Basquiat and the unexhibited works from the Cozzani collection
27/04/2021 - 07/11/2021

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.

Exhibition promoted by:

Municipality 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

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 |

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