Clima is a contemporary art gallery that was opened in Milan in 2015 by Francesco Lecci. One of its aims is to support the career and artistic growth of young Italian and international artists through exhibitions and projects both in Italy and abroad. In 2021, Clarissa Grechi also joined the gallery as a partner.
Clima is located in a historic building in the artistic and cultural district of Porta Venezia. It occupies three rooms in an old Milanese-style apartment.
The gallery’s program includes solo exhibitions and group exhibitions, and the gallery also collaborates with Italian and international curators.
“Our challenge is to keep the identity of the gallery solid with regard to its programme, in an art world that has become accustomed to paying less and less attention and to the greater speed...”
Clarissa Grechi and Francesco Lecci. Photo: Perottino-Piva
In conversation with Francesco Lecci and Clarissa Grechi, Clima
Is it different being a gallery owner in Italy compared to other countries? Is there a “Made in Italy” aspect to your work? What is it that distinguishes the Italian art scene?
In Italy, we find a very discerning public, on account of the long tradition of collecting. Moreover, Italian artists are often involved in complex and quite varied artistic experimentation, which is why it takes a lot of effort to acquaint the general public with them, but over time it pays off. In fact, even today, a gallery owner plays a vital role in the promotion and development of contemporary art in our country, given that the public sector is still marginal.
What are your predictions about the future of the art system in your sector? What is the biggest challenge you’ll have to tackle?
Undoubtedly, our challenge is to keep the identity of the gallery solid with regard to its programme, in an art world that has become accustomed to paying less and less attention and to the greater speed at which proposals are received. One example is the speed at which images of works circulate on platforms and social networks, which sometimes makes the gallery’s filter – in our view, negatively – seem superfluous. It’s also for this reason that we want to solidly construct the path for our artists, connect with young collectors by word of mouth, including on digital media, and keep up a constant dialogue with loyal collectors.
What are your backgrounds?
We come from business backgrounds, and both have work experience in other galleries and foundations. The journey in art started almost by chance and then continued out of passion. Clima – a name that would represent our mission – was founded in 2015 in Milan, after returning from a few years’ experience in New York. The gallery is located in a flat on the “piano nobile” of an early 20th century Milanese palazzo, in a street that has long been synonymous with contemporary art, also home to all the branches of Raffaella Cortese’s gallery. Raffaella has guided us from the very beginning with her sound advice.
Why did you choose this city?
We chose Milan because in recent years it has turned out to be an attractive centre for artists and, increasingly, for other contemporary players. In future, we would also like to develop projects at a local level, especially, but not only, in our home region of Tuscany.
How has your programme developed?
Practically all the artists in our gallery had their first exhibition with us, and, particularly in the early years, there was a strong link in scheduling between Italy and the US. It wasn’t easy at first, but over the years we’ve gained a lot of experience, and our artists’ exhibitions in museums have been a welcome boost. Now we’d be happy to see more foreign museum directors visiting Milan.