Michelangelo Galliani's first Bologna solo show: his St. Sebastian on display.

From March 21 to May 11, 2024, Studio la Linea Verticale presents Michelangelo Galliani's solo sculpture exhibition dedicated to the martyrdom of St. Sebastian, an icon in art history.

As part of the exhibition "Of the Human Dimension. Contemporary Art and Visions along the Via Emilia," Studio la Linea Verticale in Bologna presents, from March 21 to May 11, 2024, "Sagitta. Ordinary-man-extraordinary," the first Bologna solo exhibition of Michelangelo Galliani, curated by Maria Chiara Wang with Alessandro Mescoli and realized in collaboration with Cris Contini Contemporary. The exhibition is a network project promoted by the Cultural Association Ricognizioni sull’arte involves cities and provinces along the Via Emilia, a fundamental road axis, but also a director of cultural exchange, experimentation and knowledge.

The exhibition by Michelangelo Galliani (Montecchio Emilia, 1975), among the leading figures in marble sculpture in Italy and professor of “Marble and semi-precious stone techniques” at theAcademy of Fine Arts in Urbino, is dedicated to the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, a classic in the history of art. The exhibition includes a selection of works among them: the sculptures “Sebastian” (2024) in black marquinia marble and lead and “Postcard from Istanbul” (2023) in black marquinia marble, stainless steel and lead, counterbalanced by the tapestry “Nocturnal Landscapes” (2023) in lead, bronze and brass, the statuary marble and brass wall tondi from the “Icons” series (2019) and the fragments of a face in straw-colored onyx lying on a lead background of “Eda” (2024). The exhibition, accompanied by a catalog editions Blurb INC edited by Marcello Bertolla with critical texts by Maria Chiara Wang, Marcello Bertolla, Alessandro Mescoli and a poetic prose by Michelangelo Galliani.

“Michelangelo Galliani’s St. Sebastian,” reads Marcello Bertolla ’s text in the catalog, “has a body carved on stone, in black marble, without legs or arms, almost an archaeological find. The lead rope, a binder that holds him to the column, or the palm tree, encircles his waist. These are poverist reminders that short-circuit with the conceptuality of high-directivity light beams, lasers, arrows shot at him by a new invisible adversary. His work comes from the past: he carves stone, marble and onyx; he works with lead and wax; he uses time as a creative and creative element, open to randomness and afterthoughts. But precisely because of this he is simultaneously modern, analog ”avant-garde“ in a digital world.”

“Michelangelo Galliani’s sculpture,” says Maria Chiara Wang, “represents a balanced synthesis of tradition and actuality, the former inherent in the method, the latter in the structures and content. The artist sculpts the material by hand, gives it form in the dilated time of the classical procedure. It is precisely time that turns out to be an essential component of the creative process since the work happens during its making: in the variables inherent in the manual realization of the work is preserved an unpredictability that the machine does not possess, a potential for transformation. And it is here that the soul of sculpture, its essence, resides. In Galliani, the representation of the human figure, in the contrast that arises between the solemnity of classical forms, innovative compositions and subjects drawn from the contemporary, acts as a bridge between past and present.”

“The ancient challenge to the sculptural rendering of the naturalness of the human anatomy becomes contemporary,” explain Giovanni Avolio and Valentina Palmi, Studio la Linea Verticale, “Intentionally merging with the naturalness of the material itself, marble, in the alternation of impossible, fragmented, partial but at the same time highly polished bodies and pure, free, rough, undisciplined parts, shining stars of the Universe.”

“Galliani,” concludes Alessandro Mescoli, “Is the interpreter of a sculpture of the present but at the same time rooted in the experiences of a dilated and syncretic past, to which he extends his hand, within a continuous dance of references. The artist places the visitor before the fascination of the archaeologist during the discovery, evoked by the seduction of time and the marbles’ consumption. The same marbles that lie eternal under the asphalt and the trucks of the Via Emilia.”

Michelangelo Galliani, Sebastian (2024; marquiña black marble, lead)
Michelangelo Galliani, Sebastian (2024; marquiña black marble, lead)
Michelangelo Galliani, Eda (2024; onyx and lead, 61 x 61 x 18 cm) Michelangelo
Galliani, Eda (2024; onyx and lead, 61 x 61 x 18 cm)

Notes on the artist

Michelangelo Galliani was born in 1975 in Montecchio Emilia, Reggio Emilia. He began his career as a sculptor at a young age. He attended the Paolo Toschi Art Institute in Parma, then specialized at the Institute for Art and Restoration of Palazzo Spinelli in Florence and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara in Sculpture. In addition to sculpture, he teaches “Marble and semi-precious stone techniques” at the Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino. In 2022 he exhibited at the 59th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, in the Pavilion of the Republic of San Marino. Numerous solo and group exhibitions, in Italy and abroad. Recent exhibitions include “White Carrara023. Still liv(f)e. The Forms of Sculpture,” curated by Claudio Composti (Carrara, Massa Carrara, 2023), “Noctilucent,” curated by Lorenzo Belli (Madonna del Carmine Church, Seravezza, Lucca, 2023), “Underground Fever” (St. Pancras Church, London, 2023), “Sagitta. Ordinary-man-extraordinary,” curated by Maria Chiara Wang in collaboration with Alessandro Mescoli (Studio la Linea Verticale, Bologna, 2024).

Michelangelo Galliani's first Bologna solo show: his St. Sebastian on display.
Michelangelo Galliani's first Bologna solo show: his St. Sebastian on display.

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