Tornabuoni Arte

Tornabuoni Arte, Florence. Courtesy Tornabuoni Arte, Florence

Tornabuoni Arte was founded in 1981 in Florence, in Via Tornabuoni, thanks to Roberto Casamonti’s passion for art – a passion inherited from his father, a collector of 20th-century Italian art.

Over the years, the gallery has inaugurated exhibition venues in Milan (1995), Forte dei Marmi (2004), Tornabuoni Arte Antica (2006), Crans Montana (1993), Paris (2009) and London (2015).

Tornabuoni Arte, Florence. Courtesy Tornabuoni Arte, Florence

The exhibition activity is developed in the different galleries by organizing an annual itinerant exhibition of solo shows featuring historicized and emerging artists, as well as themed exhibitions focused on the avant-garde of the second post-war period. The solo shows dedicated to artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Alberto Burri, Enrico Castellani, Mario Ceroli, Lucio Fontana, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Paolo Scheggi must be mentioned.

Tornabuoni Arte, Florence. Courtesy Tornabuoni Arte, Florence

Tornabuoni Arte participates every year in major contemporary art fairs and also works closely with museums and institutions. Thanks to the experience gained and the knowledge of the work of the artists it represents, the gallery has also established itself as a consultant for both public and private collections.

“The biggest joys have been all of the times that we have been able to help Italian art get into the collections of the world’s biggest museums.”
Michele Casamonti. Courtesy Tornabuoni Arte

In conversation with Michele Casamonti, Tornabuoni Arte

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

The Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice and the Fondazione Burri in Città di Castello. It was an amazing experience to work with both for the Alberto Burri exhibition during the 2019 Venice Biennale. Going to Città di Castello from Florence, with an obligatory stop in Monterchi to reflect on the disturbing beauty of Piero della Francesca’s Madonna del Parto.

The most complicated and happiest moments of your career thus far?

In 2017, when we needed to present six of Fontana’s Fine di Dio works, two of them unfortunately became unavailable for display just twenty days before the opening. Fortunately, the project was a success anyway, and it still stands as one of the most wonderful projects of my life. On the other hand, the biggest joys have been all of the times that we have been able to help Italian art get into the collections of the world’s biggest museums.

Something important that you learned from an artist? And from a collector?

Preparing an exhibition on Arnaldo Pomodoro, I became fond of his simple but effective way of describing the history of art. He compared it to a chain, with the great artists being the ones who are able to add new rings to the chain. Every generation has lots of artists, but only a few works remain. Lucio Fontana’s cuts, Alberto Burri’s sacks, Michelangelo Pistoletto’s mirrors and Arnaldo Pomodoro’s spheres.

What would be your desert-island work of art?

I would bring a work that the eye would never tire of and that renews itself, since it would be the only one that I could have. The works in Alighiero Boetti’s series Tutto might be the only ones that allow the eye to expand over time, discovering a new composition with every look. Another work that I could look at for hours, that I think has an aesthetic sense that renews itself, is Modigliani’s legendary Nudo rosso (1917).

“Do you have any unrealised projects?”

My dream is to do an exhibition, which I am working on now, that brings together Enrico Castellani’s works and his thoughts about and influence on contemporary architecture, in particular the architecture of surfaces and the play of light and shadow that architecture started to explore in the 1960s.

Read the full interview


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