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Sunday, April 21, 2013

New York Art in Rome

Traduzione in italiano di seguito...

Empire State. Arte a New York oggi 

 Empire State. New York Art Now

Palazzo delle Esposizioni 23 April – 21 July 2013

Curated by Norman Rosenthal and Alex Gartenfeld

 Opening reception for the artist - 22 April 2013

 Rome/New York. Opening at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, on April 23, 2013, “Empire State” explores the constantly shifting realities and mythologies of New York City as a “New Rome.” Filling the Palazzo’s exhibition spaces, this ambitious intergenerational survey presents the work of twenty-five renowned and emerging New York City artists – each in depth and with important new work being shown for the first time – and suggests how they might re-imagine the relationship between their community and the life of the city through a unique grasp on its varied sources of power. With painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation, the artists in “Empire State” examine their city’s enduring relevance to the world at a moment when urban life is being redefined rapidly everywhere.

Organized by British curator Sir Norman Rosenthal and New York-based independent curator, writer and editor Alex Gartenfeld, “Empire State” will be on view at the Palazzo through July 21, 2013. The exhibition’s artists include Michele Abeles, Uri Aran, Darren Bader, Antoine Catala, Moyra Davey, Keith Edmier, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Dan Graham, Renée Green, Wade Guyton, Shadi Habib Allah, Jeff Koons, Nate Lowman, Daniel McDonald, Bjarne Melgaard, John Miller, Takeshi Murata, Virginia Overton, Joyce Pensato, Adrian Piper, Rob Pruitt, R. H. Quaytman, Tabor Robak, Julian Schnabel, and Ryan Sullivan. Most of the art on view is newly commissioned, complemented by other significant works made in recent years.

“Manhattan is an accumulation of possible disasters that never happen,” wrote celebrated architect and theorist Rem Koolhaas. For New York City, the most popular disaster myth is that it will be eclipsed. Yet in the era of globalization and with pundits routinely declaring it in decline, The Big Apple remains the world’s hegemonic force in the visual arts, with the most diverse concentration of artists, museums, arts organizations, galleries and public platforms in constant action and interplay. The artists presented in “Empire State” open spaces of power from inside this social and creative infrastructure. “Empire State” reveals some of the channels through which the resulting tide of communication, imagination and persuasion flows through their community and out into the world beyond.

The exhibition takes its title from the iconic mythologizing 2009 hip-hop anthem of the same name by rapper-turned-mogul Jay-Z and musician Alicia Keys, and references Empire, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt’s 2000 treatise on American-led global capitalism. “Empire State” also calls to mind – and in some senses could be viewed as a 21st century response to – English-born American artist Thomas Cole’s famous series of paintings “The Course of Empire”. Made in New York in the years between 1883-36, Cole’s mighty canvases depict the rise and fall of an imaginary city situated, like Manhattan, on the lower end of a river valley where a bay meets the sea. In Rome in 2013, “Empire State” will echo and engage such allegories of America’s socio-economic transition and subsequent shifts in status, confidence and power. The Empire State Building, still a major tourist attraction, was once the tallest building in the world; today it is dwarfed by mega-skyscrapers in rapidly exploding urban centers in distant corners of the globe.

The artists in “Empire State” are grounded in institutional critique and studies of media and economics; they embrace hybridization and cross-disciplinary techniques; and they engage technology and abstraction to propose new models of expression and interpretation. One example is Dan Graham’s mirrored pavilions combine Minimalism and architecture to reflect and double the human form. With ‘Antiquity, a new series of 13 paintings that will debut in the exhibition, Jeff Koons harnesses incredible technical tools to manifest his attraction to classicism and Greek and Roman mythology. Michele Abeles’s new photographic prints incorporate her installation views, as she constantly revises her autobiography according to her context.

In a bold new commission, Keith Edmier reimagines the soaring, sculpted Baroque baldachin at Saint Peter’s Basilica according to the vernacular of the original Pennsylvania Station, a landmark of New York mythologizing: Designed by McKim, Mead & White and constructed in 1910 at the height of America’s industrial revolution, Penn Station was a breathtaking masterpiece of Roman Neo-Classical architecture and a testament to New York’s position as the de facto trade and culture capital of the New World. It was ignominiously demolished in 1963 at the height of New York’s craze for all things Modern. Replaced by a sprawling, anonymous eyesore, the original ‘Penn Station’ today exists in popular imagination as lost evidence of a once and future empire.

Perhaps most importantly, “Empire State” emphasizes a genealogy of artists: Confronting an increasingly corporatized art world spreading globally like a new Byzantium, artists are activating ever-shifting networks of relationships, collaborations and exchanges across the boundaries of generation, gender, perspective and technique. R. H. Quaytman will present a new selection of her portraits of New York artists in a visual expression of the act of networking and the invisible tracery of power and exchange. The exhibition will include the very first international presentation of work by Tabor Robak, whose art primarily circulates on the Internet and enjoys a considerable online following, poses fundamental questions about how we define and privilege the art-world community. Artists in New York often manipulate their authorship through collectives, and a significant number of artists in “Empire State” have been involved in such groups. Among these are Orchard, Reena Spaulings, 47 Canal, and Art Club 2000.

“Empire State” will be accompanied by a catalogue (Skira) featuring extended essays by the curators and by Tom McDonough, John Miller, and Eileen Myles; a visual essay by Matt Keegan; and original texts on each of the artists by leading critics and curators, including Vinzenz Brinkmann, Bonnie Clearwater, Kim Conaty, Bruce Hainley, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Tina Kukielski, and others.

About the Curators
Norman Rosenthal is a celebrated independent curator and critic based in London. He was Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1977 through 2008. Rosenthal has organized dozens of critically acclaimed exhibitions, including such era-defining landmark surveys as “A New Spirit of Painting” (1981) and “Sensation” (1997).

Based in New York City, independent curator Alex Gartenfeld is Senior Online Editor at Art in America and Interview magazines. He has co-founded two independent exhibition and project spaces in New York, and has organized exhibitions at the Zabludowicz Collection, Team Gallery and Harris Lieberman.

For additional information, or to schedule interviews or request images for publication, please contact Andrea Schwan, Andrea Schwan Inc.,, +1 917 371.5023


23 April  – 21 July 2013
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, via Nazionale 194 – 00184 Roma

Norman Rosenthal and Alex Gartenfeld

Promoted by
Roma Capitale - Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali e Centro Storico; Azienda Speciale Palaexpo

Organized by
Azienda Speciale Palaexpo


Opening hours
Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday e Thursday: 10.00 - 20.00; Friday and Saturday: 10.00 - 22.30; Monday: closed

Information and booking
Individual and groups tel. +39 0639967500; School groups +39 848082408

€ 12,50; reduced € 10,00

Versione Italiano

Palazzo delle Esposizioni 23 aprile – 21 luglio 2013

a cura di Alex Gartenfeld e Norman Rosenthal
Una rassegna intergenerazionale che indaga il tema del potere urbano,
tracciando un quadro delle prospettive future

Conferenza stampa di presentazione
lunedì 22 aprile ore 12
presso la Sala Cinema del Palazzo delle Esposizioni

Saranno presenti i curatori
Alex Gartenfeld e Norman Rosenthal
e gli artisti.

Il 23 aprile 2013, al Palazzo delle Esposizioni di Roma, apre al pubblico “Empire State. Arte a New York oggi”, una mostra che si propone di esplorare i miti e le realtà mutevoli della città di New York intesa come “la nuova Roma”.

L’ambiziosa rassegna intergenerazionale che occuperà le sale del Palazzo delle Esposizioni proporrà al pubblico le opere di venticinque artisti newyorkesi, tra emergenti e affermati, ciascuno dei quali sarà presentato in modo approfondito anche grazie alla presenza di lavori inediti, qui esposti per la prima volta.
Il percorso espositivo suggerirà i diversi modi in cui è possibile per gli artisti re-immaginare il rapporto tra la loro comunità e la città, focalizzando l’attenzione sulle eterogenee reti di potere che ne condizionano la vita. Tramite la pittura, la scultura, la fotografia, i video e le installazioni, gli artisti di “Empire State” esaminano il ruolo di New York nel contesto globale, in un momento in cui la vita urbana è ovunque oggetto di una ridefinizione sempre più veloce.
Concepita da Alex Gartenfeld, curatore indipendente, scrittore ed editor residente a New York, nominato quest’anno curatore presso il Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) di Miami, e dal curatore britannico Sir Norman Rosenthal, “Empire State” rimarrà aperta al pubblico fino al 21 luglio 2013.
Questo l’elenco degli artisti presenti in mostra: Michele Abeles, Uri Aran, Darren Bader, Antoine Catala, Moyra Davey, Keith Edmier, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Dan Graham, Renée Green, Wade Guyton, Shadi Habib Allah, Jeff Koons, Nate Lowman, Daniel McDonald, Bjarne Melgaard, John Miller, Takeshi Murata, Virginia Overton, Joyce Pensato, Adrian Piper, Rob Pruitt, R. H. Quaytman, Tabor Robak, Julian Schnabel e Ryan Sullivan. Le opere esposte sono per la maggior parte frutto di nuove commissioni, integrate dai lavori più significativi eseguiti in anni recenti.

“Manhattan è un accumulo di possibili disastri che non avvengono mai”, ha scritto il celebre architetto e teorico Rem Koolhaas. Riguardo a New York, la leggenda più diffusa di un possibile disastro è quella della sua eclisse. Eppure, nell’era della globalizzazione, mentre gli esperti ne annunciano regolarmente il declino, la Grande Mela rimane una forza egemone delle arti visive, in costante dialogo e interazione con la più eterogenea concentrazione di artisti, musei, organizzazioni, gallerie e spazi pubblici. Dall’interno di questa struttura sociale e creativa, gli artisti di “Empire State” aprono spazi di potere e portano alla luce alcuni dei canali attraverso i quali la marea di comunicazione, immaginazione e persuasione fluisce all’interno della loro comunità per poi defluire nel mondo esterno.
Il titolo della mostra fa riferimento da un lato all’inno hip-hop creato nel 2009 dal re del rap Jay-Z con la musicista Alicia Keys e dall’altro a Empire, un trattato sul capitalismo globale guidato dagli Stati Uniti, pubblicato nel 2000 da Antonio Negri e Michael Hardt. Inoltre, “Empire State” può per certi versi essere considerata la risposta del XXI secolo al celebre ciclo pittorico “The Course of Empire” di Thomas Cole, un artista americano nato in Inghilterra. Realizzate a New York tra il 1833 e il 1836, le imponenti tele di Cole raffigurano l’ascesa e il declino di una città immaginaria situata, proprio come Manhattan, alla foce di un bacino fluviale. Nel 2013, a Roma, “Empire State” utilizza allegorie simili per illustrare le trasformazioni socio-economiche degli Stati Uniti e le loro ripercussioni sul ruolo, la fiducia in sé e la distribuzione del potere nella nazione. L’Empire State Building, un tempo il grattacielo più alto del mondo, è ancora un’attrazione turistica, ma oggi la sua mole sembra piccola in confronto ai mega edifici costruiti nei centri urbani in rapida espansione in remoti angoli del mondo.
Gli artisti di “Empire State” hanno dimestichezza con la critica istituzionale e gli studi sui media e l’economia, adottano tecniche ibride e interdisciplinari e utilizzano la tecnologia e l’astrazione per offrire nuovi modelli espressivi e interpretativi. I padiglioni a specchio di Dan Graham, ad esempio, gettano un ponte tra arte minimalista e architettura per riflettere e moltiplicare la forma umana. Nei tredici nuovi dipinti della serie “Antiquity”, Jeff Koons utilizza la tecnica con incredibile maestria per manifestare il proprio interesse nei confronti del classicismo e della mitologia greca e romana. Le nuove fotografie di Michele Abeles includono le sue vedute di installazioni, in un costante processo di revisione e adeguamento al contesto della propria autobiografia.
Per una nuova e singolare opera su commissione, Keith Edmier reinventa il monumentale baldacchino barocco della basilica di San Pietro seguendo il linguaggio vernacolare dell’antica Pennsylvania Station, pietra miliare della mitologia newyorkese. Progettata da McKim, Mead & White e realizzata nel 1910, all’apice della rivoluzione industriale americana, la “Penn Station” era uno straordinario capolavoro di architettura neoclassica d’impronta romana che attestava il ruolo di New York quale capitale culturale e commerciale del Nuovo Mondo. Fu ignominiosamente demolita nel 1963, al culmine della smania newyorkese per la “modernità”. Sostituita da una costruzione anonima e scomposta che ha l’effetto di un pugno in un occhio, la Penn Station sopravvive nell’immaginario collettivo come la testimonianza perduta di un impero passato e futuro.
Forse però l’aspetto più importante di “Empire State” sta nel far emergere una genealogia di artisti. Dovendo confrontarsi con un mondo dell’arte che assume sempre più una dimensione imprenditoriale e si espande a livello globale come una novella Bisanzio, gli artisti stanno attivando una serie di reti in perenne movimento: relazioni, collaborazioni e scambi che vanno al di là delle barriere imposte dalla generazione, dal genere, dall’ottica o dalla tecnica individuale. Così, R. H. Quaytman propone una nuova selezione dei suoi ritratti di artisti newyorkesi, espressione visiva dell’atto del lavorare in rete e dell’invisibile disegno tracciato dal potere e dallo scambio. La mostra presenta inoltre – per la prima volta in un contesto internazionale – l’opera di Tabor Robak, la cui arte circola principalmente in rete e solleva domande fondamentali sul nostro modo di definire la comunità internazionale dell’arte e sui suoi privilegi. Gli artisti di New York non sono nuovi alla manipolazione dell’autorialità attraverso i collettivi, e un numero significativo di quelli presenti in “Empire State” sono stati coinvolti in gruppi del genere. Tra questi ultimi, Orchard, Reena Spaulings, 179 Canal e Art Club 2000.
“Empire State” sarà accompagnata da un catalogo, edito da Skira, che comprende ampi contributi firmati dai curatori e da Tom McDonough, John Miller e Eileen Myles, un saggio visivo di Matt Keegan e testi originali su ciascun artista di critici e curatori di spicco come Vinzenz Brinkmann, Bonnie Clearwater, Kim Conaty, Bruce Hainley, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Tina Kukielski e altri.

I curatori
Il curatore indipendente Alex Gartenfeld risiede a New York ed è Senior Online Editor per le riviste “Art in America” e “Interview”. Co-fondatore di due spazi espositivi indipendenti a New York, ha organizzato numerose mostre, tra cui quelle allestite presso Zabludowicz Collection, Team Gallery e Harris Lieberman. A febbraio 2013 è stato nominato curatore presso il Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), North Miami.
Norman Rosenthal è un celebre critico d’arte e curatore indipendente che risiede a Londra. Responsabile delle mostre alla Royal Academy of Arts dal 1977 al 2008, ha organizzato decine di eventi espositivi applauditi dalla critica, tra cui alcune rassegne epocali come “A New Spirit of Painting” (1981) e “Sensation” (1997).

Scheda informativa

23 aprile – 21 luglio 2013
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, via Nazionale 194 – 00184 Roma

Sotto l’Alto Patronato del Presidente della Repubblica

Mostra a cura di: Alex Gartenfeld e Norman Rosenthal

Promossa da: Roma Capitale - Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali e Centro Storico; Azienda Speciale Palaexpo

Organizzata da: Azienda Speciale Palaexpo

Con il patrocinio di: Ambasciata degli Stati Uniti d’America in Italia e American Academy in Rome

In coproduzione con: Civita

Sponsor Palazzo delle Esposizioni:  Gioco del Lotto – Lottomatica

Media partner: Gruppo LT Multimedia; Dimensione Suono Roma

Sponsor tecnici:  Bettoja Hotels; COOP Culture; Roma Multiservizi

Official car: BMW

Consigliato da: Sky Arte HD

Catalogo: Skira

Orari: Domenica, martedì, mercoledì e giovedì: dalle 10.00 alle 20.00; venerdì e sabato: dalle 10.00 alle 22.30; lunedì chiuso

Informazioni e prenotazioni: Singoli, gruppi e laboratori d’arte tel. 0639967500; scuole 848082408;

Costo del biglietto: Intero € 12,50; ridotto € 10,00. Permette di visitare tutte le mostre in corso al Palazzo delle Esposizioni.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sophia Loren: A Living Legend

Sophia Loren is the epitome of glamour but her beginnings were humble and she has never forgotten where she came from.

Born Sofia Villani Scicolone on September 20, 1934 in Rome, Loren endured much hardship during the first decade of her life. She was brought up in the poverty stricken Neapolitan suburb of Pozzuoli during World War II. She was raised by a single mother who received no support from her father. The odds were stacked against her until one beauty contest changed everything. Loren was just 14 years old when she placed as a finalist in the contest. She was spotted by film director Carlo Ponti and her life changed forever. He became her mentor and under his supervision, Sophia enrolled in acting classes and shortly thereafter was taking small parts in films. She was originally credited in those films as "Sofia Lazzaro" because people joked her beauty could raise Lazzarus from the dead.

It was clear just from those bit parts that Loren was a leading lady, and it wasn't long until she was indeed a star carrying a movie on her own. Her first starring role came in 1953 in the Italian film version of, "Aida." Loren played the title role, a performance that was met with critical acclaim. She also earned accolades in Vittorio De Sica's 1954 comedy and tribute to Naples, "L'oro di Napoli" (The Gold of Naples). Loren quickly became a superstar in Italy and crossed the border with her first international hit that same year, "La Donna del Fiume" (The River Girl). 

Her first English-language film came three years later in 1957 with "Boy on a Dolphin" co-starring Alan Ladd. Loren's most memorable scene was emerging from the water in a wet, transparent dress. She went on to appear in many more American films, although they weren't all received with rave reviews. In 1960 she returned to work in Italy and starred in the violent wartime film, "La Ciociara" (Two Women). Her performance earned her an Oscar for Best Actress and was the first Academy Award ever given for a role in a foreign language film.

Through the '60s, '70s and '80s, Loren worked on both sides of the Atlantic and it was during those years that she made her blockbuster hits with the beloved Italian maestro, Marcello Mastroianni. Among their most cherished films are Ettore Scola's "Una Giornata Particolare" (A Special Day) and Vittorio De Sica's 1963 comedy anthology, "Ieri, oggi, domani" (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow).

Watch Loren and Mastroianni talk about "A Special Day" with host Dick Cavett..

Then there is "Matrimonio all'Italiana" (Marriage Italian Style) with Loren as a prostitute who tricks Mastroianni into marriage. The two had so much chemistry, their scenes together just seem effortless. She didn't act very much in the '80s but made a bit of a comeback in the '90s with roles in Robert Altman's, "Ready to Wear" and the comedy "Grumpier Old Men." During the last 20 years, she's done a number of things outside acting including authoring cook books and designing eye wear, jewelry and perfume. In 2001, Loren received a Special Grand Prix of the Americas Award at the Montreal World Film Festival for her performance in her son, Edoardo Ponti's independent film, "Between Strangers."  Her most recent film was her 2009 role in Rob Marshall's film version of "Nine," which was adapted from playwright Mario Fratti's stage production.

Through the years, Loren stayed close to her husband's side. Ponti was 22 years her senior. He played an enormous role in her life. Some say that he was the only father figure she ever had, but he was also her mentor and acting coach and ultimately was responsible for making her the star that she is today. The couple have two sons, Carlo Ponti, Jr. who is a renowned orchestral conductor and Edoardo, who followed in his parents' footsteps and became a filmmaker. Carlo Ponti passed away in 2007, and Loren said that she would never marry again because "it would be impossible to love anyone else." 

Loren is indeed a living legend and with all the stars that come and go today, it is so nice to look back on her work through the years and enjoy the passion, dignity and respect that she has brought to each and every role. She is the very definition of "class."

In Conversation with Director Cecilia Pignocchi

Filmmakers Arthur Couvat and  Cecilia Pignocchi It’s unusual for a first-time filmmaker to be recognized by a high-profile, international fi...