Flashback 2021, the 10 booths not to be missed at the 9th edition of the fair


Flashback 2021 kicks off: the 9th edition of the fair takes place in Turin, Italy, Nov. 4-7. Here are what are the 10 best booths according to Windows on Art.

Off goes edition number 9 of Flashback, Turin’s ancient and contemporary art fair, directed by Ginevra Pucci and Stefania Poddighe. The 2021 fair is being held Nov. 4-7 in its new venue, the former Dogali Barracks, known as the “Barracks of Via Asti,” a place chosen by the management for its historical importance and architectural potential, enhanced by the installation by architect Carlo Alberto de Laugier. As always, the galleries span the art of all times and all places, plus this year there are also three scenic exhibitions, a powerful video installation, workshops dedicated to children, nor is there a lack of the usual program of meetings, and relaxing in the Art Lounge set up by architect Andrea Isola.

“For the first time in the nine years of Flashback,” say the directors, “the galleries have found more reserved spaces available to them. This architectural feature expanded the exhibition possibilities. All the galleries have strived to make their space personal and identifiable. Each gallery is thus unique, highly personal and the visit a real experience full of suggestions. Thus, different inspirations and subjectivities coexist.”

“From my point of view,” de Laugier stresses, “the inspiration came from the colors chosen for this year’s edition: red and light blue. Red became for me the memory of the place; I chose to use it mostly on the ground to mark the path, with the idea of accompanying the visitor on a journey through history. Light blue, on the other hand, was used as a symbol of freedom, dream and lightness, thus interpreted in its most aerial sense. We chose to place ourselves with respect and intention toward a space related to an episode in our history that is symbolic of the pursuit of freedom.”

Windows on Art, present at the fair at stand B-16, as usual brings you the list of the ten best stands in the opinion of our editorial staff. Let’s look at them below.

1. Benappi Fine Art (London)

Benappi Fine Art’s booth ranges from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The well-known antiquarian offers small-scale works in wood from the Piedmont area and northern Italy. Among the main pieces are masterpieces by Antonio Bonad(Interior of the basilica of Superga, a splendid double-sided inlay in various woods), Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo(Allegory of Immortality Obtained through Virtue, another wood carving) and Lorenzo di Bicci (not to be missed is St. Mary Magdalene among the angels), as well as a large work by Achille Funi. As typical of Benappi’s style, the booth focuses particularly on the refinement of the proposal.

Benappi Fine Art
Benappi Fine Art

2. Aleandri Arte Moderna (Rome)

Presents a selection of Italian and European twentieth-century drawings and presents itself as a research booth promoting lesser-known artistic fields, with studies, chalks, temperas, and pastels. Among the works on display are works by Giacomo Balla (a Study for Futurist Composition, 1912-13), Felice Casorati, Mario Sironi(2000 volts), Paul Klee, Lucio Fontana (a youthful Minotaur from 1923), David Hockney and a splendid child by Medardo Rosso. Also not to be missed are two interesting works by Sexto Canegallo, a Genoese symbolist who is the protagonist of a recent rediscovery.

Aleandri Arte Moderna
Aleandri Modern Art

3. Carlo Vigilio & C. Gallery (Rome and London).

Presents an early 20th-century corpus with well-known names such as Mario Broglio and objects related to the history of Turin. A stand not to be missed also because it presents several little-known artists such as Francesco Olivucci, an artist from Forl active in the early 20th century. Also present are a pair of sculptures by Emilio Greco that once belonged to the prestigious Gualino collection, just to stay on the theme of ties to the territory, and an early study by Ettore Ferrari that participated in the 1880 Turin Exposition, entitled Cum Spartaco pugnavit. Also not to be missed is Marco Calderini’s Vision of the Po (an oil on canvas from 1880), one of the most eye-catching works at the entire fair. Also, the Portrait of Count Giulio di Montevecchio in Armor, an oil on canvas work from 1542 by Bonifacio de’ Pitati.

Galleria Carlo Vigilio & C. (Roma e Londra)
Carlo Vigilio & C. Gallery.

4. Flavio Gianassi - FG Fine Arts (London).

The London-based antiquarian offers a selection of Italian antique paintings presented together with some modern works, also Italian. The juxtaposition of a metal work by Paolo Icaro with an antique Saint Sebastian is curious. Among the most interesting works, not from the booth but from the entire fair, are two tempera paintings on wood by Cecco di Pietro (a Saint Ranieri of Pisa and a Saint Ambrose) from the church of San Francesco in Pisa, and also from Pisa is Spinello Aretino’s Saint Bartholomew. There is also a small selection of ceramics, in order to present the same material but with works placed at various temporal distances: one from the della Robbia workshop, one from the Vinovio manufactory, and one by Fausto Melotti.

Flavio Gianassi - FG Fine Arts (Londra)
Flavio Gianassi - FG Fine Arts (London)

5. Miriam Di Penta Fine Art (Rome)

Baroque paintings from the late 16th and early 18th centuries on various media, including stone. Miriam Di Penta offers unusual subjects, yet always striving for quality, and the booth is set up according to a contemporary taste that nevertheless goes well with the ancient works of art on the walls. Don’t miss the Pineta di Fregene by Carlo Alberto Sartorio, a Tiffany vase from 1890 (an art nouveau object that imitates French taste), and the splendid Vanitas by Genovesino, which re-proposes a subject particularly frequented by the great Luigi Miradori. Also worth seeing are Trinity with the Virgin and Saint Philip Neri adoring the body of Christ and the holy cross, oil on canvas by Corrado Giaquinto dated 1741-1744, and a Seascape with classical ruins, oil on panel by Filippo Napoletano dated 1717-1721.

Miriam Di Penta Fine Art
Miriam Di Penta Fine Art

6. Photo & Contemporary (Turin)

A booth all centered on the theme of the circle. The great protagonist is Turin artist Nicola Bolla, who works with playing cards and is the author of the singular crocodile(Crocodile Player, from 2008) in the center of the booth, and one of the most photographed works of this edition of Flashback. Bolla is famous for his skulls with Swarowski from the 1990s that anticipated Damien Hirst’s diamond skull. Also on view at Photo & Contemporary are Georges Rousse’s 2018 anamorphosis Shodoshima and four painted glasses by Aldo Mondino.

Photo & Contemporary
Photo & Contemporary

7. Caretto & Occhinegro (Turin).

The Turin gallery specializing in Flemish and Dutch painting presents a selection of paintings from the 16th century: of particular note are the Master’sAdoration of the Magi from 1518 (a work from around 1515, which the two young Turinese artists also offered at the 2021 edition of TEFAF), and Herri met de Bles II’s Earthly Paradise (oil on panel from 1530-40), certainly the two most unique works among those on display. Also of note are the Temptations of St. Anthony, an oil on panel by Frans Francken III.

Caretto & Occhinegro
Caretto & Occhinegro

8. Alessandro Bagnai Gallery (Foiano della Chiana).

The Tuscan gallerist offers an interesting selection of only three contemporary artists: Gianni Dess, Stefano Di Stasio and Sandro Chia. Works to pay attention to are Dess’s Tocco chiaro (2019), a mixed media on canvas, De Stasio’s beautiful Canto della Sirena, a brand new oil-on-canvas work (it was made in 2021), and Sandro Chia’s 1984 Head Hunter ink.

Galleria Alessandro Bagnai
Alessandro Bagnai Gallery

9. Flavio Pozzallo (Oulx).

Presents a group of medieval and Renaissance wooden sculptures, in a sort of small exhibition inserted within the exhibition itinerary: the Piedmontese antiquarian’s idea is to provide food for thought for collectors of wooden sculpture and stimulate their choices with a varied selection among works that differ in terms of periods, geographical areas of production, iconography and production techniques. Among the sculptures to be seen is a Saint Peter, a very rare work that testifies to the survival of Savoyard sculpture in the mid-15th century. Also not to be missed are the two 15th-century paintings at the booth: a caisson front with Annunciation, datable to 1480/1490 and coming from Ivrea, exhibited in 1938 at the Turin exhibition Gothic and Renaissance in Pied mont (it is a rare testimony of 15th-century painted caissons in Piedmont) and a Madonna lactans by Gregorio di Cecco of Siena, a very rare artist on the market, from the early 15th century.

Flavio Pozzallo
Flavio Pozzallo

10. Niccoli Art Gallery (Parma)

The Parma-based gallery presents itself at Flashback with a monographic booth entirely dedicated to Felice Levini (Rome, 1956), at the moment, moreover, the protagonist of a solo show(Orizzonte degli eventi) at the Museo Carlo Bilotti - Aranciera di Villa Borghese in Rome. Levini, Renato Barilli has written, works on an image that is “undermined by a taste for proliferation: almost always, in fact [...] it turns out to be doubled, repeated, resumed and varied, sometimes with a rhythm that tends almost to infinity. On the other hand, its flat and surface character is challenged by some three-dimensional piece, which comes out of the wall and makes a set-up, maintaining with the painted image a very mysterious and subterranean link.” Levini began his career in the 1970s, was, at just 24 years old in 1980, among the first to join the Nuovi Nuovi group, and has positioned himself as one of Italy’s most interesting artists since the 1980s.

Galleria d'Arte Niccoli
Niccoli Art Gallery