Alfonso Artiaco

Ann Veronica Janssens, partial view of the exhibition, December 2020, Alfonso Artiaco, Naples. Courtesy: Alfonso Artiaco, Naples. Photo: Grafiluce

In 1986, at the age of twenty-two, Alfonso Artiaco launched his gallery in Pozzuoli, in Corso Nicola Terracciano, with the group exhibition “Possibilità di Collezione”. The works displayed, collected over time, were by artists such as Carlo Alfano, Alighiero Boetti, Joseph Beuys, Luciano Fabro, Giulio Paolini, Mario Schifano and Andy Warhol.

Alfonso Artiaco
Giulio Paolini, Rinascita di Venere, 2018, exhibition view, Alfonso Artiaco, Naples. Courtesy Alfonso Artiaco, Naples. Photo: Grafiluce

After the first exhibition, the gallery narrowed its scope, focusing mainly on Arte Povera, Conceptual and Minimal Art, as evidenced by exhibitions featuring Richard Artschwager, Niele Toroni, Giovanni Anselmo, Wolfgang Laib, Alan Charlton, Andres Serrano and Lawrence Weiner. In 1995, the gallery was temporarily relocated to Via Mameli in Pozzuoli, with an inaugural exhibition featuring Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt. In 1997, the gallery returned to its original location, with a one-man exhibition by Jannis Kounellis. Its international outlook is shown in the exhibition choices of recent years. The gallery arranged the first solo shows in Italy of Roni Horn, Thomas Hirschhorn, Anri Sala, Albert Oehlen, Darren Almond and Edi Rama. In 2003, the gallery moved to Piazza dei Martiri in Naples, opening with Gerhard Merz’s exhibition ‘Fragments Napoli’. There, in 2010, a new space was opened with an exhibition by Magnus Plessen. In November 2012, the gallery opened its current premises in Piazzetta Nilo with an exhibition by Liam Gillick and a tribute to Sol LeWitt. As well as supporting its established artists, the gallery also continues to seek out artists of the new generation, such as Perino & Vele, Tursic & Mille and Diego Cibelli.


City Exhibition Date
Napoli D.A.M., Jana Schröder Until 22.06.2024
Napoli Lettere intorno a un giardino From 27.06.2024
“One day, a friend said to me, “You're so interested in art, why don't you think about making it your job?””
Alfonso Artiaco. Courtesy Alfonso Artiaco. Photo: Grafiluce

In conversation with Alfonso Artiaco

Is it different being a gallerist in Italy than it is in other countries? Is there a “Made in Italy” factor to your work?

I don’t think that there’s another way to be a gallerist, but rather a style and personal way of working. The “Made in Italy” factor, apart from an obvious question of nationality, has to do with a meticulous approach to detail and a special focus on the relationships with artists and collectors.

What you predict for the future of the art system in your sector? What will your greatest challenges be?

The greatest challenge will be reorganizing our work, which is rapidly changing. But despite this, I can see that people interested in art really want to connect. The technology is taking up more and more space: it’s likely that Covid only accelerated a process that was already set in motion, but I’m convinced that a direct relationship between the people and the works of art is still crucial.

How did your career in art begin?

I’ve always been really passionate about art. When I was a teenager, I started reading magazines, visiting galleries and museums, even buying my first works of art at prices that even a kid could afford. One day, a friend said to me, “You’re so interested in art, why don’t you think about making it your job?” Thanks to a property that my parents owned, I was able to open my gallery in my hometown of Pozzuoli at age 22. It was 1986.

Sol LeWitt, Lines, forms, volumes 1970s to Present, 2019, exhibition view, Alfonso Artiaco, Naples. Courtesy Alfonso Artiaco, Naples. Photo: Grafiluce
Tell us about the space you chose for your gallery and the surrounding area.

Running a gallery means having to adapt to international standards, especially in terms of space. The lack of industrial architecture forced me to look at large apartments in historic buildings. In 2012, I saw this prestigious 600 square-meter space in Piazzetta Nilo, in an aristocratic palazzo. An impressive venue that’s also very functional.

Something important you’ve learned from an artist? And a collector?

I’ve met so many artists and collectors over the years, but also colleagues who I’m really grateful to, who helped me grow and understand how to deal with a public that has such mixed tastes. I come from a good background, a good family education, but in the art world, it’s not enough. You need the kind of sensibility and approach that can only be learned from those with plenty of experience behind them.

Read the full interview


  • Darren Almond
  • Maria Thereza Alves
  • Carl Andre
  • Giovanni Anselmo
  • Robert Barry
  • Botto & Bruno
  • Alan Charlton
  • Victoria Civera
  • Michel François
  • Gilbert & George
  • Liam Gillick
  • Gioberto Noro
  • Thomas Hirschhorn
  • Ann Veronica Janssens
  • Jannis Kounellis
  • Melissa Kretschmer
  • Wolfgang Laib
  • Sol LeWitt
  • Vera Lutter
  • Rita McBride
  • Giulio Paolini
  • Perino & Vele
  • Edi Rama
  • Glen Rubsamen
  • Anri Sala
  • Andres Serrano
  • Niele Toroni
  • David Tremlett
  • Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille
  • Juan Uslé
  • Lawrence Weiner