The inaugural exhibit at the Alessandro BerniGallery held at Italian Green Design Center in Chelsea presents blue chip names alongside less familiar Italian artists in a sumptuous and intimate loft of fine crafted furniture. The overall effect is like stepping into a well appointed apartment of an aesthete’s salon.
The exhibition was masterfully curated by Asya Rotella, who leveraged on her European experience and contacts to bring a new flavor to the New York art scene. Rotella’s selection has been receiving widespread accolades for her keen eye in matching Italian art’s big names, such as Maurizio Cattelan and Carla Accardi, alongside with strong international profiles, such as Vito acconci, David Hayes, Fu Wenjun, Gilbert Salinas, Jamie Martinez, Jacopo Degl’Innocenti, and Cecilia Yaghoubi.
Alessandro Berni brings his stable of artists to New York for the first time, an event which signals a focal point on Italian culture that neatly complements the nearby Center for Italian Art in SoHo (opened in 2013), coupled with the salon-like setting of Italian green designs showcase display of modern contemporary Italian design with examples of furniture. The setting for these paintings and sculptures could not be more fortuitous- The bespoke collection of high-end crafts featuring furniture, lighting, interior design, wallpapers, etc., provide a setting for the art that is a contemporary modern Italian Salon.
The painting Blu by Carla Accardi is arresting in its simplicity and beauty, which gives of such a surfeit of playfulness and joy. The love cement sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan provides a particularly poignant comment on the times we live in.
The completely black sculptures of David Hayes add strength and elegance to the exhibition and to the whole environment.
The faceless faces of Cecilia Yaghoubi contain a mystical and dramatic sound that strongly touches the visitor’s strings.
The Sketch for a Bridge in Tasmania by Vito Acconci is remarkably visionary, improvisational and inspired work of engineering and design that works on both the macro and micro scale.
Gilbert Salinas ‘tropical erosion’ paintings are tactile in the extreme, vibrant and bone tough. Salinas’ haptic paintings might have been found in a time from the last 75 years and yet the paintings still speak to a contemporary sensibility.
In addition, City Bites hosts a self-portrait of gallery artist Alessandro Berni made by Jamie Martinez (AF publisher). The gallery owner’s work is not a sale, but reminds every visitor that it is possible to create triangular portraits on commission.
The exhibition also offers the poetic of Fu Wenjun.The delicacy of its subjects along with the perfection of technical accomplishment is enchanting and offers fascination and exoticism.
More info: Alessandrobernigallery.com
City Bites: An Intimate Salon of Italian Art at Alessandro Berni Gallery.
April 26th – May 22nd
Review by Al Doyle