BERTAGLIA AND GRONES. IN FRONT OF US THERE IS NEW YORK CITY!
BY CHIARA SERRI, JUNE 10th 2016
Interview of Elisa Bertaglia and Gabriele Grones, by Chiara Serri.
As recipients of an artist residency at the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation, at MANA Contemporary in Jersey City, Elisa Bertaglia (Rovigo, 1983) and Gabriele Grones (Arabba, Belluno, 1983) live in New York City for a couple of months, visiting well known art fairs and meeting international artists.
This is a very important formative experience for them, inside an artistic and cultural scenery, wide and varied. During this period they can discuss with professionals in the art field and reflect above their own research, also preparing new and imminent exhibitions in New York. Once back in Italy, their new body of works will be presented at Officine dell’Immagine Gallery in Milan (Elisa Bertaglia) and at Narciso Gallery in Turin (Gabriele Grones). These are two exhibitions they were arwarded at the ArteamCup Prize in 2015.
How is the residency organized and what does it offer to you? How is the work proceeding?
Gabriele Grones: The artist residency is supported by the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation (ESKFF) at MANA Contemporary: a building with artist studios, art galleries and art collections. The selected artists receive a studio for three months and a budget for materials and art supplies. During the artist residency there are meetings with art critics, art curators and journalists, talking about the art scene in general and the artists’ individual research. The studios are open for visiting on Saturdays and during the MANA Open Days. The possibility of sharing thoughts about the work with art experts is very inspiring and allows us to have a different approach and cultural vision of the artistic research.
Elisa Bertaglia: The work is proceeding very well! Over all that the residency offers us, in front of us there is New York. Every day we can go to visit hundreds of different exhibitions, we can meet in person famous established artists that have been masters for us, and compare our experience and share our thoughts with other young artists.
You have recently visited the big art fairs in New York… What is your impression about them? What are the main differences between the American art fairs and the Italian ones?
G. G. : Frieze is an institutional art fair where you can see the most important galleries in the world. The quality is definitely very high. In addition to Frieze, in New York there are several art fairs in the same time, like Art New York or Nada. These fairs often show more experimental artworks and they host also young and new art galleries. In general, the art fairs in New York show a wider and more international range of galleries and artists, if compared to the Italian art fairs.
E. B. : Even though in my opinion this year Frieze have been a bit less bold, here the art fairs always offer a very high quality level, proposing new and interesting artists to know. Compared to the Italian network, that sometimes risks to be more uniform; here galleries offer more news and very miscellaneous artists. Generally, American art fairs have a more spread out vision and more open minds. Visiting art fairs also allows us to see interesting places and not always accessible buildings of the city, such as the Contemporary African Art Fair at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn.
How has this experience influenced your work? Are there any news?
G. G. : The possibility of seeing many artworks in many galleries, in addition to speaking with art professionals, encourages the work and stimulates new ideas for the artistic research. I have started a series of paintings with new subjects in different sizes, compared to my previous works.
E. B. : My research proceeds in an experimental way: I wanted to take advantage of this occasion to paint with no rush, possibly without prejudices, clearing the artworks from some limits. I introduced more acid tonalities and I developed a more interaction between painting and drawing. The drawing itself in the last artworks releases from a graphic connotation to become a painting feature.
In addition to the residency are you going to have more perspectives?
E. B. : We both will take part in a group show at the Undercurrent Projects Space (a gallery in the East Village). The opening will be on June 11th. We are also considering the possibility to apply to other artist residency in New York or abroad.
G. G. : Besides the group show, I will take part in an exhibition this fall at the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in New York, where in 2015, I had my first solo show in the United States.
What are you bringing back to Italy?
G. G. : Some works made at the artist residency will remain here in the United States, one of these works will be part of the ESKFF permanent collection. The other paintings will be exhibited in Europe, I am preparing a solo show at the Narciso Gallery in Turin (Italy), and other works will go to the MZ Gallery in Augsburg (Germany).
E. B. : An artwork will be part of the ESKFF Private Collection. A selection of the artworks made here will be the body of works that I will exhibit on my next solo show in Italy, at Officine dell’Immagine Gallery in Milan, that will represent my work also at the Verona Art Fair next fall.
We are also planning a trip, a journey to cross the country, from East to West, a beautiful adventure. What we will bring back home, between art, culture and humanity, will be a piece of life that will transform us completely.
Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation
More info about Arteam Cup: www.arteam.eu
Interview in Italian: