazione and Carnevali cycles followed by the vast cycles of “teleri” (big canvases) and his Dischi, Tondi, Oltre and continuum works. His last solo exhibitions included the major retrospective held at Castello di Rivoli (1998) and, after his death in 2006, the shows at Rome’s Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna and the Berlinische Galerie.


The Stamperia d’arte Albicocco/Santini was set up in 1974 in Udine by Corrado Albicocco and Federico Santini.
Specialising in intaglio art printing, the A/S press worked for numerous internationally famous artists including Giuseppe Zigaina, Giuseppe Santomaso, Emilio Vedova, Jiří Kolář e Piero Dorazio.
In 1994 Corrado Albicocco left A/S to open the Stamperia d’arte Albicocco, again in Udine. In those years collaborations between Albicocco and numerous next-generation artists began, bringing new life to the world of graphic art. Artists from the Milanese and Roman studios turned up at the Udine printing press, as well as a generation of different origins, schools and styles; Albicocco collaborated with artists such as Giovanni Frangi, Marco Petrus, Luca Pignatelli, Velasco, Piero Pizzi Cannella, Marco Tirelli, Bruno Ceccobelli, Nunzio, Stefano Di Stasio, Klaus Karl Mehrkens, Matteo Massagrande.
He also worked with Carla Accardi, Kengiro Azuma, Gianfranco Ferroni, Mersad Berber, Sandro Chia, Peter Halley, Irwin, Živko Marušič, Vettor Pisani, Ercole Pignatelli, Giancarlo Vitali, David Tremlett, Albert Merz.
The cultural activity of the Stamperia d’arte Albicocco received recognition in 2013 from the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, which sponsored a homage to the Udine workshop at Villa Manini. In the Eastern exedra, over 200 etchings by 60 artists testified to the wide range of the press’s art work, which was documented and scientifically supported by the sizeable catalogue published for the occasion. In 2014, the Municipality of Maniago produced a retrospective on the press’s activity; in summer 2015 the Municipality of Urbino presented another retrospective in the DATA (old ducal stables).
In November 2015 it was the turn of the Municipality of Pordenone, with the exhibition Impressione Astratta (Abstract Impression), dedicated to the Stamperia d’arte Albicocco. Abstract art in graphics was the protagonist of this important exhibition held at the Galleria d’arte Moderna e Contemporanea Armando Pizzinato. The following year, again in the Armando Pizzinato gallery in Pordenone, the exhibition Filando I remi (Resting the oars) was presented, dedicated to artist’s books created and published by the Stamperia d’arte Albicocco, in collaboration with the Industrie Electrolux Zanussi. In 2016, the Stamperia completed an important project with the Arte Povera master Jannis Kounellis, consisting of 12 carborundum etchings presented in December 2017 at the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica of Rome in collaboration with Bruno Corà and the Kounellis Archive.


Exhibition promoted by


Municipality of La Spezia
The Mayor, Pierluigi Peracchini
Councillor for Culture, Paolo Asti


and produced by


CAMeC Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art
Director of Museums and Cultural Services, Marzia Ratti

with the contribution of
Enel, Cora's, Coop Liguria

catalogue: Silvana Editoriale with texts by Marzia Ratti, Roberto Budassi, Corrado Albicocco
technical/scientific coordination: Eleonora Acerbi, Cinzia Compalati, Cristiana Maucci
graphics: Sarah Fontana
press conference: December 6, 2018 at midday
: December 7, 2018 at 6 p.m. 
press office: Municipality of La Spezia Press Office, Luca Della Torre | Tel. +39 0187 727324 |




P. 1

December 8, 2018 / June 5, 2019


BOOGIE. Pietro Bellani

curated by Valerio Dehò

The exhibition shows some works of the 1990s alongside the production of recent years: a total of over 40 pictures and three-dimensional works.
Pietro Bellani’s artistic career began almost 50 years ago, and it has followed a rhythmic, recursive pattern, moving close to, then away from, an imaginary line which represents his aesthetic idea. In both the more abstract works and the figurative ones there is a continuous tension among the different parts of the composition, among the background and foreground elements, between the painting technique and the material, between the stylisations of his famous “little men” and their capacity for accumulating or spreading out over the surface.
This is why the title “Boogie” speaks to us of rhythm and music; two works with this title are present in the exhibition. They were done with an interval of 20 years, one in 1998, the other in 2018 for the CAMeC show: a testimony to the artist’s coherence in his work and his ability to develop a personal, highly recognisable style even over time.
In fact a particular feature of his modus operandi consists precisely of continuing to intervene on his works over the years. For Bellani, a picture or a sculpture possesses a life of its own, something which can never be definitively completed. His tendency is to continually improve and intervene on his works, seeking a perfection and a balance which is all in his mind and in his artist’s instinct.
The show is deliberately not retrospective because, although it is stock-taking time, the stock-taking is always partial. Bellani’s artistic idea, while constantly investigating the roots and origins of creative operation, is open to the present and the future. His work is not cataloguable, he has never adhered to any groups or situations, except briefly.  He remains a great solo player, and his free ranging between abstraction and gestural painting, assembly and collage, sculpture and drawing, is a fundamental characteristic for understanding his personality.


PIETRO BELLANI – biographical notes
Born in Licciana Nardi (MS) in 1944, resident in La Spezia.
In 1960 he began his artistic activity, mainly dedicating himself to the visual arts.
He was a member of the “Lionello Venturi” group set up in La Spezia in 1961.
In the early 1960s he also dedicated himself to experimental research in photography and animation, creating narrow-gauge films.
In 1963 he created some theatre sets.
He was a member of the Promotrice di Belle Arti of Turin, of the Centro Studi Scambi Culturali Internazionali of Rome, and founder of the Arte Grottesca group set up in Pisa/Milan in 1964.
In 1965 he lived for a period in Paris, where he frequented the studios of some artists, including Folmer.
From the early 1960s up to the mid-‘80s he developed his art figuratively, while in the last 15 years his interest has concentrated on abstraction. He has exhibited in Germany (Frankfurt Am Mein, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Munich), where he opened a studio in the ‘90s.



Exhibition promoted by
Municipality of La Spezia
Pierluigi Peracchini, Mayor
Paolo Asti, Councillor for Culture

and produced by
CAMeC Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art
Marzia Ratti, Director of Museums and Cultural Services

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria, Enel, Cora's


Curated by: Valerio Dehò
Technical/scientific coordination: Eleonora Acerbi, Cinzia Compalati, Cristiana Maucci
Layout: Giuliano Giaroli
Graphics: Tub Design
Press conference: 19 Oct, 11.30 a.m.
: 20 Oct, 6 p.m.


Municipality of La Spezia Press Office: Luca Della Torre | Tel. +39 0187 727324 |






October 21, 2018 / March 3, 2019

Works from the CAMeC collections

The CAMeC has prepared a renewed selection of the permanent collections this time related to the educational activities and for the general public wishing to get to know them better.

The various groups of works have been specifically targeted at providing creative, cognitive and ludic stimuli for young users and they also aim to offer the public at large a number of varied explorations of different thematic and linguistic environments. 

Following the groups of works, located in different areas of the museum.

Still life. Food in art
This is a small digression into one of the most explored territories of figurative art (particularly from the 17th century onwards but actually beginning with antiquity). Still life in contemporary art is interpreted in many, discordant ways, tending to reflect the individual artist’s particular field of interest. This small anthology ranges from virtuous verisimilitude to pop debunking, passing through the various other interpretations of great 20th-century artists.
Artists: Felice Carena, Bruno Cassinari, Filippo de Pisis, Giovanna Guerri, Giuseppe Martinelli, Francesco Musante, Giuseppe Rivieri, Concetto Pozzati, Marco Rindori, Rilk Slabbink, Daniel Spoerri, Andy Warhol.

Small size. Small masterpieces from the CAMeC collections
Smallness is a particularly interesting terrain for artists, who condense or develop their idea or intention in a small space, seeing this as a point of departure or arrival in the creative process. It is a kind of try-out, a favourite testing-ground for many artists who experiment with the most varied modes in their search for efficacy of composition and balance of the material. It is often a distinctive trait of a collection: my collection of small pictures? An obsession, a beautiful mania. I walk round the house and feel that I am living in a museum which is wholly my own (Cesare Zavattini, 1963).
Artists: Arman, Jean Dubuffet, Keith Haring, Zoltán Kemény, Gianluca Lerici (prof. Bad Trip), Robert Mangold, Diet Sayler.

The landscape, the town, the house
This selection of works concentrates on a highly topical subject, the environment and its relationship with human beings. It brings together various representations and interpretations of the rural and urban landscape, also including the vision of the house and the domestic space.
Artists: Manlio Argenti, Bernd e Hilla Becher, Alberto Burri, Emmanuele Coltellacci, Gilbert & George, Jonathan Guaitamacchi, Pompilio Mandelli, Luca Matti, Carlo Montarsolo, Gordon Matta Clark, Mattia Moreni, Dennis Oppenheim, Maria Tacchini, George Tatge, Edwin Zwakman.

“Fairy-tale art”
In this case, the collection of paintings is closely linked to the contents of the lab entitled Fairy-tale art. Interaction with a work of art can be surprising, magical and exciting. Children, and not only children, will find stimuli for their imagination and fantasy. Surreal landscapes, dreamlike visions, characters and fairy-tale creatures during the workshop will stimulate participants to create their own personal illustrated fairy tale.
Artists: Mirko Baricchi, Claudio Cargiolli, Salvatore Fiume, Graziano Guiso, Francesco Musante, Nicola Perucca, Antonio Possenti.


Sign, colour, shape
Geometrical abstraction
Lyrical/informal abstraction
This collection encourages visitors to become more familiar with abstract painting, proposing itself as a guide to its interpretation and as an exemplary compendium divided into some of its most fundamental linguistic variations. The works collected here offer themselves as authoritative documents for understanding elements of style (the mark, the gesture, the new use of colour, the attention to and invention of shape, the reformulation of the artistic vocabulary), and are also direct reference points for the scheduled laboratory activity.   
Artists: Ferdinando Acerbi, Giuseppe Ajmone, Karel Appel, Claude Bellegarde, Max Bill, Enzo Brunori, Margherita Carena, Marco Casentini, Roberto Crippa, Piero Dorazio, Jean Fautrier, A. R. Penck, Romano Rizzato, Filippo Scroppo, Francisco Sobrino.


The groups of works can change due to set-up requirements..