Le Radici dell’Arte, a new rendezvous with art in Tuscany sponsored by Philippe Austruy and Galleria Continua
Philippe Austruy, a collector and owner of a number of stunning wine estates in France, Portugal, and Italy; and Lorenzo Fiaschi, cofounder of the Galleria Continua, met for the first time in Tuscany, where an instant friendship and intellectual harmony took hold and they developed an ambitious contemporary art project. At the heart of the project is Tenuta Casenuove.
As a result according to the flow of the seasons in the vineyard, an artist is invited each year to savour the surroundings and create a work of art in situ: permanent installations that connect with, and are in keeping with, both the landscape and those who that mould it. Temporary exhibitions will also take place throughout the year. Housed in the estate’s magnificent Vaulted Ceiling Room, they will enrich the experience of visitors by offering them a continually evolving experience. Finally, in the centre of Panzano, a new exhibition space has been created: « Il Vino dell’Arte » merges a love of wine with a passion for art. Both a wine tasting venue and an art gallery, it is easy to spot for the numerous visitors who pass through the village.
« Le Radici dell’Arte » has an intrinsic double meaning: the ‘roots’ evoke the origins of the local culture and region. They also refer to man’s attempt to engage with nature in order to pick the best possible fruits – grapes – and at the same time express man’s deeply rooted, vital need to fulfil a quest for perfection and understand the meaning of life. Since 1990, the Galleria Continua has aimed at forging a message geared towards the future: an artistic testimony to our existence, which enhances and projects Tuscany, and the bountiful history of its landscapes, into the future. This project, located in the heart of the Chianti region, is the perfect extension of the previous work conducted by the Galleria Continua.
Philippe Austruy has always had a deep-rooted desire to bring new life to hidden properties, believing that Art always runs through them.
For its first edition, « Le Radici dell’Arte » will immediately disclose its ambition and unveil three artists:
- the first permanent installation at the heart of Tenuta Casenuove, designed by Pascale Marthine Tayou
- a temporary exhibition of works by Sun Yuan & Peng Yu in the Vaulted Ceiling Room, in partnership with the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum
- a mural installation on the facade of « Il Vino dell’Arte » in Panzano and an exhibition designed by Loris Cecchini
Set on enhancing the richness and the innate diversity of these visiting artists, this first edition is part of a long-term partnership between the Galleria Continua and Philippe Austruy, one which is deeply rooted in Tuscany.
A new rendezvous with Art.
Loris Cecchini – Waterbones (2020)
« Il Vino dell’Arte » is hosting an exhibition by this artist which comprises of an installation on the facade of the building, an area that will be used to host numerous artistic projects in the future.
« Waterbones » by Loris Cecchini is an installation which combines various stainless steel modules, positioned together on a brightly coloured wall. Though superficially free and chaotic, these modules are in fact based on mathematical diagrams and an algorithmic calculation. They take into account the characteristics of the venue and the organization of the area in which they are exhibited. They become creative «processes» that offer an interpretation of the space and a new reading of the environment in which they have been created.
« Nature fascinates me: the fluid dynamic phenomenon, the shape of leaves, the structure of the grape, the complexity of chemical forms in minerals… I observe it and let it show me the way. I love to conceptualize through technological thinking, which to me is an important form of knowledge. I acknowledge the relationship between aesthetics and science: I situate myself at the border between the natural and the artificial, I draw from them and I later develop the ideas further, taking into account other knowledge and eventually try to create a shift, a poetic suspension »
In the work of Loris Cecchini (born in Milan, 1969), photography, drawing, sculpture and installation combine to form a unified poetic world. Cecchini’s work owes as much to his expertise of a broad range of media as to his indefatigable curiosity. The subjects that appear in his work include multiple collages and detailed architectural models, objects in rubber, reinvented caravans and tree houses, structurally distorted spaces, and prismatic, transparent covers and surfaces.
Physical phenomena become an optical and emotive inventory of the environment. Natural systems are transferred into a layered system of semantic relations in order to reveal the invisible processes of a synthesis between nature and culture. Modular steel sculptures; tangible phenomenologies in stone; microscope images re-elaborated in 3D in the form of monochrome pictures, watercolours, and pencil diaries encapsulated in transparent vacuum wrapping, all yield material geographies and poetically elaborate the space and the surface of the work: the installations floats in the spatial infinity of the micro and the macro, in which the phenomenal reality re-elaborated by the artist becomes anatomical memory and a conceptual diagram. In the expressive osmosis created between biological forms and architectural structure, Cecchini invites us to reconsider our conceptions of reality and representation, the organic dimension of natural development and that of the technical-artificial landscape.
His series Monologue Patterns are idealized dwelling systems on wheels, small spaces designed around the idea of the caravan or the trailer, a nomadic space for definition, combining sculpture and the tradition of utopic architecture to form a spatial and visual-poetic experience. Some of them are up on the trees, with different characteristics, but they are always places related to a sort of « poetical distance ».
At the heart of Cecchini’s work is a new reading of spatiality: physical space is interpreted as something biological, organic and vital, but at the same time as something that is rationally structured, mechanically produced, perfectly artificial and yet endowed with an organic-structural functionality.
Pascale Marthine Tayou – The Casenuove Geniuses (2020)
During his stay at Tenuta Casenuove, astonished by the amount of work being carried out, the variety of the surroundings, and the participation of women and men involved in the renovation project, Pascale Marthine Tayou decided to pay tribute to the project by depicting the men and women that breathed life back into the Tenuta Casenuove. He highlights energy and human nature. The artist speaks of «poets that have inhabited, inhabit, or will inhabit the Casenuove estate». Federica, Dario, Caroline, Alessandro, Matilde, Giorgio, Cosimo, Stéphane, Marie-Amélie, Géraldine, Lou, Lorenzo and Philippe are the «Casenuove Geniuses», crystal sculptures adorned with different objects (pearls, horns, lucky charms, embossments, small arches, bottles of wine, perfumes, etc.) in order to express the character of each figure.
The « Casenuove Geniuses » by Pascale Marthine Tayou is a great example of the « creole-ization » process that is identified and theorized by Édouard Glissant, a process that has permeated a large part of today’s society, a « blend of art and languages that produces the unexpected […], a place where dispersion enables a rapprochement and in which cultural shocks, disharmony, disarray and interferences become creative forces ».
Pascale Marthine Tayou was born in Nkongsamba in 1966. He lives and works in Ghent, in Belgium and in Yaoundé, in Cameroon.
Since the beginning of the 90s, when he exhibited at the Documenta 11 (2002) in Kassel and the Venice Biennale (2005 and 2009), Pascale Marthine Tayou is well known by a large international audience. His work features a lot of variety as it is not limited to specifically artistic work or to a single medium of expression or an ensemble of specific issues. The subjects he interprets can vary, but all of them, from the very start, have reflected the artist as an individual. Since the beginning of his career, Pascale Marthine Tayou added an “e” to his name and to his middle name to give them a feminine touch, to move away in an ironical manner from the importance of authorship and male/female attributes. This also applies to any form of limitations related to specific geographical or cultural origins.
His works of art mediate between cultures in this way, or place man and nature in ambivalent relationships, while also being deliberately created as social, cultural, and political constructions. His work is intentionally changeable, heterogeneous and exists beyond predetermined norms. It is always closely linked to the idea of travel and of being in touch with others, and it is so spontaneous that it almost appears casual. Object, sculptures, installations, drawings and videos created by Tayou all have a common and recurring feature: they dwell on a person travelling around the world, exploring the idea of a global village. Tayou deals with his African origins and the expectations linked to them through this medium.
Sun Yuan & Peng Yu – Teenager Teenager (2020)
in partnership with the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum
In harmony with the architecture of the vaulted ceiling room in the Tenuta Casenuove, « Teenager Teenager » is an installation depicting men and women dressed in Salvatore Ferragamo clothes, sitting on a sofa and armchairs. Each character has a huge stone that represents the head and which blocks their vision.
« Teenager Teenager » is a sculpture and an artistic creation. To the eyes of the spectator and with a humoristic touch, the sculptures appear to be live characters, performers on a stage. This work of art demonstrates the constant analysis of life based on experience, in which the public is often invited to take part, in search of the essence and substance that hide behind appearances. In this case, the thinking shifts to the limits of communication, to generational conflicts, and also to the possibility of changing and protecting what we have. The hyper-realistic style and the artists’ extraordinary intuition make their works intense and unique.
Sun Yuan was born in Beijing in 1972, Peng Yu was born in Heilongjiang in 1974 and subsequently moved to Beijing, where both of them currently live and work. These two prominent figures made their way through the winding cultural situation of 1990’s China, expressing their singularity without following the spectacular artistic mainstream of that period, being extremely provocative, and challenging the moral standards that prevailed in the global art stream. The interest in unusual materials, the absorption of ancient conflicts and an extraordinary ability for intuition and foresight make their artworks intense and unique.
Sun Yuan and Peng Yu forge their artistic route by walking straight on a tightrope without losing the balance of the paradoxical concepts they pursue; the dichotomies between constants and contrasts, reality and ideals, clashes and harmonies. They bluntly express the communicative essence of a different art, far different from the typical contemporary din; oriented toward self- examination rather than mere provocation. Their work can be interpreted as a meticulous study of life as much as it may be considered an indispensable experience, and additionally as a perpetual search for the essence as it differs from the evidence.
For this purpose they stylistically and conceptually strive to alter the subject with audacity, in order to expose Truth, stripped of all conventional barriers and determined to widen conceptual limits.
Galleria Continua was created in 1990, thanks to the initiative of three friends: Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Maurizio Rigillo, in San Gimignano, in Tuscany, Italy.
Whether in the ancient San Gimignano theatre, in a Bauhaus-style industrial site in Beijing, in the windmill in Boissy-le-Châtel (Seine-et-Marne), in the cinema at the heart of The Havana, in a room at the St. Regis Hotel in Rome, or (imminently) in the football stadium of Sao Paolo in Brazil, the Galleria Continua is proof that new agreements and intersections can come to light between unexpected, rural, industrial, local, and global geographies; between yesterday’s and today’s art; and between artists coming from five continents: Michelangelo Pistoletto, Anish Kapoor, Chen Zhen, Daniel Buren, Cildo Meireles, Antony Gormley, Shilpa Gupta, Carlos Garaicoa, Hiroshi Sugimoto …
Within thirty years, the Galleria Continua, thanks to events and experiences, has created a strong identity founded on generous and altruistic values that have been the basis of its artistic partnerships, its relationship with the public, and its expansion.