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Current exhibitions


CLAY VS LISTON

Basquiat and the unexhibited works from the Cozzani collection

The exhibition project is based on a prestigious loan and an illustrious guest: two independent but connected sections present a selection of works from the Cozzani collection on show to the public for the first time and the painting by Jean Michel Basquiat, Clay Liston, to which we dedicate a room and an ample digression. The link between the painting of the celebrated US artist and the others on show here is a close one; thanks to this exhibition it will be reunited with the collection to which it belonged, the anthology of works put together over the years by the La Spezia couple Giorgio and Ilda Cozzani, donated to the town and to the CAMeC in 1998.

The other rooms propose a miscellany of over 40 works by 40 different artists, taken as we have said from the Cozzani collection and with a special significance in that they are works which have never previously been exhibited, which have remained in the deposits since their donation and entry into the CAMeC permanent collections. The aim of our initiative is to highlight the wide-reaching nature of the Cozzani collection and the eclectic, omnivorous, encyclopaedic, and often pioneering taste of its creator. Giorgio Cozzani exercised his passion for art parallel to his important medical profession (he was dermatological consultant at the La Spezia hospital), concentrating particularly on international contemporary production. He was a tireless, roving collector who regularly visited the Venice Biennale, Documenta in Kassel, but also the most important galleries of London and Paris. His curiosity and instinctive flair created a singular collection characterised by the absence of any specific, clear-cut passion or any restrictive preferences and supported by an open, far-sighted curiosity, an impulse for constant updating and constant rethinking. The end result of this is a rich miscellany: over 1100 works including sculptures, paintings, photographs and “other” products of 20th-century visual arts.

The aim of the exhibition is in fact to rediscover and display Cozzani’s distinctive nomadic approach to the search for and choice of art works. We start from a 19th-century canvas by Niccolò Cannicci, the much-appreciated supporter of the Macchiaioli movement, and go on to document Cozzani’s interest in prestigious native artists (an unusual urban view by Giuseppe Caselli; an early, interesting work by Vincenzo Frunzo; a landscape by Augusto Magli; an example of Giancarlo Calcagno’s refined Informal work, a canvas from Francesco Vaccarone’s cycle Forme (Forms), an everted work by Mauro Fabiani); in Italian artists with very different styles (e.g. Sergio Dangelo, Mimmo Germanà, Bruno Mancinotti, Plinio Mesciulam, Silvio Pasotti, Piero Pizzi Cannella, Salvo, Emilio Scanavino, Claudio Verna); and in foreign artists, some of whom are extremely well-known in France but rarely present in Italian public collections, and are documented here thanks to our collector’s acumen and curiosity (e.g. Eduardo Alcoy i Lázaro, George Condo, Frank Dale, Martin Disler, Joel Fisher, Cristina Iglesias, Joe Jones, Jean Messagier, Juan Munoz, Stephen Rosenthal, Edward Ruscha, Olivier Strebelle, Hervé Télémaque, Franz West).

In a harmonious combination with the exhibition hosted on the second floor, the Project Room contains a selection of Unexhibited works from the new donations, works acquired thanks to the generosity of artists, their heirs and collectors, and shown now for the first time since their entry into the CAMeC.

Clay vs Liston. Basquiat e gli inediti della collezione Cozzani.  The authors: Mario Abis, Eduardo Alcoy i Lázaro, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pompeo Borra, Giancarlo Calcagno, Niccolò Cannicci, Carmelo Cappello, Giuseppe Caselli, George Condo, Frank Dale, Sergio Dangelo, Martin Disler, Enzo Esposito, Mauro Fabiani, Joel Fisher, Vincenzo Frunzo, Mimmo Germanà, Chin Hsiao, Cristina Iglesias, Joe Jones, Brahim Kodra, Marco Lodola, Augusto Magli, Bruno Mancinotti, Plinio Mesciulam, Jean Messagier, Juan Munoz, Salvatore Paladino, Silvio Pasotti, Piero Pizzi Cannella, Stephen Rosenthal, Mario Rossello, Edward Ruscha, Salvo, Emilio Scanavino, Giacomo Soffiantino, Jesús-Rafael Soto, Olivier Strebelle, Francesco Tabusso, Hervé Télémaque, Ampelio Tettamanti, Nino Tirinnanzi, Francesco Vaccarone, Claudio Verna, Franz West.

Project room. The authors: Fernando Andolcetti, Pier Giulio Bonifacio, Giovanni Campus, Cosimo Cimino, Paolo De Nevi, Mauro Fabiani, Diego Gadir, Ruggero Maggi, Mauro Manfredi, Sauro Rollandi, Pino Saturno, Turi Simeti, Francesco Siani, Alberto Sordi, Luigi Tola, Giuliano Tomaino.

 

 

CREDITS

Exhibition promoted by
City of La Spezia
Mayor, Pierluigi Peracchini

and produced
CAMeC Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art
General manager of Cultural Services, Massimiliano Curletto

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria
Enel

curated by: Eleonora Acerbi and Cinzia Compalati in collaboration with Cristiana Maucci
graphic design: Publysistem, La Spezia
press office Municipality of La Spezia: Luca Della Torre | Tel. +39 0187 727324 | ufficiostampa@comune.sp.it

 

 

P.2 
April 27 / November 7, 2021

 

STILL, STILL LIFE

Still life in the CAMeC collections

This novel selection of the works from the permanent collections addresses a key theme in art history, still life. In the contemporary age, still life or posed nature has renewed itself in multiple, discordant keys of interpretation of the physical and metaphysical dialogue between art and object. The exhibition proposes a wide-reaching re-investigation of the theme through very different examples taken from all the CAMeC’s various collections, examining the biographical, conceptual, instrumental, poetic and magical bonds between human beings and objects which have always been and will probably always be the subject of artistic research.

The exhibition project envisages the placing together of works which interact and demonstrate the persistence of the genre in the affinity or the distance of their formal language. Within the common reference to the traditional theme, the visitor meets and is stimulated to compare identical ‘words’ in different compositions, journeying through some of the most important movements of the second half of the 20th century. The leitmotif is in fact the continuation of the genre into the contemporary age via even very distant interpretations, ranging from the intimism of the still lives of de Pisis, Slabbink and Tosi, post-Cubist updating (Basso, Santomaso), Morandi’s 1961 paradigm, the abstract option which is still mindful of the theme (Montarsolo, Spinosa), virtuous and poetic verisimilitude, to pop and nouveau-réaliste debunking (Pozzati, Wesselman, Spoerri, Tadini); as well as numerous other interpretations, also including the use of chalcography, often a refined medium for this type of investigation.

The exhibition project also includes various works which are not strictly connected with the genre but are assimilated into it via the conceptual basis of the exhibition. These are representations founded on the pre-eminence of the object, selected for their symbolic resonance, as well as for the consonance and dialogue generated by their studied positioning alongside other works (e.g. works by Boetti, Kounellis, Oldenburg, Spoerri, Warhol).

Focus on Still Life
As a continuation of the project for the synergic enhancement of the museum heritage of La Spezia, we come across a sylloge of objects from the “Giovanni Podenzana Ethnographic Civic Museum” and of some private loans, which trace the history of the genre and compose a kind of “glossary” of the still life genre by bringing together the elements which have come to distinguish its iconography over the years (the mirror, the candle, the book, the musical instrument, the hour-glass and many others). Moreover, the exhibition itinerary documents the important themes connected with the genre: vanitas, the five senses, and the four elements of nature, revealing its complex, cryptic symbolism.

CREDITS 

Exhibition promoted by
Municipality of La Spezia
Mayor and Councillor for Culture, Pierluigi Peracchini
General manager of Cultural services, Massimiliano Curletto


and produced by
CAMeC Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria
Enel

exhibition curated by: Eleonora Acerbi and Cinzia Compalati in collaboration with Cristiana Maucci and Cinzia Compalati
Focus on Still Life curated by: Cristiana Maucci in collaboration with Anna Nancy Rozzi
exhibition graphic design: Publisystem, La Spezia 
installation: Davide Bommino, Coop Zoe
translations: Susan Charlton
press office Municipality of La Spezia: Luca Della Torre | Tel. +39 0187 727324 | ufficiostampa@comune.sp.it

 

 

P. 1

February 2 / October 10, 2021

 

#OTIVM

INTRA MOENIA

#Otium began in a strongly contemporary social context but with a glance at the past, balanced between the frantic rush of the present and a timeless dimension in which to take refuge and rediscover oneself.
The ancients spoke to us of this, examining the issue of a hic et nunc in which the worries of negotium give way to otium, i.e. that health-giving pause which is not idleness but a moment of reflection and study and a dignified break from the troubles of the world, as suggested by Seneca.
And it was indeed Seneca that Francesco Tassara and Roberto Vendasi were thinking of when they launched their challenge to the world of art, in all its forms.
A heterogeneous team of artists answered their call, artists bound by the common wish to experience a moment of collective pause which they would then relive in an individual dimension, creating their individual contributions. These contributions, before being gathered together in specially-prepared exhibition spaces, were put in the pages of a fanzine which was published at the end of each of the three “idling” experiences so far completed in the La Spezia territory: in the ruins of the Fort of Montalbano; in the ruins of the castle and church of San Martino near Biassa; finally, in the ruins along the River Bettigna in Castelnuovo Magra.
INTRAMOENIA gives #Otium the chance to return to the place where it first took shape, on the occasion of the Cena dei Creativi (Dinner of the Creative Ones), within the walls (hence the title) of a place which is open to the contemporary scene but also dense in history. The CAMeC in fact stands on the perimeter of the ancient La Spezia walls, and its entrance is just a few steps away from the stone inscription recalling the presence of one of the gates which guaranteed both access to the town and at the same time protection of the inhabitants from outside attacks.
For the #otiosi, the exhibition is an opportunity to come together again in this place, and it also gives them a concrete opportunity to present their work, which ends up significantly assuming the function of medium for a human, artistic, individual and collective journey.
This is a particular kind of retrospective, made up of works which create a dynamic, multiform itinerary through three ground floor rooms, similar to a flow which is enriched as it proceeds with drops of regenerating vital lymph, just like water which eternally renews itself, heedless of everything happening around it.  
An intimate journey/experience which, step by step, generates a series of subtle synapses; while not abandoning their initial physical dimension, these lift themselves off the ground and let us brush against the strings of the spirit, losing ourselves for an instant in onirical contemplation, just as when our eyes venture beyond the geometrical confines of an open window and contemplate the great unknown.

 

CREDITS

Exhibition promoted by
City of La Spezia
Mayor, Pierluigi Peracchini

and produced
CAMeC Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art
General manager of Cultural Services, Massimiliano Curletto

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria
Enel

an idea by: Roberto Vendasi and Francesco Tassara
curated by:
Francesca Giovanelli
project direction: Eleonora Acerbi and Cinzia Compalati
graphic design: Gabriele Menconi 
press office Municipality of La Spezia: Luca Della Torre | Tel. +39 0187 727324 | ufficiostampa@comune.sp.it

 

P.0

May 21 / September 19, 2021

 

Cabinet of Curiosities

WUNDERKAMMER

The Wunderkammer or Cabinet of Curiosities is a typical 16th -century phenomenon. It was the result of a collecting approach favoured by the aristocracy, and might be considered as the first stage in the development of the museum concept. The aim was to collect and display mirabilia, uniting art/science and nature, the two poles of ancient knowledge and creating a journey into the dimension of the extraordinary through naturalia and artificialia.

Nature is the main fulcrum of every cabinet of curiosities, which offers samples of the strangest things, each item presenting some exceptional feature of shape, size or rarity. The (lion’s) skull is a must, an evocative memento mori which interacts with stuffed animal bodies, representing respectively the transience of nature and mankind’s ambition for eternal life; and coral, reproduced here with sealing wax, which in the age when the boundaries between science and legend were sometimes blurred was considered both animal vegetable and mineral, embodying perfection and hence endowed with a thaumaturgic value.

The very divisions of the room, underlined by the colours of the walls and by some works in the collections, allude to two of the four elements, earth and water, in homage to the celebrated Tribune of Francesco I de’Medici.

Artificialia are artefacts considered special for their orginality and uniqueness, objects sometimes used as simple reproductions of the live animal or which express the Mannerist taste for grafting human elements onto natural objects. The works of the collections fulfil these requirements, together with ancient sculptures punctuating the display: the lions’ paws in Imperial age marble; the wave carved out of wood; the metal bird in contrast to the exotic ones; the site-specific intervention of Nicola Perucca “around” a whale rib.

Finally, the objects presented invite viewers to reflect on extremely topical themes: the richness and fragility of the environment surrounding us and the relationship between nature and human beings; a relationship which is today difficult and fraught and which through the mediation of art may, as in this case, turn out to be virtuous.

Exhibition promoted by
City of La Spezia
Pierluigi Peracchini, Mayor
Massimiliano Curletto, general manager of Cultural Services

and produced by 
Centre of Modern and Contemporay Art

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria
Enel

curated by
Cristiana Maucci in collaborazione con Eleonora Acerbi
loans
Museo Archeologico Castello San Giorgio (conservatore Donatella Alessi), Museo Civico Etnografico Giovanni Podenzana (conservatore Giacomo Paolicchi), Museo del Sigillo (conservatore Anna Nancy Rozzi), collezioni private
textual equipment
Donatella Alessi, Giacomo Paolicchi, Rossana Piccioli, Anna Nancy Rozzi
site specific work
Nicola Perucca
sound design
Roberto Vendasi
installation
Davide Bommino
con Oscar Bordoni e Giacomo Portunato
graphic design
Sarah Fontana
translations
Susan Charlton

 
 

 

P. 0
October 13, 2019 / May 30, 2021

 

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.