Sant’Andrea de Scaphis

Laura Owens, Untitled, 2019, exhibition view, Sant'Andrea de Scaphis, Roma. Courtesy l'artista; Sant'Andrea de Scaphis, Roma; Sadie Coles HQ, Londra; e Galerie Gisela Capitain, Colonia. Foto: Annik Wetter

Rome, April 2015. On Easter Sunday, gallerist Gavin Brown inaugurated Rirkrit Tiravanija’s exhibition in Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, thus realizing his dream of reopening the doors of the small oratory in the Trastevere neighborhood which had been deconsecrated and closed for decades. Just a few invitations, lots of word of mouth and a meal offered to artists and passers-by, prepared and served by Tiravanija himself. From that moment on, the space has hosted memorable exhibitions by Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Joan Jonas, Mark Leckey, Sturtevant, Arthur Jafa, Laura Owens – to name but a few – as well as Jannis Kounellis, met shortly before his death, and with whom Gavin Brown formed a strong association, inaugurating Dodecafonia, one of the artist’s last projects, in September 2016.

Sant’Andrea de Scaphis
Arthur Jafa, Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death, installation view, 2018, Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, Rome. Courtesy the artist and Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, Rome. Photo: Roberto Apa

Founded in the 9th century, the Church of Sant’Andrea de Scaphis today houses a magical space, where present and past intertwine, born from the vision of a gallerist who loves to remember that those historic walls existed before us and will exist after our passage.

Sant’Andrea de Scaphis
Jannis Kounellis, Dodecafonia, 2016, installation view, Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, Rome. Courtesy the artist and Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, Rome. Photo: Manolis Baboussis

Exhibitions

City Exhibition Date
Roma The Worm, Ed Atkins Until 13.11.2021
“It comforts me to think that these walls existed long before me and will still exist long after.”

In conversation with Gavin Brown, Sant’Andrea de Scaphis

How did your path in art begin?

I originally approached art as an artist. One of my first gallery jobs was at Anthony d’Offay’s in London, after which I decided to depart for New York with a study program offered by the Whitney Museum of American Art. The rest is history.

When and how did you first set up your gallery?

I founded the Sant’Andrea de Scaphis gallery in 2015, at Easter time.

Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, I Piccoli Pupazzi Sporchi di Pruppà, installation view, Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, 2015. Courtesy the artists and Sant’Andrea de Scaphis. Photo: Roberto Apa.
The gallery doesn’t bear your name: tell us about that.

The gallery bears the original name of the deconsecrated church in which it is located. Sant’Andrea de Scaphis was a protector of the little boats that navigated that part of the Tiber river.

Tell us about the space you chose for your gallery and the context into which it is set.

I fell in love with this small church, whose consecration dates back to 821, the very moment I first saw it. It comforts me to think that these walls existed long before me and will still exist long after.

The first exhibition in your gallery? Would you do it again in the same way? Or would you change something?

I opened Sant’Andrea de Scaphis with a work by Rirkrit Tiravanija. And I would do everything exactly the same.

Karl Holmqvist, KHAPALABHATI, installation view, Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, 2017. Courtesy: the artist and Sant’Andrea de Scaphis. Photo: Roberto Apa.
Read the full interview

Artists

  • Hope Atherton
  • Uri Aran
  • Michel Auder
  • Thomas Bayrle
  • Vittorio Brodmann
  • Urs Fischer
  • Mark Handforth
  • Karl Holmqvist
  • Arthur Jafa
  • Joan Jonas
  • Jannis Kounellis
  • Ella Kruglyanskaya
  • Mark Leckey
  • Frida Orupabo
  • Laura Owens
  • Charlemagne Palestine
  • Sam Pulitzer
  • Ugo Rondinone
  • Rirkrit Tiravanija
  • Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys