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Magazzino Italian Art announces official opening and inaugural presentation in June 2017
Margherita “Christian” Stein at her home-gallery mid 1960’s Piazza San Carlo, Turin, Italy. Artworks by Jannis Kounellis, Luciano Fabro, Michelangelo Pistoletto. Photo by Mario Sarotto.

NEW YORK, NY.- Magazzino, the new private warehouse art space in the Hudson Valley devoted to Postwar and Contemporary Italian art, will be open to the public by appointment only starting June 28, 2017, with an inaugural presentation that will pay homage to Margherita Stein. Founder of the historic Galleria Christian Stein in Turin, Italy, and one of the pioneers of the Arte Povera movement, Magazzino’s premiere presentation will continue Stein’s legacy in the United States by fostering a renewed dialogue around Postwar Italian art. Located along the Hudson River, in Cold Spring, New York, the new space will display works from the Olnick Spanu Collection, with the mission of researching and supporting further recognition of Postwar and Contemporary Italian art in the United States.

The inaugural presentation will display a curated selection of works created by artists whose careers Stein fostered. Born and based in Turin, Margherita Stein assumed the alias “Christian Stein”, borrowing her husband’s first and last name in order to gain acceptance as she embarked on a career as one of the leading Italian gallerists of her time. Between 1966, when the gallery first opened, until 1999, Stein was responsible for supporting artists associated with Spatialism, the Zero Group and most significantly, Arte Povera, bringing early recognition to this movement, first in Italy and Europe, and later in the United States. Continuing this mission, Magazzino’s inaugural presentation and programming aims to further the historical dialogue and research on Italian art, both past and present.

Italian art critic and curator, Germano Celant, coined the phrase “Arte Povera” for his celebrated 1967 exhibition in Genova. Meaning “poor art” in Italian, the phrase grew out of the radical stance artists were taking in response to their dissatisfaction with the values established by political, industrial and cultural institutions. The movement features impressive sculptural installations, illustrating artists’ preoccupation with history and myth and their preference for humble, often ephemeral materials. These young Italians opposed the commercialization of the art object and aimed to eradicate the boundaries between media as well as between nature and art. Stein was active in the creation of the movement and participated in the debates these artists held on the changes that were taking place in contemporary art. Her commitment to their vision has proven to be an essential part of the history of Arte Povera. Based on Stein’s legacy, the inaugural display at Magazzino will showcase over four decades of historic works by artists including Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Gilberto Zorio.

“The inaugural presentation at Magazzino will not only focus on the core group of artists associated with the Arte Povera movement but will also incorporate artists from the following generation, including Marco Bagnoli, Domenico Bianchi and Remo Salvadori,” states Director Vittorio Calabrese. “The aim of the initial presentation is not solely to be a survey of Arte Povera, but rather an homage to the vision of Margherita Stein and her role in shaping and advancing these artists’ careers. Our goal is to always have one gallery dedicated to presenting temporary exhibition of contemporary art.”

Magazzino draws architectural components from an existing structure which has been repurposed within a larger design conceived and led by Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo. Quismondo has doubled the square footage of the former space by completing the original L-shape into a rectangle, leaving a courtyard in the center, and creating a dialogue between the existing and the new addition. The state of the art facility will feature more than 18,000 square feet for art display and a library, which will feature publications on Italian art and will be accessible free of charge, by appointment to residents, students and scholars.

“The project pays tribute to its name by reiterating its integrity as an industrial warehouse,” explains architect Miguel Quismondo. “The existing building has been striped to its basic components, while the addition is built with structural cast-in-place concrete and metal girders, creating a modulated repetition. The balance of natural light, the contrasting shell and versatile height of the new component establishes a harmonious dialogue between the existing and the addition.” Following the completion of Magazzino, a publication will be launched on a photographic project, documenting the construction of Magazzino from start to finish, by photographer Marco Anelli. Anelli’s works portray the workers on site through the realization of the architect’s design that transformed a space originally designed as a farmers’ warehouse—then a dairy distribution center and most recently a rugged computer factory—into a space dedicated to Italian art. Beginning in summer 2017, Magazzino will join the thriving arts scene of Hudson Valley and will feature a range of educational programming for the local community. The new art warehouse space will be available as an academic resource to those who visit, the surrounding schools and members of the local community.

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