Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lunch in the garden at Galleria Continua with Kader Attia's mirrored headstones

The scent of gelsomino will forever remind me of Galleria Continua. Outside the walls of the garden are covered in those white flowers. Three friends started the gallery some 20+ years ago, a small modest gallery that showed young artists, student's work. The gallery is now converted into a wine bar and shop where you can sit and taste wines from the region, but you can still see on the walls the things that were used to hang paintings.

Pure inspiration these guys: Lorenzo, Maurizio and Mario (who I didn't meet because he was working in another place in Italy). To know these guys is to love these guys. They don't just have a gallery in San Gimignano; the whole town of San Gimignano is their gallery. It's amazing what they've done there and the happiness they exhibit working with the artists, with their staff, with collectors and with each other is so plain to see.

In the gallery there was a wonderful well that brought something so basic in man's history smack into the 21st Century with technology. I didn't photograph it, by an Italian artist from Milan who lived near the gallery, Loris Cecchini, but it was indeed a beautiful work. Also on view was the wall that protected Daniel Buren's balls in the Palais Royal in the 80s. Chen Zhen's Purification Room was to die for, as was Kader Attia's and Hans Op de Beeck's work. Better exhibitions I seldom see in some contemporary art museums.

There's a permanent installation by Anish Kapoor in the town too, and coming so close to the full moon lunar eclipse it was indeed quite a marvelous site to behold.