Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto is having a New York City moment. He was included in a recent Arte Povera survey at Hauser & Wirth and in a current exhibition of silkscreens on mirrors at Luhring Augustine. The public highlight, though, was his performance of Scultura da Passeggio (Walking Sculpture) in Cold Spring, New York this past weekend. Sponsored by the new postwar and contemporary Italian art museum Magazzino in Cold Spring, the Saturday performance replicated an earlier run in Turin, Italy. In 1967, Pistoletto rolled a large ball or Sfere di Giornali (newspaper sphere) covered with newspaper clippings that highlighted Italy's turmoil during the 1960s, a literal rendition of the news cycle. In the Arte Povera tradition, it used common cheap materials and attempted to move outside the gallery walls and into the city, having viewers "reflect on an all-encompassing expression of circulation, a manipulation of the passing of time." Oh for the days of the 1960s and art that actively engaged with the public! This weekend’s Scultura da Passeggio had a new version of the ball arrive in Cold Spring on a red FIAT roadster, just as it had fifty years ago. After a few brief comments by Pistoletto and the creators of Magazzino, Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, the ball was rolled though the streets of the small Hudson River village by an enthusiastic group of participants to celebrate the joy of art when it engages with the city rather than lectures from the gallery walls. Magazzino is a jewel of a small museum and is less than 60 miles from New York City.
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Magazzino, a postwar and contemporary Italian art museum, opens June 28, joining the ranks of MASS MoCA, Storm King Art Center, and Dia:Beacon in the Hudson River Valley. The museum will house works collected by Giorgio Spanu and Nancy Olnick, who own one of the largest collections of postwar and contemporary Italian art in the U.S. and have been collecting these works since the 1990s. Featured artists include Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Gilberto Zorio. The museum itself was 10 years in the making and will feature over 400 artworks from the Olnick Spanu Collection and 5,000 books on Italian art. Magazzino, which means “warehouse” in Italian, is comprised of an old farmers’ warehouse (later turned into a dairy distribution center and then a computer factory) and a new building by Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo. “We said, the new space had one protagonist: The art. [The building] had to be a container that could explain its content,” Spanu said. This is Quismondo’s first major completed project; he worked under Alberto Campo Baeza on Spanu and Olnick’s home in Garrison, New York. He became involved with Magazzino in 2014, but completed construction (doubling as the general contractor) in 20 months, a process that he described as “very intense” but “a labor of love.” The architect mirrored the existing L-shape configuration to create a rectangle with a courtyard in the center, allowing copious light to infiltrate the 20,000-square-foot structure. “The container had to be as discrete and humble and mute as possible, but I still played with the dialogue between the existing 1964 structure and the new 2017 structure. The light works in different ways throughout,” Quismondo explained. Open glass hallways connecting the buildings as well as varied ceiling heights offer visitors moments of compression and expansion. The older works, an homage to Italian curator, collector, and gallery owner Margherita Stein in the inaugural exhibition Margherita Stein: Rebel With a Cause are displayed within the smaller of the two buildings, with lower ceilings and an open layout. The newer works, from the late ‘80s onward, are presented in a much larger room with a central axis running through it. Translucent fiberglass ceiling tiles offer diffused, equal lighting that is akin to the now-famous illumination at the Whitney. Magazzino (2700 Route 9, Cold Spring, NY, 10516) is free to the public by appointment.
Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, owners of one of the largest collections of postwar and contemporary Italian art in the U.S., have hired Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo to create Magazzino, an art space dedicated to their collection. The new structure will inhabit a site in the hills of Hudson River Valley in Cold Spring, New York. Quismondo worked under Alberto Campo Baeza to create Olnick and Spanu's home nearby in 2007. For the building, the architect transformed an existing L-shape structure into a rectangle with a courtyard at its center; the building features 18,000 square feet of exhibition space, offices, a library, and an orchard. The architectural style is described as “rationalist” and will be a total of 20,000 square feet. Magazzino, which means warehouse in Italian, will be free and open to the public by appointment and feature more than 400 works and 5,000 publications on Italian art. It will be led by director Vittorio Calabrese and highlights many works within the Arte Povera movement, an avant-garde, conceptual Italian art movement that emerged in the 1960s. This collection has been in the works since the 1990s and will include pieces that range from the 1950s to the present, featuring artists such as Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Gilberto Zorio. Additionally, more than 500 pieces of Murano glass from 1910 to 2010 will be shown. “Our goal is for Magazzino to be a place for visitors to encounter major works of Italian postwar and contemporary art, as well as a site for researchers to utilize its library, archive, and collection,” Calabrese said in a press release. “A diverse offering of lectures, screenings, and performances will complement these core objectives. Magazzino's exhibition program will feature both artists associated with the Arte Povera movement and contemporary Italian artists. By fostering a discussion about Italian art, we aim to undo its long neglect in the American institutional context.” Magazzino is slated to open in 2017, joining the preexisting arts culture in the Hudson River Valley, including the Boscobel, Mass Moca, Storm King Art Center, the Clark, and Dia:Becaon.