The Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa continues to pay great attention towards young artists, this year choosing Milan as the showcase for the works of those assigned the 12 ateliers of the Fondazione, selected through the annual contest from the more than 50 applications submitted in 2008. The Opera exhibition shows the output of the artists chosen to work for one year (2009) in the 12 ateliers of the Fondazione. These studio spaces are to be found in Palazzo Carminati in San Stae, after the completion of the restoration work in 2008, and at the Complesso dei Santi Cosma e Damiano on the Giudecca island (in use since 2006). This is the third year that the artists awarded an atelier have been given the chance to hold a final show.
Alongside the historical exhibition of the Collettiva per Giovani Artisti (Group Show for Young Artists), founded in tandem with the Biennale shows, and this year celebrating its 93rd edition, OPERA 2009 demonstrates the belief of the Fondazione in its important role supporting young artistic research: a role which it has held for over 100 years, ever since its founding, allotting ateliers to the most talented young artists. In the number of ateliers given in the founding statute of the Fondazione, the 12 artist’s spaces to be awarded by annual contest are found in the evocative cloister of Santi Cosma e Damiano on the Giudecca Island, as well as in the intriguing surroundings of Palazzo Carminati in San Stae, the restoration of which, completed two years ago, also made it possible to create two guest rooms which were immediately used as part of an international hospitality programme.
Curated by Mara Ambrozic and Stefano Coletto, the exhibition Opera 2009, of which the two previous editions (Spritz Time in 2007 and Opera 2008) were both housed in the Fondazione’s gallery space in St Mark’s Square, will now be hosted for the first time at Viafarini DOCVA at the Fabbrica del Vapore, in the exhibition space which is part of the DOCVA, a centre for the conservation and documentation of contemporary visual arts which, with its vast archive and wide-reaching collaboration network including many international organisations (built up over the years by Careof and Viafarini), constitutes one of the most up-to-date and important points of reference for the promotion of young Italian artists. For the Fondazione, choosing the DOCVA means carrying on a historic relationship of collaboration dating back to 1998, one which is closely linked to the very origins of Viafarini itself. Choosing Milan, hub of the arts market and, powerhouse of new trends and experimentation, a crossroad between different audiences linked to not only artistic forms of creativity, means aiming to integrate artistic experiences rooted in the local territory with a top-level international scene, encouraging up-and-coming talents to measure themselves up to both the differences and challenges offered by the open-space exhibition area.
On show here, there are 10 young artists and two groups: Agne Raceviciute, Blauer Hase, Valeria Cozzarini, Estevan Bruno, Giulio Frigo, Elisa Strinna, Alberto Scodro, Lea Jazbec, Andrea Kvas, Automatic Books, Laure Keyrouz and Ayano Yamamoto.
Having reached the end of a fruitful year of artistic reflections, sharing and experimenting, the artists display their works and projects created and developed over the months, months filled with a great range of events. These included the Open Studios project, where the public was invited to visit, as well as the Studio Visits and other interventions by curators and professionals from right across the Italian and international arts scene, from the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudendo in Turin, the Dena Foundation for Contemporary Art of Paris and the De Apple Arts Centre of Amsterdam. Working along a variety of different lines, the awardees of the studios were given the chance to grow both artistically and professionally, collaborating with galleries on both the local and national territories. Like Ayano Yamamoto, of whom a solo exhibition was hosted at the Spazio Semplicemente Contemporaneo in Padua, or Agne Raceviciute, the artist chosen to open the Otto Zoo Project cycle at the Otto Zoo gallery in Milan. Many of them have participated in important international events, such as Elisa Strinna as part of the group show, “Eppur si muove” at Palazzo Re Rebaudengo in Guarene, Andrea Kvas, as part of the last Prague Biennial, and Giulio Frigo as part of the group show, “Non voltarti adesso”, curated by Milovan Farronato at the Museo d'Arte Moderna Ca' Pesaro.
Special thanks are due to Moleskine for their support given to the studio activities over the years, as well as for their collaboration on numerous publishing projects.
Our thanks also go to the Fondazione di Venezia, and the Lions Club for their contributions to the Atelier activities over 2008/2009.
The graphics on the poster and the front cover of the Opera 2009 catalogue were created by Matteo De Mayda, winner of the Study Grant, awarded during the 92nd BLM Group Show.