All-around miart
Art On Demand

March 20, 2017 All-around miart 2 Comments

The newly conceived On Demand section is dedicated to context-based art, that is to site-specific works such as installations and wall paintings, projects to be completed, commissions, performances and so on. These are works of art with the peculiarity of going beyond the object per se, thus breaking its unity and focusing instead on the experience of time and space. To that end, in order to exist, they must be “activated” by those who own them, thus underscoring that the very act of collecting is a form of care, planning and responsibility.


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Oda Albera


As explained by miart’s Exhibitors Liaison and Special Projects as well as On Demand’s curator Oda Albera, the idea of the section “stems from the desire to put under the spotlight a category of art works requiring a total commitment on the side of the collector. These are works which has their peculiarity in the necessity of being activated, adapted, modified, designed or integrated. Certainly, from a commercial point of view, they might be more challenging, because they demand more involvement than others. Therefore, the real challenge for this section is to find the balance between experimentation and marketability, by creating a smooth dialogue and fruitful exchange between the artist, the gallerist and the collector. I believe that this kind of works represents a key step within a diverse and comprehensive art collection, one that is built and developed by the passion for art. And this is something that a fair like miart cannot but take into consideration.”

The projects which will be presented in the first edition of On Demand are:

Nathalie Du Pasquier, APALAZZOGALLERY, Brescia
Lawrence Weiner, ALFONSO ARTIACO, Naples
Loris Cecchini, GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano, Beijing, Boissy-le-Châtel, La Habana
Marco Basta, MONICA DE CARDENAS, Milan, Zuoz, Lugano
Davide Balula, RODOLPHE JANSSEN, Brussels
Lena Henke, GALERIE EMANUEL LAYR, Vienna, Rome
Francesco Pedraglio, NORMA MANGIONE GALLERY, Turin
Riccardo Buscarini, NAHMAD PROJECTS, London
Rodrigo Matheus, GALERIE NATHALIE OBADIA, Paris, Brussels
Leigh Ledare, OFFICE BAROQUE, Brussels
Meris Angioletti, OTTO ZOO, Milan
Riccardo Beretta, PLUTSCHOW GALLERY, Zurich
Luca Monterastelli, GALLERIA LIA RUMMA, Milan, Naples
Salvatore Arancio, FEDERICA SCHIAVO GALLERY, Milan, Rome
Karin Lehmann, SEVENTEEN, London
Chiara Camoni, SPAZIOA, Pistoia
Daniel Buren, STUDIO DABBENI, Lugano
Giovanni Kronenberg, Z2O SARA ZANIN GALLERY, Rome
Massimo Grimaldi, ZERO…, Milan


Although that of context-based art is not at all a new trend in the arts, it is nowadays acknowledged that, in the recent years, an acceleration of the interest in these practices has happened. From the relational to the Postinternet aesthetics, we have seen an increasing engagement into participatory and dematerialized artistic acts. To understand better this phenomenon and how art institutions exhibit time- and context-based works, we have talked with Jean-Marc Prévost, Director at Carré d’Art – Musée d’art Contemporain, Nîmes; and Gloria Moure, Art Historian and Independent Curator, Barcelona; who, together with Barbican Art Gallery Curator Florence Ostende, will serve as jurors for the On Demand Prize.
Jean-Marc Prévost confirmed that “it is not new to have context-based works in contemporary art. In Nîmes, we have now an exhibition of the collection of Marc & Josée Gensollen, who bought numerous conceptual works which need to be reactivated by Lawrence Weiner, Kendel Geers, or Douglas Gordon. Definitely, there is an interesting idea of the collector taking care of the works.” Prévost also commented that “very often, when we work with an artist, the choice of the works is made in relation to the exhibition space. We usually produce works and increasingly context-based works. Sometimes the realisation is complex and expensive, such as for works as the big wall drawings by Sol LeWitt. And now, the staging of performances in the museum invites to rethink the working methods with a team not used to these practices.”


Antoni Muntadas, Regarder, voir, percevoir, 2009, in “DU VERBE A LA COMMUNICATION: LA COLLECTION DE JOSEE ET MARC GENSOLLEN” at Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art contemporain de Nîmes (3rd February – 18th June 2017) © ADAGP, Paris, 2017.


Gloria Moure envisions context-based works as “a conception of the world that art must respond to. Its origins in such essential fields as philosophy, physics, economics or linguistics caused a domino effect, impossible to counteract. Concepts such as instability, randomness, uncertainty, interdependence, and complexity have permanently affected the foundations of all these disciplines. The configuration was forced to dematerialize and to dissolve into selected objects, into architectural or natural spaces, or into the actions of the creators. Today, art also speaks of reality, but it does so in order to modify or prolong it, given its ever-moving nature and the fact that the creator is both part and parcel of it.” “In 1968, Marcel Broodthaers made the first part of what would later become his most outstanding work: the Musée d’Art Moderne, in which he brought to light the discrepancy between the institutions and the art of their time. Half a century later, we should have already overcome this debate and institutions should have come to terms with the conception of the world that we talked about and prepare themselves to include it,” Moure added.


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Installation view, Ground floor of Collezione La Gaia, Busca. Courtesy of Collezione La Gaia, Busca. Photo: Maurizio Elia and Matteo Borzone


Then we sat down with Maurizio Morra Greco, Collector and Founder of Morra Greco Foundation in Naples; and Bruna & Matteo Viglietta, Collectors and Founders of Collezione La Gaia in the Piedmontese Busca; to explore how, on one hand, they began their collections, and on the other, how the scale of the collection as well as of the acquired artworks have expanded through the years, to the point of implying a change in their agenda, from the private to the public.
Bruna & Matteo Viglietta remember that their very first purchase was “a collage by Balla, which we saw by chance in a small Piedmontese gallery. We didn’t know that this would have been the start of a long journey that has taken us until now… Then, we decided to deepen our knowledge of art in general, by buying French and Italian paintings from the XIX century. We started from the discovery of Macchiaioli and we arrived at the avant-garde movements, which then led us to collect the works by Alberto Giacometti, Amedeo Modigliani, Lucio Fontana, Gastone Novelli and Piero Manzoni, and finally got us to Conceptual Art. It is probably here that something has changed in our taste and approach to collect.We had a sort of unexpected revelation and found our most congenial dimension. The 60s and 70s remain for us a site of continuous discovery which, in recent years, has been reflected in the research of artworks related to specific mediums, such as photography and video, but also coming from specific regions, such as Eastern Europe or Asia.” And they added: “We live with many of the works that belong to the Collezione La Gaia; therefore, it can be said that there are a number of works with which we have a daily relation. One of those is definitely a mobile by Alexander Calder which is suspended above our bed. It is the first thing that our eyes meet when we wake up, and the last one under which we surrender to sleep at night.”


Sol Lewitt, The Last Work for Naples, Permanent Installation. © Danilo Donzelli. Courtesy Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples


Maurizio Morra Greco started collecting very young, at fourteen years old, especially “ancient and modern art, from the XVII to the early XX century in Naples. And then, one day, I watched a videotape where Achille Bonito Oliva was speaking about Mario Schifano, and straight after I began to explore the contemporary scene, to get passionate about its themes and aesthetics and to collect that period. The very fact that I felt it so close to me was what intrigued me the most; somehow, it engaged me in a way much more similar to my daily experience than to those XVII century’s paintings which had initially fascinated me. Since then, I mainly follow my instincts: it is like being startled by a dazzling light, which immediately connects me with the artist and the work, or by a spark, that I recognise and know that I will be able to understand, if any, only later.” The reason why he opened the Fondazione Morra Greco was that very same “change of interest from ancient to contemporary art. Indeed, almost naturally it made me think of collecting in a new light. Now I am devoted to an art actively closer to the present days, which does not content itself with its conservation but demands its diffusion. It then became necessary the opening of a space that would enable this step, where the act of collecting would be functional to the increasingly numerous and intense relationships that through the years have emerged with the artists I knew and collected. And finally Naples itself—with its deep-rooted tradition in contemporary art and the incredible amount of influences and stimuli which is capable of generating in the artists and their works—made it inevitable that the Foundation was a space not only for the exhibition but also for the production of new works and site-specific projects, through an intense programme of residencies.


Cover image: Shana Moulton, The Line Where Your Appearance Flips Over into Reality, 4th April 2013 (performance). © Amedeo Benestante. Courtesy of Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples.