Could you briefly tell us about your gallery and work?
Our gallery was established in Milan in September 2008 by Tommaso Calabro, who founded it after several experiences abroad, like directing London’s Nahmad Projects art gallery. Both in terms of exhibitions and market, right now we are mainly interested in Italian and international artists from the second half of the 20th century. We deeply care about encouraging to read canon artists from a new perspective through often unexpected comparisons, as we did at our inaugural exhibition, where we paired paintings by Tancredi Parmeggiani with paper works by Cy Twombly. With the “Soft Power: Rosso-Morandi-Ziegler” show, we took our first steps in the market by showcasing pieces that London artist Toby Ziegler created purposely for our gallery.
What resources are available today to engage the target audience?
We strongly rely on digital channels, first of all Instagram, which allows us to communicate our projects quickly and efficiently to an increasing number of users. Today, the art market is made on Instagram too, and new collectors often contact us there. In order to attract a more and more international audience, we have also decided to create a 3D tour for every exhibition we hold that anyone can take on our website (www.tommasocalabro.com). Last, we try to always keep in contact with our city by inviting our closest followers to attend in-gallery talks with experts and artists.
Of all the authors you’ve covered along the years, who’s been the most appreciated?
Among the authors we have hosted over this first year in the business, Jean Dubuffet was probably the most appreciated by our visitors. Everyone knows him as a painter, especially as the vibrant, colorful painter from “L’Hourloupe” series. But in our “Jean Dubuffet: tra musica e pittura” exhibition, we unveiled a less known side of the artist: Dubuffet as a musician. The synesthetic encounter between all his “Musical experiences”, reproduced at the gallery, and paintings from the ‘50s and the early ‘60s offered our visitors a unique, particularly engaging experience.
How do you see the art market today in Italy and particularly in Milan?
As the fact that we opened our gallery in Milan suggests, we trust this city, and we recognize that it is an exception in the scenario of the Italian art market. Although it cannot compete with art hubs like London or New York, Milan is on its way to turn into a European capital whose cultural offer attracts enthusiasts and collectors from all over the world, and we have no doubt it will keep on doing so.
Milano Gallery Weekend: which opportunities can stem from events of this kind and how are you joining?
We have decided to join the Milano Gallery Weekend because we believe that it might give further exposure to our gallery, and make our spaces known to those who have never heard about us yet. We also believe that an event of this kind can bring amateurs closer to Milan’s network of galleries, besides facilitating the dialogue between professionals themselves. Last weekend, our gallery was open with the “Rodolfo Aricò / Anna Castelli Ferrieri. L’amore per il progetto” exhibition, curated by Paola Nicolin and dedicated to a conversation between two major representatives of the Italian art and design from the second half of the 20th century: Rodolfo Aricò and Anna Castelli Ferrieri, both from Milan. During the Milano Gallery Weekend’s inaugural night, a guided tour of the exhibition unveiled the reasons why we decided to offer an unusual comparison of different arts by associating two apparently distant personalities who actually share meeting grounds yet to discover.