BG Art Gallery

A new space dedicated to contemporary art in Milan

Banca Generali has been working for some time to support culture in its various forms of expression. In particular, in recent years, the Bank launched the BG ArTalent project embarking on a path to promote creativity in its most innovative expressions and to bring new light on Italian talent.

The intent is to instill a sense of openness to dialogue and to the diversity of genres, trends, materials, forms and contents: an ensemble that bears testimony to time and to the different expressions of contemporary artistic culture. All this in the conviction that art can contribute to improving the quality of life by disseminating sensations, beauty, doubts, innovation, reflections, spaces to be gazed upon.

From this premise we launch BG Art Gallery.

What is BG Art Gallery?

The new BG Art Gallery propose a creative place to stimulate a sense of openness to comparison, to the diversity of genres, trends, materials, forms and contents. The works on display aim to unite in a whole that becomes a testimony of time and the different expressions of contemporary artistic culture.

At the base of our project there is the deep conviction that art can contribute to improve the quality of life.

The Collection

The collection of BG Art Gallery is currently distinguished by the presence of 13 works representing the best of Italian contemporary art.

The works of the 5 artists selected by Vincenzo De Bellis (associate director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, USA) as part of the BG ArTalent project and then those of 5 other leading exponents of contemporary art intermingle and dialogue with each other.

Artist

  • Born in Torre Santa Susanna, Brindisi, nel 1978.
  • He lives and works in Cassano delle Murge (Bari).

On the Italian and international art scene, Arena stands out for its dual artistic poetics: on the one hand, he attempts to give continuity to the memory of historical events - be they collective or personal (or often a mixture of the two) - and on the other, he retrieves formal elements that are part of a historical dimension of art, particularly of the second half of the twentieth century. While approaching a variety of expressive media, Francesco Arena is essentially a sculptor and explores a multitude of sculpting techniques materials, from the more typical - bronze, marble, and wood - to the more unusual, such as salt, ash, and sugar, to name but a few. His works stand out for the elegant balance between collective history and its translation within a personal dimension. The references to his own biography often form the framework on which he bases his artistic research.

Work

The work presented here consists of a square-shaped sheet of mirror polished yellow bronze. Over the diagonal of the surface, the artist has engraved the first of the seven propositions at the centre of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: The World Is Everything That Is The Case. A pair of fruits rest on the bronze plate - mute presences that have to be replaced over time. As the surface is mirror polished, anyone approaching the work is reflected in it and becomes part of it. The sculpture is therefore a collage of relationships linked by different times: the eternal one of the bronze and the engraved writing, the time of the relation between the plate and fruits that is motionless but finite, and the transient time of the reflection of those looking at the work.

Artist

  • Born in Agrigento in 1972. She currently lives and works in Berlin

Winner of numerous awards and a featured artist in international shows and exhibitions, filmmaking is her preferred medium of expression. She has carried out research and experimentation for years using the language of cinema and sculpture, reflecting on the poetic qualities of the natural and man-made landscape and on places as an archive of memory, discarding the concept of linear time. Images with a powerful impact, portraits of obsolete architecture and natural landscapes and films of remote deserts are recurrent in her work, combined with fragments of text and scenarios in which past and present are intertwined.

Work

The work on display (Language Infinity Sphere - recording, 2018) is the result of a performative act executed using a steel ball covered completely in typographic characters made of lead, which were inherited from an Italian printworks that closed after forty years of business. With a unique and repetitive movement, the artist rolls that sphere over the canvas, creating a fragmented text that is print on the canvas itself. The work is a rebellion against the contemporary diluted language.

Artist

  • Born in Ancona in 1966. He lives and works in London.

Enrico David is one of the most original and versatile artists on the Italian and international scene. David uses a variety of techniques in his work - including sculpture, painting, installation, and works on paper - to develop a dynamic and unique vision of the human form. Often mutable and grotesque, yet sometimes fragile and vulnerable, David’s characters represent a universal expression of the human experience, through a deeply personal formulation encompassing the artist’s memories and stories, as well as literary references. All this interweaves with an artistic discourse that embraces visual references ranging from Art Deco and applied arts to the works of the beginning of the twentieth century: Andrè Gide, Dora Maar, Koloman Moser, Oskar Schlemmer and Sonya Delaunay, to mention but a few.

Work

The painting shown here (Untitled, 2018) is an iconic example that reflects the circular process inherent in his art, in which the human form is modelled, remodelled and continually renewed. It is an enigmatic image, a representation of a human body, particularly of a face, that is ephemeral as it emerges almost like a cloud from the ether. Intangible and blurred, this image seems to appear out of nowhere, to then return to nowhere.

Artist

  • Born in Treviso in 1973. She lives and works in Turin.

Some of the materials she uses the most in her works include confetti, cement, nitrogen cylinders, carwash brushes and woollen threads. Never one to stick to a single form of expression, the artist flits between different languages — primarily installation and sculpture, but also drawing, video, performing arts and references to painting — adopting a profoundly empirical approach, which leaves room for improvisation, the unexpected and error. This results in works that often have no predefined form, but where this is questioned by destructive processes (either human or mechanical) activated by the artist, starting with a reflection on the ephemeral nature of things and on concepts of time, loss, entropy, traces, memory and transformation. Pervaded by a tragic feeling, which gains ground even where there seem to be lighter references and materials, Lara’s works question the fetish character of the artwork, its aesthetic value and its very essence, through the acknowledgement of the futility of the efforts that generate it and their potential for failure.

Work

Since 2010, Lara Favaretto has added cement to her expressive lexicon, producing a series of markedly sculptural iconographies that include Squeezing, 2014, on display here. In order to explore the expressive potential and the twofold nature — solid and malleable — of this new medium, Lara perforates it and makes impressions in it with other objects when it is still fresh. The artist thereby freezes her actions and states of mind: the surface of these blocks, which harden gradually, is no longer smooth, thus revealing the transitory nature of the artistic process that is impressed upon the material and in the titles, which describe the action to which the blocks were subjected.

Artist

  • Born in Stockholm in 1976, she lives and works in Milan.

Linda’s art practice involves collecting and gathering pre-existing photographic images. They became the starting point for her works, which are the result of a long, meticulous creative process of reworking and reactivating that brings new meanings to the images.

Works

Découragé dans la chambre en cherchant les images obscure mémoire de la lumière d’argent, 2017.

This work is tied to an exhibition dedicated to Monegasque-Brazilian artist and inventor Hercule Florence (1804-1879) curated by L. F. Nagler in 2017 with C. Raimondi. Florence was the first to use the term “Photographie” as the title of a priceless 1833 manuscript of his. 180 years later, Nagler photographed this document, isolating some of its emblematic terms, enlarging and redrawing them, copying them by hand using graphite and painstakingly reproducing the paper’s pattern and inkstains. The work consists of eight drawings creating a new sentence that is ideally an emanation of the photography itself and find its place in history.

Seconds from Plunge, from the series Pour commander à l’air, 2014.

The piece is part of a series presented in Rome at the 2014 MAXXI Prize. Pour commander à l’air is a cycle of works composed of 15 photographs and three sculptures. The photographs come from the vast iconographic repertoire of 20th century news journalism. The originals, collected by the artist over the years, were re-photographed and enlarged in a darkroom. In the photographs, each figure is about to jump or is suspended in a precarious equilibrium. This theme is a reflection on time, suspension and the condition of absolute uncertainty created by the image itself: it reveals nothing of what happened before or after the moment of the shot.

Fuji from Kawaguchi, 2018, from the series Hana To Yama.

For years, L. F. Nagler has been collecting photographs belonging to the “Yokohama School”, inaugurated during the Meiji era (1868-1912), which coincided with the modernisation of Japan and the opening of its borders. The photographs, the handcolouring of which took at least a day’s work, were sold to wealthy travellers and supported the concept of uncontaminated exoticism that they held of Japan. Nagler re-photographed the originals in her possession, re-printed them in the darkroom and coloured them by hand, after a long process of research and preparation of materials and pigments that can today be compared to those of the “Yokohama Shashin”. The work on display consists of four photographs of Mount Fuji, taken from the same privileged spot. In Nagler’s works, her sophisticated, ingenious original attempt to restore realism by colouring the photographs translates into uniform fields of colour, small samples or parts left in black and white, inspired by the sampling of restoration, which reveal the grayscale of the underlying photograph.

Artist and work

  • Born in Brescia in 1958. He lives and works in Brescia.

He produces drawings, paintings, textiles, sculptures, and installations through which he seeks the meeting point of the real world, our perception of it, and its artistic representations. His approach to making art is rooted in philosophical considerations of the nature of perception, and how visual phenomena such as colour, images, and art itself affect the way we see and understand reality. He considers drawing both an intellectual and technical pursuit, and it is central to his practice.

Donzelli studied architecture in Venice; he taught Theory of Perception and Psychology of Colour at the NABA and SantaGiulia Fine Arts Academy, Brescia. He has published numerous publications and his works appear in many public and private collections in Italy and abroad.

Artist and work

  • Born in Verona in 1973. He lives and works in New York and Mexico City.

His conceptual research is based on photography, video, drawing, sculpture, performance, neon, archive materials and large installations that are developed around the architecture of display spaces. His projects seem to heighten our awareness, drawing on concepts and tools from various disciplines and often using languages and methods of a scientific nature. The artist documents collective actions, visionary experiments and physical phenomena whose spectacular monumentality is paradoxically unstable and ephemeral. His relationship with experience, physical effort, failure, the limits of the medium and place of work appear to be crucial factors in the development of complex projects that are often the result of collaborations with institutions, universities and research laboratories.

Artist

  • Born in France in 1986. She lives and works in London.

She graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven and from the Royal College of Art in London, where she earned an MA in Interaction Design. Ranging from prehistory to imagined future worlds, Marguerite Humeau spans great distances in space and time in her pursuit of the mysteries of human existence. She breathes life into lost things, whether they be lifeforms that have become extinct or ideas that have disappeared from our mental landscapes. Filling gaps in knowledge with speculation and imagined scenarios, her aim is to create new mythologies for our contemporary era.

Work

The work on display here, created during her period of residence at Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, won the BFSP#02 Prize. The jury deemed “35000 A.C. (Sphinx Death Mask)” the project that best reflected the requested theme, i.e., an in-depth examination of the quality of preservation of bronze over time and the translation of this timeless character into a means for conveying contemporary values. Humeau’s project combines thorough historical research with the creation of informed contemporary mythology. In addition, the use of a digitally created model makes for interesting dialogue with the ancient technique of lost-wax casting. The Sphinx — she who protects humanity, but also devours it — is interpreted by Humeau as one of the most ancient forms of surveillance system.

Artist and work

  • Born in Alessandria in 1972. She lives and works in Turin.

In her artistic endeavours, Marzia Migliora uses a wide range of media including photography, video, sound, performance, installations and drawing. Her works have their origin in a deep concern for the individual and for his daily life; the themes that recur in her research are memory as a tool for articulating the present or the analysis of labour as affirmation of a participation in the social sphere. The result is a composite work able to nourish a shared experience, a strong emotional and intellectual involvement in the audience.

Artist and work

  • Born in Genova in 1940. He lives and works in Turin.

Often linked to the Arte Povera movement, Giulio Paolini is best known for an artistic practice that is inscribed in a more strictly conceptual sphere. From the outset of his career, Paolini has developed a complex research centred as much on the artist’s tools as on the figure of the artist as an operator of language and accomplice of the viewer.

The main characteristics of his artistic expression include citation, duplication and fragmentation, which are used as expedients for staging the distance between a finished model for making the work a ‘theatre of evocation.’

More recently, Paolini’s incessant investigation of the definition and purpose of the work has been insistently concerned with the act of exhibiting, which he sees as the fundamental moment of encountering the work.

© Photo credit Marta Rizzato