By Mary-Madeleine de Regnauld de Bellescize, Sadie Sullivan, Haley Markham, Jennifer Kelly Hoskins
Photo by Silvia Mancini
Gallery and Exhibition Curating Experiential Learning students share their perspective of the first show at Ganzo they curated for artist Andrea Mancini. His studio, StudioD'Arte, can be visited at Via Cavour 166a, Florence.
Andrea Mancini, a Florentine artist, opened the Ganzo calendar of art exhibitions in September 2014. For this show, Mancini started a new collection inspired from Il Quarto Stato by Pelizza la Volpeda, painted in 1890. This Italian painting is known by all Italians as it represents hope for them all. Mancini's version is entitled Il Quarto Stato 2.0 in which he gives it his own contemporary twist. It is not easy having such a contemporary piece of art being accepted into a society that is used to being surrounded by works from Caravaggio, Da Vinci, or Titian. While many artists are known for their slow, detailed process when painting, Mancini’s technique is much faster. He has fallen in love with the technique of la pittura leggera; this process requires that the artist paints rapidly, alla prima, and with light brush strokes. Mancini prefers this technique because it requires you to paint your first impression. His works vary from collections of paintings to fashion illustrations, books, landfills, and printmaking. Mancini says, “beauty and reality are not the same as beauty and a painting because for a painting you extract a part of the beauty in real life.” By this he means that a person may be surrounded by everyday objects and not see the beauty in them, but if you look closely, you can find a shadow or a source of light that makes our whole world beautiful. Mancini captures this in his paintings, such as his pittura leggera watercolor painting called Tires.
As students taking part of the Gallery Management and Exhibition Curating team at Florence University of the Arts, we felt the process of building an exhibition was challenging and rewarding in many ways. Not only was the exhibition successful, but also our relationship with Andrea Mancini flourished into a friendship. It was very rewarding to work alongside an Italian artist, and learn more about the culture, Italian art, and the spirit of the city of Florence. Curating can be stressful, yet throughout the past month, the team acquired skills of time management, prioritizing deadlines, and communication with the press office and graphic design team of FUA. Mancini was very easy to work with; he was inspirational and made us excited to help him prepare his show.
Initially, it was difficult figuring out where to put the paintings in the allotted space while preparing the exhibit. Taking into account the importance of lighting and space between the frames, the team worked with Mancini to perfect the final outcome. After our first experience at curating, we feel more prepared for upcoming shows and are excited for the relationships we will build outside our class and within our own team, including professor Giovanni Rossiello. We look forward to visiting Mancini again to see how his new project is coming along.
This article is adapted from its original apperance in Blending Newsletter, fall 2014 issue 2. Read the entire issue here.