Rediscovering women artists is about creative space: where they lived and worked
and where they exhibit today. Until July 7, Il Palmerino, a fifteenth-century villa turned cultural center for twentieth-century art and literature with a focus on female creativity, is hosting the show "Lea Colliva. An Artist on the Pathway of the gods".
Colliva and her show. Lea Colliva (1901-1975) was an explosive colorist producing what the Fascists called 'degenerative' art at a time when 'rebel' Italians courted the Expressionist movement. Colliva scholar Beatrice Buscaroli writes: "Lea Colliva thunders amidst figures, flowers and landscapes, meandering between Rembrandt and Soutine, in her restless expressionist quest." The small-scale but highly significant show spans 45 years of art movements in a surprising compendium that goes from traditionalist turn-of-the-century landscapes and Liberty-style portraiture to works influenced by the Informal movement and abstractionism. A multi-edition Venice Biennale veteran, Colliva also exhibited at Palazzo Vecchio and la Strozzina in her day
'Pathway of the gods' is a long over-due 'welcome back' to Florence for an artist that critic Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti described as preferring, "dramatic and emotional moments and visions that imbue her subjects with vibrancy and warmth."
What is the Pathway of the Gods?
An ancient Etruscan pilgrim's trail curves through the Appenines leading from Florence to Bologna. Now a favorite for 'slow-travel' aficionados, the road links Il Palmerino, once home to English artist Lola Costa and British writer Vernon Lee, and Monzuno's L'Ospitale, a creative oasis for twentieth-century greats like painters Lea Colliva, Nino Bertocchi, Giacomo Manzu and Corrado Corrazza.
Restoration of art by women... on paper
The show's centerpiece is Colliva's early self-portrait, newly restored as part of 'Women Who Drew', a workshop spearheaded by Beatrice Cuniberti, conservator at the helm of the Atelier degli Artigianelli. The atelier is one of the many workshops aimed at recovering Florence's ancient trades within OMA (Osservatorio dei Mestieri d'Arte). The workshop, brainchild of AWA and Il Palmerino, is part of a larger initiative to create a Florentine archive for art by women on paper, including drawings, photography and graphic art. "Women artists throughout history have chosen paper as their prime medium, even before drawings were considered finished works of art," says Cuniberti.
Summer calendar with a focus on women, art and nature
'Pathway of the gods' includes a packed calendar for June, involving poetry readings, contemporary art walks, nature hikes. Also expect lectures with internationally reknowned art-by-women scholars and cutting-edge female artists.
Project organizers: Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino, Advancing Women Artists
Partners: Bertocchi-Colliva Archive and Foundation, Atelier degli Artigianelli, with the support of the Municipalities of Fiesole and Monzuno.