Galleria d’Arte Maggiore g.a.m.

Giorgio Morandi. Ettore Spalletti. Un dialogo di luce, 2014/2015, exhibition view, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m., Bologna. Courtesy Maggiore g.a.m, Bologna / Milano / Paris. Photo: Michele Sereni, Pesaro

Galleria d’Arte Maggiore g.a.m. was founded in 1978 by Franco and Roberta Calarota who realized how, in the panorama of those years, there was a strong need to encourage the activity of documentation, knowledge and mediation of the major names in Italian art. The work of research and valorization carried out by Galleria d’Arte Maggiore g.a.m., both in terms of cultural promotion and the market, places the gallery as an organic and authoritative interlocutor within the Italian and international artistic context, relaunching historical names and proposing them in continuity with contemporary art.

Robert Indiana. One Through Zero , exhibition view, 2016, Galleria d’Arte Maggiore g.a.m., Bologna. Courtesy Maggiore g.a.m, Bologna / Milano / Paris

The dialogues proposed by the gallery, such as in the exhibition Ettore Spalletti and Giorgio Morandi. A dialogue of light. (2015), should be read in this sense, as well as the collaborations with museums and institutions in Italy and around the world – such as Giorgio de Chirico, La Fabrique des rêves at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2009) or the solo show dedicated to Morandi at the Metropolitan Museum, New York (2008) – and the commission of public works, such as Arman’s Rampante (1999), a monument dedicated to the famous Ferrari sports car manufacturer.

Galleria d'Arte Maggiore
© Maggiore g.a.m. Installation view of the “Leoncillo” exhibition in Bologna (2018) with the monumental sculpture Ancient Lovers (1965) inspired by the Sarcophagus of the Spouses of Cerveteri (6th century B.C.) displayed at the Villa Giulia Museum in Rome.
“This is still our model today: a system with a strong human component that supports the demands of an international market (…)”
Alessia, Roberta and Franco Calarota. © Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m.

In conversation with Franco, Roberta and Alessia Calarota

Is there a way of being a gallerist in Italy that differs from other countries? Is there a specifically Italian approach to your work? What characterises the Italian art scene?

My parents, Franco and Roberta Calarota, opened Maggiore g.a.m. in the 1970s, creating a meeting point for artists, scholars and collectors. And this is still our model today. A system with a strong human component that supports the demands of an international market where people can meet in person and enjoy the talent for making people feel welcome that we Italians are famous for.

What is the value for contemporary society of art on display in galleries? What is the role of the gallerist in Italy today?

From an article by Francesco Bonami published in La Repubblica in 2019: “the Spalletti that I remember most is the one I saw a few years ago in Bologna at the Galleria d’Arte Maggiore […] It was a duet of two sopranos. Lightness and power. Two qualities that only a few great masters in the history of art have been capable of creating and controlling.”

Is there an Italian institution that you have a particularly close tie to or a project that you would like to mention?

Among our numerous collaborations with major museums (from the Metropolitan to M Woods Beijing): “Giorgio Morandi. Silenzi” at Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, curated by Franco Calarota and Daniela Ferretti. Twenty-one works by Morandi, echoing Roberto Longhi’s exhibition in Florence in 1945. An exhibition that will always be current, since it doesn’t belong to any specific moment, just like the art of Morandi which accompanies our history.

Have you recently undertaken any social, environmental or educational initiatives linked to art or do you have any in mind for the future?

We often collaborate with institutions on projects, such as the Henry Moore exhibition in Bologna (1995) or the Giorgio de Chirico show at the Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. (2013), which we organised with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to celebrate the “Year of Italian Culture” in the United States. One project that has a special place in our hearts: the holiday lights together with a charity auction for the Fondazione Policlinico Sant’Orsola.

“Do you have any unrealised projects?”

One project that we have been working on for a long time: the art of Giorgio Morandi and Rothko, which is taking shape as a major exhibition to be held at ACP – Palazzo Franchetti in Venice during the next Biennale.

Read the full interview


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