Month: November 2021


Room 18

Through upside-down magnifying glasses, two drawings stigmatise the imagery of the “short century”. In a diptych of black Belgian marble, the world’s holy water font, the map of the earth is reflected and flooded with oil, mirroring the ruins of a world that has lost the vertigo of verticality.
Diamante Faraldo

Diamante Faraldo’s works take the form of purified, essential forms: strong presences, the culmination of a path of research through subtraction and absence until they reach the absoluteness of the form, a concentrated, congealed nucleus. They point directly, in a shortened path, towards the unity of the image, towards its absolute character. Faraldo’s forms are born from emptiness, in silence, they are surrounded by it and are nourished by it in their congealed compactness. Proceeding by reductions and subtractions to the pure sign, in the void remain the simulacra, the immaterial aspect of the real. They constitute the elsewhere of the scandal of death. They stand at the threshold between the space of life and that of annihilation.
Eleonora Fiorani

Diamante Faraldo was born in 1962 in Aversa, in the province of Caserta. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples and in 1984 held his first solo exhibitions at Castel dell’Ovo in Naples and in Grenoble. In 1986 he moved to Berlin to further his artistic studies and, on his return from Germany, he settled in Milan where he lives and works. In 1991 he exhibited at the Institut Français in Naples, in 1996 at Studio Gennai in Pisa and at Il Cantiere in Venice. In 1998 he held the exhibition Stilleben at the Decidue Arte space in Milan and Contaminazione at the Spazio Mozzilo in Milan. In 2000 he exhibited at Artforum in Merano and at the Fondazione Mudima in Milan. In 2001 he participated in Le Tribù dell’arte at MACRO in Rome and in 2004 he produced Stimmung at Spazio Mudimadue in Milan. In 2006 he had a solo show at the Gianluca Ranzi Gallery in Antwerp and in 2007 at the Nina Lumer Gallery in Milan.

Alessandro Mendini, LA POLTRONA DI TESTORI

Room 17

A large bourgeois villa near Milan. And in it the abstract presence of Giovanni Testori, the great artist I have always loved. How beautiful to make a gesture in his house, inside one of his rooms. Thoughts for me full of history and memory, words and drawings so much assimilated in the past. Of these games of souls is in fact my space in the Testori house, a tribute by performing a parallel exercise. My stylistic elements on his walls, a shot of understanding with his talking walls, where with colour I try to retrace the spirit of his gestures. And then in the belvedere in a semicircle outside the two windows a cold bronze armchair. Where I hope for a few days Testori will want to stay and meditate, that is, on Testori’s armchair.
Alessandro Mendini

Alessandro Mendini, with his work of interweaving designed painting and pictorial design, correctly places himself in the position of someone who cannot but represent contradiction as a value of artistic creation with other production processes that are subject to instructions before use. The complexity in this case consists precisely in the gentle project of transferring the cooling characteristic of design into the field of painting and the decorative warmth characteristic of design into this. The result is the stripping of a language purified of the hedonism of the material and the ornamental emphasis capable of ennobling the object’s lack of functionality. The operation is valid precisely from the search for a creative balance between the two polarities through the choice of a volubility capable of holding up two different yet converging creative processes. Evidently Mendini has overcome the superstitious pride of the artist as the architect of the world, of the one who has to produce constructive answers to the social demand for a possible order that can be transferred in scale from the perimeter of the work to the wider outside world. Mendini’s operative interweaving involves the assumption of a cross-eyed system of linguistic production always supported by a desire for abstraction of the genres used. Abstraction is achieved precisely through the application of the method of contradiction. Contradiction of linguistic specificity achieved through “designed painting” and “pictorial design”. In this way, we witness a de-structuring of painting and design achieved through the expansion of their possibilities. The extension leads to a loss of boundary, the abstraction of a perimeter of the work that finds its definition through the citation of absolutely contaminating procedures. The transversality formulated by Mendini’s new creative method also implies the assumption of architecture as a vast field of representation, where the architectural module is not a building structure but a scenic tool. In this way we are not faced with the avant-garde hope of a synthesis of the arts as a possible totalising antidote to the partiality of languages and the world.
Achille Bonito Oliva

Alessandro Mendini was born in Milan in 1931.

Arianna Scommegna, …ÀS

Room 16

For someone born and raised in Milan like me, Testori is what I have tasted since I was a child. His is a marvellous dialect, a Brianza dialect mixed with Latin, Frenchisms, onomatopoeia, a language that is body, earth, perfumes. Three-dimensional, not flat like the Italian of perfect diction.
Arianna Scommegna

“Cleopatras” is an overwhelming declaration of love, death and life. It is one of the “Tre Lai”, the lamentations for the murdered lover, written by Giovanni Testori in the last months of his life. It is the weeping of the Queen of Egypt, here with the Lombard ending «as», a dialectal sign of enormity, contempt and equivalent to the dialect name of Asso in the Brianza region dear to the author, for his «Gran Tugnàs», Antonio. A woman who expresses herself in Testori’s language, which is more extreme than ever, artificial, born from several languages, living and dead, from dialects, from phonetic variants, impervious, obscure but paradoxically “natural” and “clear” in evoking the violence of passions. Guided by Gigi Dall’Aglio’s careful direction, the talented Arianna Scommegna succeeds in giving voice to this material language and to the emotions that pervade it, making it flesh and blood, and on her white costume with blue, green and red colours she draws the geographical place in which Testori makes her live.
Magda Poli

Arianna Scommegna was born in 1973 in Milan, where she lives and works. She graduated from the Civica Scuola Arte Drammatica “Paolo Grassi” in 1996 and in the same year she founded, with a group of fellow students of the academy, the independent theatre association A.T.I.R., with which she carries out her theatrical activities, organising shows, workshops and festivals. The stable and continuous core of the Association consists of fourteen people including actors, director, set designer, costume designer, organiser and technical staff. The artistic direction is by Serena Sinigaglia. Since 2007, the association has managed the Ringhiera theatre, a space in the southern suburbs of Milan, in Gratosoglio. Among the many productions in which it has been involved, the three monologues performed in the last season stand out: Qui città di M by Piero Colaprico, La Molli (divertimento alle spalle di Joyce) and Cleopatràs by Giovanni Testori. On 5 June 2010, the National Association of Theatre Critics awarded her the Critics’ Prize.


Room 15

I like to look carefully, to observe, to analyse, to anatomise everything that surrounds me. Especially architecture, the city, to walk through, to cross. This is where my subjects come from: they are all places I have observed, crossed in my daily life. Skylight is the hole in Milan’s Central Station, the skylight that plunges from the centre of the square into the metro. Everyone passes by, many see it, but no one knows it is there. I started looking at it because I realised it was there, and I started painting it because I realised how much it contained, in those few metres of emptiness: from the hole, from the metro, you can see the hole itself (its “thickness”) with its red rings, and beyond it you can see the sky with its colours, its greys, its clouds. The square, the Central Station, the Pirelli skyscraper can be glimpsed, peeping out from behind its curves, as if to jump into the hole. And I’m inside: in the glass halfway down the hole the whole city is reflected with its symbols. On the lower level there is the metro, its lights, entrances, subways, shops, turnstiles, stairs, spaces, exits; on the upper level, looking around you can see other spaces, other exits, around the hole; it is a sort of windowsill halfway between the square and the metro from which you can see outside and inside the hole: its open-air underground square, below, traversed by commuters, wet from the rain, drawn by a circle of white snow, when there is one. And once outside, from above, from the square, looking inside, you see its red circles, you sense its perfect geometry, the repetition of the circles, you see more clearly its emptiness, its opening in the middle of the city. A ring surrounds it, preventing us from ending up below. These 210 watercolours are a synthesis of all the things I have seen, observed, crossed, discovered, standing in front of it. Or rather, inside, outside, around… In front.
Emanuele Dottori

Emanuele Dottori creates interior architectural landscapes, where the idea of the place-avatar returns, embodying different ways of being. The pictorial re-elaboration of the skylight in the square in front of Milan’s Central Station is exemplary in this regard: Dottori started from some photos taken with Google Earth and already at this stage managed to humanise the space and make the skylight ambiguously anthropomorphic or at least organic, and in this context it takes on the appearance of a gigantic gaping mouth reminiscent of Star Wars imagery. Finally, the artist moves from re-elaboration to abstraction, seemingly moving away from the virtual physicality of the internet image to an inner, personal vision that nevertheless retains a sense of the humanisation of the place.
Mario Gerosa

Emanuele Dottori was born in Cernusco sul Naviglio in 1983. He currently lives and works in Rome. In 2006 he graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. In 2006 he exhibited Villa Fiorita at the Gheroartè space in Corsico. In 2007 he held an exhibition at the Spazo Oberdan in Castelseprio and in 2009 the personal exhibition Skylight_Disegni at the Sala rossa of the Galleria Ghiggini in Varese. April 2010 saw the conclusion of Skylight_Disegni e Collages at Studio Maffei in Milan.

Youssef Nabil, INCANTESIMI

Room 14

I like old Egyptian films because they remind me of what Egypt was like then and make me think about what it has become today. And I enjoy reading the credits as much as watching the film! From these you can see what a mixture of nationalities and religions existed in Egypt. They show the cultural richness of the country at that time, people loved each other more. You could read the name of a Muslim next to that of a Jew, a Greek next to an Armenian. Our society was very rich and more tolerant.
Youssef Nabil

His starting point is a land of great history, a lost history of which great traces remain, that of the ancient Egyptians, and a history, the Islamic one, which calls for a different model from that, by now successful, of the West: a context that in the end is marginal compared to the Great World, but central in its geo-political sphere, cosmopolitan in its religious and cultural racial multiplicity, shaded by orientalist nuances that are as seductive as ever. The fascination of cinema, like that of the great mythologies of our time, stardom, glamour, like the belief in the perpetuating power of the image, produce in his art a sense of nostalgia for that kind of world and existence that seems to be dizzyingly distant in space and time, to the point of appearing never to have been and never to be. In his art, experience is converted into a desirous longing, an arabesque dream, a memory destined to fade in time. It is precisely memory, then, that appears as a fundamental feature of all his work, a memory that seems to function like the coloured glass that filters light from windows or lamps in mosques and paints their interiors with a phantasmagorical unreality.
Pier Luigi Tazzi

Youssef Nabil was born in Cairo in 1972, to a Greek-Lebanese Christian father and a Muslim mother. As a Christian he converted to Islam at the age of 30. He studied French Literature at Ain Shams University, but his great passion for cinema drew him to photography at a very young age. Between 1993 and 1994 he worked with David La Chapelle in New York and between 1997 and 1998 with Mario Testino in Paris. In 2003 he left Cairo for Paris and currently lives and works in New York. His works have been exhibited in many museums and galleries: Notable venues include the British Museum in London, the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle, the Leme Gallery in São Paulo, Brazil, FotoFest in Houston, Texas, the Centre de Cultura Contemporanea in Barcelona, the Istitut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo in Seville, the Aperture Foundation in New York and the 53rd Biennale di Venezia. He had three solo exhibitions in Cairo in 1999, 2001 and 2005. In 2005 and 2007 he had two exhibitions at the Third Line Gallery in Dubai. In 2007 and 2008 he exhibited at the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2009 he had five solo exhibitions: in Rome at Villa Medici, in Florence at Galleria Poggiali e Forconi, in Berlin at Volker Diehl Gallery, in Dubai at The Third Line Gallery and in Atlanta at the Savannah College of Art and Design.


Room 13

A bedroom, the most secret room in the house, where not even the guest is invited to enter, becomes, in the path of these paintings and this installation, the emblem of a universal world, in which freedom and its relationship with power are investigated. In this environment, man remains alone with himself, finally free of all external impositions, abandoned to his intimacy, but destined to succumb to his physical needs and the need for rest. The human being, conceived with the limit of sleep, is here already ready to escape and redeem himself with the imagination and hope of the dream. A room, lit in such a way as to remind the visitor of the lights and shadows of contemporary society.

The J&PEG duo works with serene kleptomania and illustrate attitudes, postures, behaviours and metamorphoses of figures that seem to want to represent an unprecedented theatre of life. Painting, sculpture, photography and installation are put at the service of a staging capable of moving the contemplation of the public out of an exclusive condition of daytime intelligence. Here the scene amplifies the intermediate spaces of aesthetic enjoyment and determines the possibility of affirming with Baudelaire that Beauty is always a promise of happiness. Of course, here beauty is deliberately constructed. It always refers to an elsewhere made possible by technological reproduction, but also corrected by craftsmanship. The coexistence of different media allows an iconography that lives on the borderline between enigma and explicit meaning. Here art seems to confirm an unprecedented vocation, that of being a sort of Mouth of Truth that does not speak to us with ambiguous and obscure sentences, but rather illustrates man’s need to mark psychological and social limits. In order to do this, J&PEG uses the stealthy familiarity that comes to the general public from cinema, photography, theatre and the virtuality of interactive games.
Achille Bonito Oliva

J&PEG are Antonio Managò and Simone Zecubi; they have always worked as a duo. Antonio was born in 1978 in Busto Arsizio and Simone in 1979 in Gallarate. Both graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts: Antonio in Sculpture and Simone in Scenography. They live and work in Milan. In 2006 and 2007 they exhibited at the Obraz Gallery in Milan on the occasion of the group shows Take Five and Lo stato dell’arte. In 2007 and 2008 they participated in Artfirst in Bologna and Miart in Milan, in 2008 in Art Paris and in Rome – The road of contemporary Art. In the same year they held their first solo exhibition Working Mates + Project Room. Ten Second to Midnight at Galleria Poggiali e Forconi in Florence, presented by Achille Bonito Oliva. In 2010 they participated in the (Con)Temporary Art event at Superstudiopiù in Via Tortona, Milan, with a room entitled Natura Naturans.

Alessandro Verdi, CAREZZE

Room 11

Pink is a colour that has always belonged to me. It is the colour of tenderness as opposed to the colours of brutality. My work always moves between these two poles: delicacy and violence. But while I immediately felt that violence was one of my expressive characteristics, delicacy emerged with maturity. Even as a young man I felt that pink was a colour that belonged to me deeply, but in those years when I used it I always ended up destroying the work, because I felt that I was not yet ready. I didn’t feel I had the lucidity to use it. Today, however, I feel it is an accomplished way of working on the body.
Alessandro Verdi

His works pierce the veil over the throbbing of life and the abysses of despair, bringing to the surface the traces of a distant memory, archetypal and transversal to the generations, recording the tremors of the flesh, its flowering, its degeneration, listening to the murmur of the cycle of nature and participating in the powerful spectacle of the universe, between the loss of Paradise and the recognition of the human.
Gianluca Ranzi

Alessandro Verdi was born in 1960 in Bergamo, where he lives and works. He was discovered by Giovanni Testori who edited the catalogue of his first solo exhibition in 1987 at the Compagnia del Disegno Gallery in Milan, where he returned to exhibit in 1999 and 2005. He has exhibited in 1993 at the Galleria Bellinzona in Milan, in 1998 at the Galerie der KVD in Dachau and at the Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso, in 2000 at Art’s Events Centro d’Arte Contemporanea in Torrecuso, in 2001 at the Fondazione Mudina in Milan, in 2003 at Villa Pomini in Castellana, in 2004 at Officina arte in Magliaro, in 2005 and 2007 at the Mudimadrie Galerie Gianluca Ranzi in Antwerp. In 2008 he held the exhibitions Alessandro Verdi. Il Paradiso Perduto at the Galleria dell’Artistico in Treviso and Alessandro Verdi. Corpo senza Corpo at the Galleria Blu in Milan, which currently represents him. In 2009 he took part in the 53rd edition of the Venice Biennale with the exhibition Alessandro Verdi: navigare l’incertezza held at Campo della Tana.

Sergio Fermariello, GUARDIANI DEL SOGNO


The installation consists of a series of marine steel structures, wheels deformed to resemble prickly pear pallets, which are set against a supporting structure made of corten steel, representing the trunk of the fig tree itself. The trunk itself is made up of a series of masks with deformed features. The viewer is presented with a multiple impression: from time to time one observes the wheels in their impossible movement, constrained in their irregular frames, like donkey ears, or the rusty masks stand out, and finally, as a whole, one observes the entire vegetal structure of the plant. One of the characteristics of the prickly pear plant is that it can reproduce not only sexually but also by budding, it can multiply by simple spontaneous division, through the leaves, by cloning its own cells. And so, just as my work has always been a research into the spasmodic and obsessive multiplication of the identical, so I find in the way the prickly pear plant reproduces itself the similar paroxysmal and persecutory mechanism that distinguishes my work. The work seems to remind us how, on the one hand, the wheels of history have stopped, they no longer turn, since the space to contain them has run out, and how each one of us, like a hamster in the wheel, invents a more or less circular trajectory each time, in the destiny of our own practice of existing, and how each of us, like a hamster in the wheel, invents a more or less circular trajectory in the destiny of our own practice of existing, which holds back our inertia and, on the other hand, how the plant continues to grow despite everything, to reproduce itself by multiplying its leaves, this time by detachment, in the globalised horizon of all metastatic systems, where everything reproduces itself without order and brake. The burnished root of the trunk, coagulated in the grimace of so many ancestral ancestors, like so many links of a broken chain, resists in its effort to bear the weight of meaning and stands as a warning and a guardian of our already completed disappearance.
Sergio Fermariello

In the hands of the artist, symbols and ideograms thicken and multiply until they seem like a swarming anthill of concepts and references, they grow until they become a memento mori for an entire people, they are engraved and printed in the hardest metal until they become as imposing as banners, and they always imply the ability to capture, convince, transport, and make the most of the experience of the artist. But convince of what? Convey where? It is not clear, because the author has made ambiguity – between background and foreground, between canvas and relief, between shading and shadow, between the historical sense of the image and possible new interpretations – one of his strong points, but it is clear that what counts for him, more than the message, more than understanding, is the vehicle of meaning. As if writing were not a means but an end, as if icons and signs were not to be interpreted but could live a life of their own. Almost as if, on the canvases, in the sculptures and in the installations, one should not find a story summed up and handed down by a series of symbols but rather graphics and drawings that, each time, stage a different story, all yet to be seen and told.
Maurizio Sciaccaluga

Sergio Fermaniello was born in Naples in 1961. In 1989 he exhibited for the first time at the Lucio Amelio Gallery in Naples, with which he began a long collaboration. In the same year he won the Saatchi & Saatchi International Prize for Young Artists at the Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan. In 1990 he exhibited at the Galleria Il Capricorno in Venice and in 1992 at the Galerie Yvon Lambert in Paris. He participated in several international events such as the Metropolis exhibition at the International Kunstausstellung in Berlin and the Les pictographes exhibition at the Musèe de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix in Les Sables-d’Olonne in 1991. In 1993 he participated in the 45th edition of the Venice Biennale with a solo room in the Italian Pavilion. In 1995 he exhibited Opus Alchemico at the Galleria In Arco in Turin, in 1996 ContemporaneaComo 2 at Villa Olmo in Como and Homo necans at the Galleria Lucio Amelio in Naples. In 1997 the exhibition Sergio Fermariello. Lavori 1990-1997 was held at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Cologne and in 1999 he created the installationAvviso ai Naviganti at Castel dell’Ovo in Naples. In the same year he exhibited at the Jan Wagner Gallery in Berlin, in 2000 at the Galleria Ronchini in Terni and at the Galleria Scognamiglio & Teano in Naples. In 2004 a retrospective exhibition was dedicated to him at Castel Sant’Elmo in Naples and in 2005 he created an installation in the “pier17” dock in New York. In the same year he had a solo exhibition at the Galleria Scognamiglio in Naples and at the Galleria Ronchino Arte Contemporanea in Terni, in 2006 at the Galleria Buonanno in Milan and at the Galleria Erica Fiorentini in Rome; in 2007 at the Galleria Fioretto in Padua and in 2008 at the Galleria Ronchino in Terni. In 2009 he had two personal exhibitions at MAC in Niteroi, Brazil and at PAN in Naples.


Room 10

Take a picture of something and then take a picture of it again by taking a few steps back, so that you can find out if its context can give us more insight into that thing.
Armin Linke

In his global explorations, Armin Linke was drawn to the light architecture of the Glass Church in Baranzate. The parish church of Nostra Signora della Misericordia was designed by Angelo Mangiarotti and Bruno Morassutti in 1957, but the structural calculations by Bruno Favini were of great importance, as they made it possible to create a structure that is completely free in its perimeter. An industrial warehouse turned into a sacred building. At that time, the church had the effect of a satellite from a science fiction film ahead of its time. The church broke down the barriers to the world. The fatigue of time marks those structures made only of light and in need of restoration. Concrete life has now happily metabolised them. Linke captures this transition that has taken place. A sense of pacified expectation pervades the images, as if time, instead of consuming it, is giving more and more body to this space.
Giuseppe Frangi

Armin Linke was born in 1966 in Milan, lives and works in Berlin.


Room 9

Today the place of art, its image, is something you have to tear out with your teeth.
Gianni Dessì

There is never any improvisation, but always a time of depositing experience, a somewhat Zen-like search for the mental place most available for the formation and permanence of the image. […] A world, his, always in search of a point of equilibrium, of a focus, to be achieved starting from the chaos of the elements, from the dispersion of signs: which is a state of being where individual arguments find perfect agreement with those of a generation called, historically, to give shape to concepts and body to forms.
Federico De Melis

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