Galleria Continua

Galleria Continua

Nari Ward - BEYOND, 2013, Galleria Continua San Gimignano. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO STUDIO

Galleria Continua opened in San Gimignano in 1990, on the initiative of three friends: Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Maurizio Rigillo. Occupying a former cinema, Galleria Continua established itself in an unexpected location, away from the big cities and the ultramodern urban centers, in the historic village of San Gimignano. This location provided scope for the development of new forms of dialogue between unexpected geographies: rural and industrial, local and global, art from the past and the art of today, famous artists and emerging ones. Remaining faithful to a spirit of perpetual evolution, in the course of thirty years Galleria Continua has created a strong identity grounded in two values – generosity and altruism – which lie at the heart of its relationship with artists and the general public.

Galleria Continua
Michelangelo Pistoletto and Pascale Marthine Tayou, Una cosa non esclude l’altra, 2019, exhibition view, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano. Courtesy the artists and GALLERIA CONTINUA. Photo Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio

Galleria Continua was the first foreign gallery with an international program to open in China in 2004 and then, in 2007, at Les Moulins in the Parisian countryside. In 2015, it opened a space in Havana, Cuba, dedicated to cultural projects aimed at overcoming all barriers. In 2020, during its 30th year of activity, it inaugurated a new space in Rome with a calendar of educational activities and artists’ residencies. In 2015, it opened a space in Havana, Cuba, dedicated to cultural projects aimed at overcoming all barriers. In 2020, during its 30th year of activity, it inaugurated a new space in Rome with a calendar of educational activities and artists’ residencies.

Galleria Continua
Kiki Smith, Compass, 2019, exhibition view, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano. Courtesy the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio

Exhibitions

City Exhibition Date
Roma Melodia, Julio Le Parc Until 27.04.2024
“The important thing I’ve learned from artists and collectors is that passion never dies: every day, even if it were to be your last, has to be lived with passion. ”
Maurizio Rigillo, Lorenzo Fiaschi, Mario Cristiani. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio

In conversation with Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Maurizio Rigillo, Galleria Continua

When and how did you open your gallery?

The three of us are childhood friends. We opened the gallery on October 13, 1990, with 500 euros each, in a garage measuring 6.08 x 3.98 x 3.33 meters in San Gimignano – a small medieval village in Tuscany, which lives on its past by exploiting our ancestral heritage. We shared the desire to create something new, something that bore witness to our journey through art. Which explains the name GALLERIA CONTINUA: creating from the past, in the present, for the future.

Are there any social, environmental or educational initiatives related to art that you’ve started working on recently or that you’d like to work on in the future?

Our commitment has always been a double one, private and public. We opened Galleria Continua and the Arte Continua association at the same time. The “Arte all’Arte” project left permanent works to several municipalities, by artists like Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley and “Arte x Vino = acqua” donated 2 million euros to those who have no access to water. We love educating: in France we welcome schools, in Cuba we get young people involved, and in Rome we are about to launch a residency for artists from emerging countries.

Galleria Continua, San Gimignano. Courtesy Galleria Continua
Something important you’ve learned from an artist? And from a collector?

Lorenzo:
The important thing I’ve learned from artists and collectors is that passion never dies: every day, even if it were to be your last, has to be lived with passion.

Mario:
From an artist, believing that something which seems impossible can happen. From a collector, that works need to be saved from oblivion to give future generations signs of vitality.

Maurizio
We’ve been lucky to have lived, shared and learned from many people!

The first exhibition at your gallery? Would you do it the same way again? What would you change?

Lorenzo: Our first exhibition was the most important one. It’s the seed that the twig sprouted from, which then grew into a tree full of colorful blossoms. With no money or contacts, the three of us mounted an exhibition by the artist Myl Sey. It was the sum of our energies, an unforgettable memory!

Maurizio: Yes, really beautiful! It couldn’t have been better.

Mario: The first one, perfect.

Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, I Didn’t Notice What I am Doing 2012, St. Regis Rome, Rome. Courtesy Galleria Continua. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio
How do you imagine your gallery in ten years?

Lorenzo: With all the energy, passion and desire of the first day, and the three of us still together!

Mario: Even better at maintaining the balance between staying grounded in reality and creating a better future.

Maurizio: Youthful!

Read the full interview

Artists

  • Etel Adnan
  • Ai Weiwei
  • Leila Alaoui
  • Juan Araujo
  • Kader Attia
  • Daniel Buren
  • Cai Guo-Qiang
  • Alejandro Campins
  • Iván Capote
  • Yoan Capote
  • Loris Cecchini
  • Elizabet Cerviño
  • Chen Zhen
  • Nikhil Chopra
  • Marcelo Cidade
  • Jonathas De Andrade
  • Berlinde De Bruyckere
  • Leandro Erlich
  • Carlos Garaicoa
  • Osvaldo González
  • Antony Gormley
  • Gu Dexin
  • Shilpa Gupta
  • Subodh Gupta
  • Carsten Höller
  • Jr
  • Ilya & Emilia Kabakov
  • Zhanna Kadyrova
  • Kan Xuan
  • Anish Kapoor
  • André Komatsu
  • Jannis Kounellis
  • Luis López-Chávez
  • Jorge Macchi
  • Ahmed Mater
  • Cildo Meireles
  • José Manuel Mesías
  • Sabrina Mezzaqui
  • Margherita Morgantin
  • Moataz Nasr
  • Hans Op De Beeck
  • Ornaghi & Prestinari
  • Giovanni Ozzola
  • Susana Pilar
  • Michelangelo Pistoletto
  • Kiwon Park
  • Qiu Zhijie
  • Arcangelo Sassolino
  • Manuela Sedmach
  • Serse
  • Kiki Smith
  • Nedko Solakov
  • Marta Spagnoli
  • José Antonio Suárez Londoño
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto
  • Sun Yuan & Peng Yu
  • Pascale Marthine Tayou
  • Armando Testa
  • Nari Ward
  • Sophie Whettnall
  • Sislej Xhafa
  • José Yaque
  • Zhuang Hui