Galleria Fumagalli

Marinus Boezem, “Bird’s-eye View”, Galleria Fumagalli, Milan, 2019. Courtesy Galleria Fumagalli

Galleria Fumagalli was founded in Bergamo in 1971. From 1990 the gallery was directed by Stefano Fumagalli and Annamaria Maggi who initially chose to follow a program based on the Informal, the Abstract Art and the Pittura Analitica exhibiting artists Carla Accardi, Pietro Consagra, Giorgio Griffa, Pino Pinelli, Giò Pomodoro, Giuseppe Uncini, Claudio Verna. In 1997 the gallery started working with Agostino Bonalumi and in the following year with Enrico Castellani. Significant are also the collaborations – started in the late 90s – with some of the main representatives of the Arte Povera movement, such as Piero Gilardi, Jannis Kounellis and Gilberto Zorio. Since 2000, the gallery has been enriched by new collaborations, inaugurating the exhibitions of sculptors Carlo Lorenzetti, Giuseppe Maraniello and Nunzio. In 2003, other important solo exhibitions were organized, dedicated to Marco Tirelli, one of the protagonists of the Nuova Scuola Romana, and Claude Viallat, representative of the French Supports/Surfaces movement. The following year the gallery invited Swiss artist Peter Wüthrich to exhibit, and in 2005 new collaborations started with American Kenneth Noland, part of the artistic group “Color Field”, with British sculptor Richard Wilson and Australian Lawrence Carroll.

Since 2007 the directorship has been entrusted to Annamaria Maggi who continued the gallery’s exhibition programming, reflecting the multiplicity of her studies in the artistic field. Between 2010 and 2015, the gallery organized exhibitions of American artists Vito Acconci and Dennis Oppenheim, along with the promotion of younger artists: Peter Welz, Chiara Lecca and Maria Elisabetta Novello. In 2012 the exhibition activity in the Bergamo rooms ended, temporarily finding as its location the Museo Pecci/SpazioBorgogno in Milan through 2014.

Anne and Patrick Poirier, “Hommage à Dante: Purgatoire”, Galleria Fumagalli, Milan, 2023. Courtesy Galleria Fumagalli

In 2016, the new gallery was inaugurated in the evocative spaces of a historic Milanese building, in via Bonaventura Cavalieri 6, with the opening exhibition “A personal view of Abstract painting and sculpture” dedicated to Enrico Castellani, Robert Mangold, Robert Morris and Kenneth Noland, followed by those of Jannis Kounellis, Maria Elisabetta Novello and Maurizio Nannucci. In 2017 the gallery has begun to represent the French couple Anne & Patrick Poirier and in 2018 American Keith Sonnier. At the same time the promotion of younger talents, such as Filippo Armellin, Mattia Bosco and Thorsten Brinkmann, continued.

In over thirty years, the gallery has presented more than 90 solos and 20 group exhibitions, published more than 80 volumes and collaborated with Italian and international institutions and museums. It also curated the archives of Agostino Bonalumi, Enrico Castellani, Giorgio Griffa and Giuseppe Uncini and collaborated on the creation of the catalogue raisonné of Carla Accardi (with texts by Germano Celant, published in 1999) and Giuseppe Uncini (with texts by Bruno Corà, published in 2008).

“We like to work in a place with its own history and personality”
Annamaria Maggi e Massimo Zanello
Annamaria Maggi and Massimo Zanello, 2023. Image: Carlotta Roda. Courtesy Galleria Fumagalli

In conversation with Annamaria Maggi, Galleria Fumagalli

Tell us about the place you chose for your gallery and its setting.

In 2016, Galleria Fumagalli moved from Bergamo to Milan. The space for housing the gallery was selected for its central and easily accessible location. In particular, we chose a location inside a historical building because we liked the idea of working in a place that already had its own history and character, aspects that we tried to keep as much as possible during the renovation, such as the old parquet flooring that has never been restored.

Your programme: what kind of art do you focus on?

Galleria Fumagalli was set up and grew as a gallery for contemporary Italian art, initially focusing on artists such as Carla Accardi, Pietro Consagra, Piero Gilardi and Giorgio Griffa, the main exponents of the essential artistic trends of the Italian post-World War II period. Today the gallery showcases contemporary art in a broader sense: over the years our focus has widened, although it has remained consistent in its diversity. One aspect that distinguishes our programme, however, is the wish to forge direct, interpersonal relationships with the artists we work with. The aim is to construct a dialogue with them, so we can plan exhibitions and publications together.

How has the art market changed since you opened the gallery?

The art market has changed enormously since I started working in the 1990s and it’s difficult to recount all the various stages. At that time, the art market was very dynamic, lively and not very speculative, collectors were very passionate and there was collecting at all levels. Today, the art market is doped up, neurotic and speculative, constantly seeking to dream up new situations to keep up with the hectic turnover of events and technologies. Frequently those who buy do so not out of taste or passion, but for profit, often without any knowledge of art history but guided only by name and the promise of investment.

Thorsten Brinkmann, Dennis Oppenheim, Anne and Patrick Poirier, “IRONIA – TEMPORALITÀ – DÉPLACEMENT”, Galleria Fumagalli, Milan, 2021-2022. Courtesy Galleria Fumagalli
Are you a collector?

Yes, I always have been… indeed, I consider myself more of a collector than a gallery owner! I have my own private collection, displayed at home, which comforts me and which I relate with on a daily basis. I don’t just collect works by artists we handle in the gallery: I’ve also often bought works by artists I don’t work with, for my own personal taste and passion.

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

I have no sense of regret or disillusion in recalling our exhibition history and the path the gallery has taken. Of course, things can always be done better and there are artists I dream of working with… but I’m very satisfied with what has been achieved so far.

Read the full interview

Artists

  • Vito Acconci
  • Giovanni Anselmo
  • Filippo Armellin
  • Marinus Boezem
  • Agostino Bonalumi
  • Mattia Bosco
  • Thorsten Brinkmann
  • Lawrence Carroll
  • Enrico Castellani
  • Pietro Consagra
  • Chiara Dynys
  • Paolo Ghilardi
  • Piero Gilardi
  • Giorgio Griffa
  • Jannis Kounellis
  • Chiara Lecca
  • Maurizio Mochetti
  • Maurizio Nannucci
  • Kenneth Noland
  • Maria Elisabetta Novello
  • Dennis Oppenheim
  • Gianfranco Pardi
  • Pino Pinelli
  • Anne & Patrick Poirier
  • Giò Pomodoro
  • Stefano Scheda
  • Keith Sonnier
  • Mauro Staccioli
  • Marco Tirelli
  • Giuseppe Uncini
  • Claudio Verna
  • Claude Viallat
  • Peter Welz
  • Richard Wilson
  • Peter Wüthrich
  • Gilberto Zorio