Monitor was founded by Paola Capata in 2003. From the very beginning, the gallery has focused on proposing spaces and contexts to artists that could allow them an experimental approach to exhibitions. During the first years of activity, most of its program was dedicated to international emerging artists, exploring diverse practices, from sculpture to installations, with great attention to video art. Since 2010, the gallery has broadened its scope to other media, especially painting, showcasing a heterogeneous and trans-generational roster of painters.
In 2014, Paola Capata opened a pop-up space in New York named MONITOR Studio, which ended its activity as an artists’ residency project in 2015. After that experience, in 2017 the gallery opened a branch in Lisbon meant to have a permanent, curatorial, project-space nature. In September 2019, the gallery opened its third location in the village of Pereto, in Abruzzo, Italy.
Paura Della Pittura, Giovanni Acci, Thomas Braida, Ugo Celada da Virgilio, Alfredo Chighine, Matteo Fato, Walter Lazzaro, Virgilio Guzzi, Elisa Montessori, Giovanni Omiccioli, Domenico Purificato, Nicola Samori, Ada Schalk. Curated by Gianni and Giuseppe Garrera
“Our artists are chosen according to their strength, their coherence, their vision.”
I opened my gallery in 2003, at the age of twenty-nine, after earning a degree in art history and while I was on a scholarship for a Ph.D. This scholarship was very important for being able to support the first phase of the activity of the Monitor gallery, which occupied a small space of just forty square meters near San Pietro, inside Palazzo Caproni.
Why did you choose this city?
Since 2019, the gallery has also had a branch outside of Rome, in the small hamlet of Pereto (in the province of L’Aquila, Abruzzo), inside Palazzo Maccafani, a place of great inspiration for artists thanks to its stratified spaces full of history. The new location encourages more direct and informal contact with our public (collectors, curators, enthusiasts) and visits conducted with a rewarding, dilated time.
What kind of art do you deal with?
In the first years of activity, the gallery dealt mainly with the language of video art, while since 2014 it has focused on figurative painting. The interest in the language of video art is still very strong, as well as for large site-specific installations, another topos of the gallery. Our artists are chosen according to their strength, their coherence, their vision.
Are there any social, environmental, or educational initiatives related to art that you have recently undertaken or would like to dedicate yourself to in the future?
Since 2017, together with Delfo Durante and Saverio Verini, we have been running straperetana, a summer contemporary art exhibition en plein air involving the entire village of Pereto, with the precise intention of increasing the appreciation of this small town in Abruzzo. The experience is enriched by workshops held by the artists in the springtime for children and teenagers.
Do you remember your first visit to an art gallery?
When I was a girl, I was ignorant: I was unaware that there were private galleries where you could see exhibitions for free. An older friend of mine took me – I was then twenty years old – to visit one near Piazza del Popolo. There was an exhibition of surrealist collages. I don’t remember the name of the gallery or the artist, but that visit somehow marked my destiny.