Art Curator

There is something to be said for all the years I spent narrating exhibitions to people of all walks of life, something about being a chaperone to beauty that has forged my approach as a curator. I have been on the receiving and interpreting end of art exhibitions for more than two decades. I have translated, communicated, and subtly promoted countless curatorial visions before attempting my own. I have been on the “inside-out” and have emerged with the necessary clarity and the desire to break from the mould.

The verb “to curate” comes from the Latin “curare” – to take care –thus it implies delicacy and sensitivity, yet in a world of stratified imagery it must also imply the ability to perceive the unique truth of a work, the promise to enhance and facilitate its relationship with the outer world.

My very first approach is that of a neophyte within a beautiful foreign landscape.
I travel through novel forms and colours with my senses, I strive to learn the codes of the artistic language before me. I test my reactions, allow the work to speak to me …

visually, intellectually, psychologically.

I am not afraid of misunderstandings. Once the maker releases an artefact into the world, it tends to take on a life of its own. The initial purpose/meaning reverberates through the ether, affecting the consciousness of countless interlocutors. After all, Art has an inherent thirst for regeneration and eternity. The way we curate a show or study a collection will affect how and if it will be temporarily quenched.
Stimulating the viewer to develop a more intense gaze, encouraging an active appreciation of the work, sharing my understanding of the artists without stripping their work of all fundamental mystery, planting an unconventional seed.
Intuition, imagination, aestheticism, free floating thought, creative writing, mood-setting, serious playfulness.

Le stanze della Dea
Chambers of the Goddess

Hotel Straf was the evocative setting for the “dawn of the Universe”, where the powerful and archaic landscapes in Giorgio Radice’s paintings and drawings spoke vividly to the viewer. A world filled with mystery where humanity walked among the great rocks with wonder and respect, where the poet/artist once created the mythology of our existence. Loosely based on the Pelasgian creation myth and featuring the Goddess Eurynome, the works graced the public and private spaces of the Hotel in a variety of elegant encounters between prehistory and modernity.

Art and the City had the pleasure of authoring all exhibition texts, co-authoring the catalogue, inventing the treasure hunt through the hotel bedrooms, co-designing the exhibition flow and narration, translating all texts into English, authoring and editing the press release, guiding the tours, organizing transport and hanging of the works.

WILLIAM G. CONGDON (1912-1998)
The Rapetti Collection
La Collezione Rapetti

Art and the City is the official curator of this private collection of original paintings by the American action painter William Congdon. The oil paintings dating from 1960 to 1998, along with other precious materials like drawings, pastels and personal notes were given in friendship to his good friend, studio assistant and long-time collaborator Carlo Rapetti.

The latter was destined to intervene personally within the artist’s characteristic dance between creation and destruction, thereby fortuitously “saving” many pieces from oblivion. To this day the collection remains largely unpublished and unseen, yet to be “discovered” by the critics and the public at large.

Art and the City’s quest involves studying and understanding the collection’s wider significance, recording the memories and anecdotes from Congdon’s friendship with Rapetti, writing a critical narration on a group of selected works, and researching potential exhibition venues and sponsors. Eventually this will lead to the curation of an exhibition for the promotion of a joyful interaction between the public and the sensitive creative spirit of William Congdon.

Anyone wishing to aid us in this worthy adventure may contact
William Congdon (1912-1998) was an American “action painter” who greatly contributed to the development of his nation’s first true and autonomous artistic identity. Congdon’s painterly expressiveness was intense, textural, visceral and this he shared with the likes of Pollock, Rothko and many other protagonists of the Abstract Expressionist scene. However, Congdon’s own personal inclination and sense of purpose led him to travel extensively outside of the USA , to expose himself to different stimuli and different cultures, to search for his own personal and spiritual DNA. Italy quickly became his home base, Venice his ultimate passion and the region of Umbria the calling of his soul. Congdon converted to Catholicism at a time when this was considered professional suicide and his painting began to change, to symbolize a search for a higher meaning; one to transcend all geographical borders.
He spent the last 20 years of his life in a Benedictine monastery to the south of Milan, in the plains of Lombardy. Here he created a foundation for the pursuit of the arts, beauty, and truth.
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