BEYOND THE SURFACE BY GIAN BERTO VANNI (An Italian Artist in New York)

Italian artist GIAN BERTO VANNI’s exhibition BEYOND THE SURFACE opens on October 21, 2021 in New York City. Beyond the Surface is a retrospective exhibition of Gian Berto Vanni’s work featuring a selection of fifty works from the 1990s until the artist’s death in 2017.
Beyond the Surface presents a selection of fifty works dating from the 1990s until the artist’s death in
2017. The focus of the show is the artist’s search for an abstract imagery in which figurative fragments,
geometrical shapes, and biomorphic forms, together with a rigorous use of Joseph Albers color theory,
create evocative compositions that allow for multitude readings by the viewer.
The works, ranging from miniatures to a 48 feet long opus, are grouped under four themes that
informed Vanni’s creative process throughout his career: Landscapes of the Mind, Symbols-Bodies-
Myths, Ceiling Paintings, and Dialogue Between Texture and Intellect.

INTERVIEW

On the occasion of the maestro Gian Berto Vanni’s exhibition in NY, an interview with gallery owner Valentina Puccioni:

Valentina Puccioni

1) Valentina, how did it all start with Arco Gallery? An Italian gallery owner in NY, a unique example first of all as a woman and then in the great difficult City of NY?
After receiving my masters degree in Contemporary Art History at the University of Siena, with Prof. Enrico Crispolti, I moved to New York. There I married an artist, and started following the New York art scene actively. I started thinking that most of what was shown, and promoted, was chosen based on how “fashionable” it was, leaving behind many talented artists who were not going to “play the game”. I decided to open a gallery to include those artist, to create a bridge between artists and collectors, independent from trends and market pressures. In fact the name ARCO is an abbreviation of the words artist and collector.

2) Your love for art: dedication, continuity, passion…you transmit it in your work, tell us about it…
A passion for art is the reason of Arco Gallery being born. I don’t represent artists based on a specific theme or style, but I must be strongly drawn toward the type of work they do. I also want to see a strong commitment and continuity in their work, not a hopping between vague ideas in search of something that might catch the market’s attention. I see our relationship as a collaboration, in which I fully dedicate myself to make sure their work is going to find an audience as wide as possible. I only work with artists who are ready to collaborate in a genuine and relaxed way. I will not work with prima donnas, not even if they are as talented as Picasso!

3) Let’s talk about the beautiful exhibition that is opening by Gian Berto Vanni?
I am truly excited about this exhibition. It was born as a collaboration with another woman, Ronni Anderson, from Anderson Contemporary. Ronni is a wonderful person, and we both share the same unconditional passion about art. The show is taking place at Anderson Contemporary, at 180 Maiden Lane, in the Wall Street area in Downtown Manhattan. It is an incredible space, very large, that allowed us to present 50 works by Gian Berto Vanni, with works that are as large as 48 feet long. It will be a great opportunity to bring Vanni’s work to the attention of a larger public.

4) How was the master, you who knew him well?
When I had to choose the topic for my master’s thesis, I did not want to write the hundredth thesis on the work of a famous artist, as is usually the case for art students. I wasn’t interested in the work of an artist who is famous to the general public, as much as I was interested in the work of an accomplished artist, with an important professional history, both from the point of view of intellectual and pictorial continuity, and who could give me an up-close experience. I was very lucky because the great art critic Enrico Crispolti was my supervisor, as well as a great admirer of Vanni’s work, and he accepted my project to write my thesis on Vanni’s work. I spent many months interviewing the master and getting to know him very well. It was truly a unique experience.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
5) What does this exhibition represent, which works in particular have been chosen and why?

The show presents a selection of fifty works dating from the 1990s until the artist’s death in
2017. The focus of the show is the artist’s search for an abstract imagery in which figurative fragments,
geometrical shapes, and biomorphic forms, together with a rigorous use of Joseph Albers color theory,
create evocative compositions that allow for multitude readings by the viewer.
They have been grouped under four themes that informed Vanni’s creative process throughout his career: Landscapes of the Mind, Symbols-Bodies-
Myths, Ceiling Paintings, and Dialogue Between Texture and Intellect.

6) The space chosen for this collaboration is distinctive, how do the works fit in this space?

Yes, the space is absolutely unique. It is located in the lobby of a building in Downtown Manhattan, and it is on two levels. The lobby serves also as a public space, with benches and trees all around, for the public to freely enter and spend time there. It is a unique environment, that gives people the opportunity to enjoy the artworks in the outmost relaxation.

7) The foundation continues to work, the life of the artist continues through his works, how?

The work of Gian Berto Vanni influenced many people over the course of the years. From the many collectors who purchased his work, to the art students who took his classes at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture in NYC, where he taught for over 30 years. The mission of the foundation is to promote the work and preserve the legacy of Gian Berto Vanni by preserving the documents and collection of resources related to G.B. Vanni’s work and by supporting the intercultural aspects associated with his art.

8) What do you want to accomplish next? Future projects of the maestro Gian Berto Vanni?

After this show, I would like to collaborate with the Italian Consulate of New York, and possibly other Italian Cultural Associations in New York as well as abroad, to bring the the work of the master to the attention of the Italian public around the world.

9) How will Arco Gallery develop in NY? Or also in Europe?

I think that Arco Gallery will keep developing by establishing more collaborations with galleries and institutions that are elsewhere and which share the same passion for an “independent art world”. I wold very much like to collaborate in Asia as well, not just the United States or Europe

10) Finally, give us one last expression to define the maestro Gian Berto Vanni… waiting to admire this wonderful exhibition!

I think that the expression that in a nutshell better defines Gian Berto Vanni’s work is his own quote “Painting is a tool to understand nature beneath appearances, disregarding the scientist’s eye and
using the poet’s, in search of those mysterious rules that conduct her marvelous harmonies.”

Italian artist Gian Berto Vanni was born in 1927. A disciple of Joseph Albers and Vordemberge-
Gildevart, his career spanned over seventy years. A passionate worldwide traveler as well as
an underwater diver, the paintings reflect his memories of natural landscapes visited during his
extensive travels, both above and below water, and his passion for literature and mythological
themes from around the world. Vanni was actively involved in the Italian Art scene of the 1960s,
moving to New York City at the end of the 1970s. He taught color theory at the Cooper Union
School of Art for thirty years. His works have been shown in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

BEYOND THE SURFACE BY GIAN BERTO VANNI
October 21, 2021 – January 21, 2022
Anderson Contemporary – 180 Maiden Lane, New York, NY, 10038
Opening Reception: October 21, 5−8 pm

https://www.artsy.net/show/arco-gallery-gian-berto-vanni-beyond-the-surface

Arco Gallery – 579 Broadway, 5° New York, NY 10012 -tel 212 226 1207 -www.arcogallery.comItalian artist GIAN BERTO VANNI’s exhibition BEYOND THE SURFACE opens on October 21, 2021 in New York City. Beyond the Surface is a retrospective exhibition of Gian Berto Vanni’s work featuring a selection of fifty works from the 1990s until the artist’s death in 2017.
Beyond the Surface presents a selection of fifty works dating from the 1990s until the artist’s death in
2017. The focus of the show is the artist’s search for an abstract imagery in which figurative fragments,
geometrical shapes, and biomorphic forms, together with a rigorous use of Joseph Albers color theory,
create evocative compositions that allow for multitude readings by the viewer.
The works, ranging from miniatures to a 48 feet long opus, are grouped under four themes that
informed Vanni’s creative process throughout his career: Landscapes of the Mind, Symbols-Bodies-
Myths, Ceiling Paintings, and Dialogue Between Texture and Intellect.

INTERVIEW

On the occasion of the maestro Gian Berto Vanni’s exhibition in NY, an interview with gallery owner Valentina Puccioni:
1) Valentina, how did it all start with Arco Gallery? An Italian gallery owner in NY, a unique example first of all as a woman and then in the great difficult City of NY?
After receiving my masters degree in Contemporary Art History at the University of Siena, with Prof. Enrico Crispolti, I moved to New York. There I married an artist, and started following the New York art scene actively. I started thinking that most of what was shown, and promoted, was chosen based on how “fashionable” it was, leaving behind many talented artists who were not going to “play the game”. I decided to open a gallery to include those artist, to create a bridge between artists and collectors, independent from trends and market pressures. In fact the name ARCO is an abbreviation of the words artist and collector.

2) Your love for art: dedication, continuity, passion…you transmit it in your work, tell us about it…
A passion for art is the reason of Arco Gallery being born. I don’t represent artists based on a specific theme or style, but I must be strongly drawn toward the type of work they do. I also want to see a strong commitment and continuity in their work, not a hopping between vague ideas in search of something that might catch the market’s attention. I see our relationship as a collaboration, in which I fully dedicate myself to make sure their work is going to find an audience as wide as possible. I only work with artists who are ready to collaborate in a genuine and relaxed way. I will not work with prima donnas, not even if they are as talented as Picasso!

3) Let’s talk about the beautiful exhibition that is opening by Gian Berto Vanni?
I am truly excited about this exhibition. It was born as a collaboration with another woman, Ronni Anderson, from Anderson Contemporary. Ronni is a wonderful person, and we both share the same unconditional passion about art. The show is taking place at Anderson Contemporary, at 180 Maiden Lane, in the Wall Street area in Downtown Manhattan. It is an incredible space, very large, that allowed us to present 50 works by Gian Berto Vanni, with works that are as large as 48 feet long. It will be a great opportunity to bring Vanni’s work to the attention of a larger public.

4) How was the master, you who knew him well?
When I had to choose the topic for my master’s thesis, I did not want to write the hundredth thesis on the work of a famous artist, as is usually the case for art students. I wasn’t interested in the work of an artist who is famous to the general public, as much as I was interested in the work of an accomplished artist, with an important professional history, both from the point of view of intellectual and pictorial continuity, and who could give me an up-close experience. I was very lucky because the great art critic Enrico Crispolti was my supervisor, as well as a great admirer of Vanni’s work, and he accepted my project to write my thesis on Vanni’s work. I spent many months interviewing the master and getting to know him very well. It was truly a unique experience.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
5) What does this exhibition represent, which works in particular have been chosen and why?

The show presents a selection of fifty works dating from the 1990s until the artist’s death in
2017. The focus of the show is the artist’s search for an abstract imagery in which figurative fragments,
geometrical shapes, and biomorphic forms, together with a rigorous use of Joseph Albers color theory,
create evocative compositions that allow for multitude readings by the viewer.
They have been grouped under four themes that informed Vanni’s creative process throughout his career: Landscapes of the Mind, Symbols-Bodies-
Myths, Ceiling Paintings, and Dialogue Between Texture and Intellect.

6) The space chosen for this collaboration is distinctive, how do the works fit in this space?

Yes, the space is absolutely unique. It is located in the lobby of a building in Downtown Manhattan, and it is on two levels. The lobby serves also as a public space, with benches and trees all around, for the public to freely enter and spend time there. It is a unique environment, that gives people the opportunity to enjoy the artworks in the outmost relaxation.

7) The foundation continues to work, the life of the artist continues through his works, how?

The work of Gian Berto Vanni influenced many people over the course of the years. From the many collectors who purchased his work, to the art students who took his classes at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture in NYC, where he taught for over 30 years. The mission of the foundation is to promote the work and preserve the legacy of Gian Berto Vanni by preserving the documents and collection of resources related to G.B. Vanni’s work and by supporting the intercultural aspects associated with his art.

8) What do you want to accomplish next? Future projects of the maestro Gian Berto Vanni?

After this show, I would like to collaborate with the Italian Consulate of New York, and possibly other Italian Cultural Associations in New York as well as abroad, to bring the the work of the master to the attention of the Italian public around the world.

9) How will Arco Gallery develop in NY? Or also in Europe?

I think that Arco Gallery will keep developing by establishing more collaborations with galleries and institutions that are elsewhere and which share the same passion for an “independent art world”. I wold very much like to collaborate in Asia as well, not just the United States or Europe

10) Finally, give us one last expression to define the maestro Gian Berto Vanni… waiting to admire this wonderful exhibition!

I think that the expression that in a nutshell better defines Gian Berto Vanni’s work is his own quote “Painting is a tool to understand nature beneath appearances, disregarding the scientist’s eye and using the poet’s, in search of those mysterious rules that conduct her marvelous harmonies.”

Italian artist Gian Berto Vanni was born in 1927. A disciple of Joseph Albers and Vordemberge- Gildevart, his career spanned over seventy years. A passionate worldwide traveler as well as an underwater diver, the paintings reflect his memories of natural landscapes visited during his extensive travels, both above and below water, and his passion for literature and mythological themes from around the world. Vanni was actively involved in the Italian Art scene of the 1960s, moving to New York City at the end of the 1970s. He taught color theory at the Cooper Union School of Art for thirty years. His works have been shown in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

BEYOND THE SURFACE BY GIAN BERTO VANNI
October 21, 2021 – January 21, 2022
Anderson Contemporary – 180 Maiden Lane, New York, NY, 10038
Opening Reception: October 21, 5−8 pm

https://www.artsy.net/show/arco-gallery-gian-berto-vanni-beyond-the-surface

Arco Gallery – 579 Broadway, 5° New York, NY 10012 -tel 212 226 1207 -www.arcogallery.com

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