Pietrasanta and Versilia: the 11 exhibitions to see if you're at the beach in August

Will you spend a few days on the beaches of Versilia this August 2021? If the answer is yes, then we give you some suggestions on contemporary art exhibitions to see in and around Pietrasanta.

Are you planning a weekend (or maybe more) in Versilia to spend carefree days by the sea? However, do you not want to give up your passion for art? As you surely know, Versilia has always been a land of art, and in summer it is populated with exhibitions: so we give you some tips on exhibitions to see in Pietrasanta and its surroundings to make your vacation more interesting!

1. Italian Newbrow

Pietrasanta, Complesso di Sant’Agostino, until September 12, 2021

This is the new appointment of the Italian Newbrow project, developed by Ivan Quaroni since his participation in the Prague Biennale in 2009, and curated, in this new stage promoted by the Municipality of Pietrasanta, by Quaroni himself and Valerio Dehò. The exhibition welcomes more than sixty works (works on canvas, paper and board, and video installations), many of them previously unpublished, by the exponents of this group, all of them highly regarded names: Silvia Argiolas, Vanni Cuoghi, Paolo De Biasi, Fulvia Mendini, Laurina Paperina, Giuliano Sale and Giuseppe Veneziano. Italian Newbro presents and promotes a cross-section of that contemporary Italian painting that has been able to internalize the cultural and social changes of the liquid-modern society theorized by Zygmunt Bauman through the elaboration of heterogeneous languages, in which different pictorial attitudes coexist. Click here to learn more!

Laurina Paperina, Atomic Bomb (acrylic on canvas; 120 x 170 cm)
Laurina Paperina, Atomic Bomb (acrylic on canvas; 120 x 170 cm)

2. Africa Staged - Africa staged.

Pietrasanta, Giovanni Bonelli Gallery and Lis10 Gallery, through Aug. 22, 2021

The exhibition Africa Staged, curated by Alessandro Romanini, brings together a group of African artists who testify to work that is not assimilation of a Western status of artistic debate, but a genetic condition, linked to the magical dimension of the artistic act, inseparable from their creative process. Hence the free and unconditional use of media and supports, of materials and techniques, genres and registers, often synergistically crossed in the same work, where the categories and distinctions between the arts of space and the arts of time fall, and where the logical-geometric artifices from perspective to gestalt schemes leap to the benefit of an expressive all-over that invests surfaces entirely. From the documentary register and the anthropological spirit that looks at history rather than chronicle in the photographs of Malian Malick Sidibè, through the pioneering works of fathers and mothers of contemporary African art such as Livorian Frédéric Bruly Bouabrée his pictographic postcards related to the Beté people, Congolese Chéri Samba with his paintings thematically linked to his land, to the plastic sublimations of Mozambican civil conflicts in the works of Gonçalo Mabunda. The exhibition displays works by Aboudia, Bernard Ajarb, Nu Barreto, Armand Boua, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Seni Awa Camara, Soly Cissé, Lovemore Kambudzi, Gonçalo Mabunda, Esther Mahalangu, and Cheri Samba.

View of the exhibition
View of the exhibition

3. The morning after the deluge

Pietrasanta, Poggiali Gallery, through Aug. 26, 2021

The morning after the deluge is the title of the double exhibition by the duo Goldschmied & Chiari (Sara Goldschmied; Vicenza, Italy, 1975 Eleonora Chiari; Rome, 1971) and Fabio Viale (Cuneo, Italy, 1975), a project expressly conceived for the Galleria Poggiali venue at Via Garibaldi 8 in Pietrasanta (LU). By the female duo, a photographic work with a circular shape (140 cm in diameter) made by associating glass and mirror with the subject of smoke bombs, extracted from the latest series Artificial Landscapes, is exhibited, while by Fabio Viale one of his typical marble fists with Siberian detention tattoos, entitled Yours will be ours, is shown. The title condenses Goldschmied & Chiari’s in-depth approach to coloristic quality through the development of pictorial character related to the work of William Turner, especially in the painting Light and Color (Goethe’s Theory), and thus The morning after the deluge, a visionary dimension in which the pictorial matter is a magma set in motion by a centrifugal force, in the intensity of which the bursting dimension of Viale’s marble is camouflaged, its presence reflected, by no means accidentally, in the mirror itself, in the spasmodic accentuation of its own potentially infinite reverberation. Fabio Viale’s language, which associates whiteness and purity of the marble, diluting the suggested violence of the tattoo’s bearing, accentuates a crucible of mystical character in which the illusion and magic associated with smoke and the juxtaposition with painting find exaltation and free rein touching the figuration hinted at in Turner’s painting and deflagrated in that of the tattoos.

Fabio Viale's work and that of Goldschmied & Chiari.
Fabio Viale’s work and that of Goldschmied & Chiari.

4. Beyond the Face

Pietrasanta, Futura Art Gallery, through Aug. 7, 2021

This is the exhibition of the young Belgian artist Audrey Guttman (Brussels, 1987), curated by Chiara Vecchiarelli. It has been conceived as a duo show, since Guttman’s works are in dialogue with those of Jiří Kolář (Protivín, 1914 - Prague, 2002), a Czech artist, poet and writer fundamental to the development of Guttman’s figurative universe. The works on display in the fund at 18 Garibaldi Street are a selection of 27 collages on paper made in 2021, along with a 2020 work entitled Elsa au Miroir. Born in a country strongly anchored in the tradition of surrealism, the artist was born in 1987 in Brussels and trained in Paris, where she currently lives and works, while for more than 15 years she has known and frequented the cultural milieu of the city of Pietrasanta. The presence of the human figure in Guttman’s collages places the human body, the face and its expressions, the female form and its dramatization at the center of her artistic research and reflection. The physical and aesthetic capacities of the body are investigated in depth, along with equally central themes such as love, memory, and the necessary confrontation between the past and the present.

Some of Audrey Guttman's works in the exhibition
Some of Audrey Guttman’s works in the exhibition

5. Grand Hotel Orlando

Pietrasanta, Susanna Orlando Gallery, through Aug. 20, 2021

Susanna Orlando Gallery celebrates 45 years in business with the exhibition Grand Hotel Orlando. Conceived by the gallery owner together with Nicola Santini, the exhibition unfolds through the works of artists long associated with the gallery, along with some more recent collaborations. The title is meant to represent a return to normality, welcoming and giving hospitality, as in a hotel, or a modern hostel, to artist friends and collectors, to resume together a cultural life to be shared. The galleria darte thus opens like a hotel, a place of rest and shelter, for artists, called to experience proximity and to share, temporarily, the same roof. On display are works by Giuseppe Biagi, Raffaele Bueno, Roberta Busato, Piero Pizzi Cannella, Jessica Carroll, Giuseppe Chiari, Michele Chiossi, Girolamo Ciulla, Silvia Del Grosso, Pino Deodato, Patricia Fraser, Godot (Maurizio Villani), Lucy Jochamowitz, Lorenzo Lazzeri, Aldo Mondino, Giacomo Piussi, Maurizio Rivieri, Silvina Spravkin, Giuseppe Vassallo, Emma Vitti and Kan Yasuda. To restart after a difficult and very hard year and celebrate with lifelong friends larte, life and beauty.

View of the exhibition
View of the exhibition

6. Golden is the Garden

Pietrasanta, Barbara Paci Art Gallery, through Aug. 22, 2021

This is the bi-personal exhibition of painter Andrea Collesano (Pontedera, 1980) and sculptor Nicola Lazzari (Florence, 1957). D’Oro è il Giardino (Golden is the Garden), with texts by Margherita Loy and Francesca d’Aloja, recounts the possibility of a perfect communion between human beings and nature, between the animal world and the earth. More than thirty works, for two Tuscan artists whose arts focus on the strong link with nature, the Mediterranean, a land that, with its flora and fauna, has always been an inspiring muse, the essence of their art and their lives. The artists will lead visitors by the hand into the silence of the Tuscan countryside, surprising them with limmagine of creatures that have always handed down the secret of life in connection with the land that has been given to us. Animals, flowers and plants, where even the smallest field grass can give a useful and beautiful flower, thus awakening an ecological consciousness towards the planet that hosts us and gives us the possibility to evolve spiritually before the immense miracle of nature. Lazzari’s sculptures represent animals suspended on thin bronze stems that take inspiration from traditional Italian figuration of the elements of nature, while in Collesano’s works there is no human presence, only animals and flowers, sometimes strongly symbolic, enclosed in a timeless and sometimes dreamlike dimension.

Works on display
Works in the exhibition

7. Alfredo Catarsini. Explorations

Forte dei Marmi, Villa Bertelli, through September 5, 2021

Curated by the President of the Alfredo Catarsini 1899 Foundation, Elena Martinelli, with the collaboration of Adolfo Lippi, Claudia Menichini and Andrea Pucci, the exhibition traces the career of Alfredo Catarsini (Viareggio, 1899 - 1993) in an itinerary set up on three rooms on the second floor of Villa Bertelli, where a selection of 64 works ranging from 1934 to 1982 are displayed, divided into four sections: Landscapes (12 paintings), Figures, Portraits, Self-Portraits and Drawings (26 works), Reflexism (12 works from the period 1940-1947) and Mechanical Symbolism (11 paintings from the period 1970-1990); the latter two are original styles of the artist. In addition, there are some unpublished documents from the Foundation’s Historical Archives. In addition, a separate room hosts the projection of a video dedicated to Alfredo Catarsini’s artistic story through the works, images of his birthplace and atelier, now an integral part of the Civic Museums of Villa Paolina Bonaparte, in Viareggio, and of the Foundation recently established in his name, where many of his works are kept. Click here to learn more!

Alfredo Catarsini, Mechanical Composition (1970; oil on canvas, 75 x 62 cm; private collection)
Alfredo Catarsini, Mechanical Composition (1970; oil on canvas, 75 x 62 cm; private collection)

8. Light Universes - Life is a Journey

Viareggio, Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, through Oct. 10, 2021

Viareggio dedicates an exhibition to Jean-Michel Folon (Uccle, 1934 - Monaco, 2005), the Belgian artist with whom the city had a deep connection. Lesposition, curated by Massimo Marsili on an exhibition project by Paolo Riani, is proposed precisely as a tribute to the artist fascinated by the theme of travel: born from the collaboration between the Municipality, Fondazione Festival Pucciniano, Fondazione Carnevale and Fondazione Folon, the exhibition is in fact dedicated to this theme that is recurrent in his production: in the rooms of the GAMC in Viareggio the public will find more than seventy works including painting, sculpture, ceramics. Lesposition aims to be a journey into the poetics of Folon traveler, as well as a witness par excellence who was able to transpose in painting and sculpture the dimension of travel in relation to time, place, alluomo, space, life. Click here to learn more!

Jean Michel Folon, Partir (2002; bronze, 248 x 298 x 78 cm; Florence, Rose Garden)
Jean Michel Folon, Partir (2002; bronze, 248 x 298 x 78 cm; Florence, Rose Garden)

9. Social-e. Images of sociality in Italy between Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Seravezza, Medici Palace, through October 10, 2021

Palazzo Mediceo in Seravezza reopens to the public, after air-conditioning works in the exhibition rooms, with the exhibition Social-e. Images of Sociality in Italy between Art Nouveau and Art Deco, curated by Nadia Marchioni: a long journey through images in the different forms of expression of the 20th century and, bringing together works by the major Italian artists of the century from the collections of the Massimo and Sonia Cirulli Foundation of Bologna, which aims to offer a view on some aspects of our culture and sociality, such as travel, entertainment, exhibitions, sports, daily life, parties and meetings in the city. Click here to learn more!

Leonardo Bistolfi, First international exhibition of modern decorative art, poster (1902)
Leonardo Bistolfi, First international exhibition of modern decorative art, poster (1902)

10. Carte Blanche. A New History.

Massa, Guadagnucci Civic Museum, through Aug. 29, 2021

At the Villa Rinchiostra museum dedicated to the work of Gigi Guadagnucci parade 49 covers of the white issue of Vogue created by as many Italian artists, including young and established ones. Born from an idea of the curator, Valentina Ciarallo, who invited the 49 artists (separated by a total age span of 29 years) to transform the magazine from content to container, writing a new story on white paper, the exhibition is a great choral enterprise, born from the bottom up, with the participation of, among others, established artists, such as Mario Airò, Stefano Arienti, Vedovamazzei and Flavio Favelli, and young authors, such as Bea Bonafini, Guglielmo Castelli, Romina Bassu and Riccardo Beretta, united by the desire to begin again. The 49 dartist covers were published, within an article, by Vogue Italia in its March 2021 issue, dedicated to creativity, a theme shared by Vogue’s international community, with an introductory text by Federico Chiara and a critical intervention by Francesco Bonami. With this project, the spaces of Villa della Rinchiostra, home of the museum dedicated to sculptor Gigi Guadagnucci, open up to artists of the present, capable of putting themselves back in the game, finding new aspirations, and reinventing other modes of expression. Click here to learn more!

Eugenio Tibaldi, See beyond (2020; permanent marker on cover). Courtesy the artist. Photo by Giorgio Benni
Eugenio Tibaldi, See beyond (2020; permanent marker on cover). Courtesy lartist. Photo by Giorgio Benni

11. Nebula / Lievissimo

Carrara, Spazio Vôtre - Palazzo del Medico, through September 15, 2021

Spazio Vôtre at Palazzo del Medico in Carrara is hosting two solo exhibitions until Sept. 15: the first is Nebula, a solo show by sculptor Michelangelo Galliani (Montecchio Emilia, 1975), while Lievissimo brings together works by Francesco Lauretta (Ispica, 1964) and Andrea Di Marco (Palermo, 1970 - 2012). Galliani’s exhibition showcases the triptych Blu (2012), composed of three etchings in burin on lead, two Vanitas (2021), and the work Rebvs vitae (2018), recently presented at the Basilica of San Celso in Milan, while inside the alcove of Palazzo del Medico is installed the polyptych Nebula (2021), a work in statuary marble from Carrara, worked as if it were a sheet of paper, which was created from the photograph of a nebula captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Lievissimo, on the other hand, is an intimate tribute by Lauretta to Di Marco, featuring a selection of large-format oils on canvas by Andrea Di Marco accompanied by fifteen small works by Lauretta specially made for the occasion. Click here to learn more!

Michelangelo Galliani, Vanitas (2021; marquinia black marble, silver leaf and stainless steel, 70 x 70 x 100 cm)
Michelangelo Galliani, Vanitas (2021; marquinia black marble, silver leaf and stainless steel, 70 x 70 x 100 cm)

Pietrasanta and Versilia: the 11 exhibitions to see if you're at the beach in August
Pietrasanta and Versilia: the 11 exhibitions to see if you're at the beach in August

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