Giorgio Persano

Nicola De Maria La libertà, 2016, exhibition view, Giorgio Persano, Turin. Courtesy Giorgio Persano, Turin. Photo: Nicola Morittu

Giorgio Persano opened his first gallery, Multipli, in 1970. While developing an interest in American Pop graphics, he began producing multiplied artworks by Italian artists, such as Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gilberto Zorio, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Giovanni Anselmo, Salvo, Giuseppe Penone and Giulio Paolini. From 1975, some of these artists began to use the gallery space as a workshop, creating installations and experimenting with new creative processes. Since then, Persano has dealt with their projects and productions of works, establishing a close collaboration with his artists.

Lawrence Weiner, Mens Rea, 2013, installation view, Giorgio Persano, Turin. Courtesy Giorgio Persano, Turin. Photo: Paolo Pellion

Over the years, he has worked with Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mario Merz, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Jannis Kounellis, Nicola De Maria, Emilio Prini, Gilberto Zorio, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Max Neuhaus, Lawrence Weiner, Franz West, Jan Dibbets, Bernar Venet, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Julião Sarmento, Susana Solano, Costas Varotsos, Avery Preesman, Susan Norrie, Susy Gómez, Lida Abdul, Alfredo Romano, Michele Zaza, Luisa Rabbia, Herbert Brandl, Per Barclay, Marco Bagnoli, Marco Gastini, Alessandro Sciaraffa, Lina Fucà, Michael Biberstein, Zena el Khalil, Paolo Cirio and Nunzio.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Comunicazione. Le porte di Cittadellarte, 2018, installation view, Giorgio Persano, Turin. Courtesy Giorgio Persano, Turin. Photo: Nicola Morittu

Exhibitions

City Exhibition Date
Torino ON GOYA, Julião Sarmento Until 19.06.2021
“Today, with all of the communication means at our disposal, Turin is a base, a laboratory for artists, even at the international level.”
Giorgio Persano. Photo: Perottino-Piva-Botallo. Courtesy Galleria Giorgio Persano

In conversation with Giorgio Persano, Galleria Giorgio Persano


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

As a gallerist, I have always felt an obligation to support Italian artists, although the way things are in the world today, the meaning of the work of art and its value are often lost. The gallerist needs to support the market, improve it, believe in the artists he or she works with, support them, help them grow and accompany them through their career. As a gallerist, I feel the need to protect the artists and also the collectors.

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Galleria Giorgio Persano – Palazzo Scaglia di Verrua. Photo: Nicola Morittu. Courtesy Galleria Giorgio Persano
How did your path in art begin?

I’ve liked to draw and paint since I was twelve years old. In 1968, I became acquainted with the Arte Povera artists, and they introduced me to a new kind of experience and vision. Coming back from a trip to New York, I opened a small American Pop Art gallery specialised in graphic works, and then went on to produce multiples with the Turin artists I’d started to associate with.

When and how did you first set up your gallery?

The idea for the gallery sprouted in 1970 out of a desire to share: the artists I had met and their work had made such an impression on me that I passionately wanted to work with them and show others the intensity of what they were doing.

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Galleria Giorgio Persano – Palazzo Scaglia di Verrua. Photo: Nicola Morittu. Courtesy Galleria Giorgio Persano
Why did you choose this city?

When I started my activity in the 1970s, Turin was a hotspot: the Arte Povera artists were gravitating around my city, which I had always found to have a strong capacity for getting projects off the ground and teeming with energy and culture. Today, with all of the communication means at our disposal, Turin is a base, a laboratory for artists, even at the international level.

Are you a collector?

I started collecting at a very young age, buying a large piece by Merz and one by Zorio. I think that part of my gallerist self also wants to be a collector. The beauty of putting together an exhibition with the artist, thinking about it, is an extremely special experience that makes it increasingly difficult to separate from the works of art.

Read the full interview

Artists

  • Lida Abdul
  • Per Barclay
  • Michael Biberstein
  • Rob Birza
  • Herbert Brandl
  • Pedro Cabrita Reis
  • Pier Paolo Calzolari
  • Paolo Cirio
  • Nicola De Maria
  • Jan Dibbets
  • Zena el Khalil
  • Lina Fucà
  • Marco Gastini
  • Susy Gómez
  • Jannis Kounellis
  • Mario Merz
  • Max Neuhaus
  • Susan Norrie
  • Nunzio
  • Michelangelo Pistoletto
  • Avery Preesman
  • Emilio Prini
  • Luisa Rabbia
  • Alfredo Romano
  • Julião Sarmento
  • Alessandro Sciaraffa
  • Costas Varotsos
  • Bernar Venet
  • Lawrence Weiner
  • Michele Zaza
  • Gilberto Zorio