Fine Art Notebook™

The art world in general, NY, South Florida and Italy in particular…

Camilla Ancilotto’s “Original Sin” at Miami’s Freedom Tower

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Miami’s Freedom Tower was designed by Schultze and Weaver, the same architects behind The Breakers in Palm Beach and the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

One of the few Italian-owned galleries in South Florida is Galleria Ca’ D’oro. In addition to their Coral Gables location, they have a gallery in Rome (their original gallery). For the past few years, they’ve partnered with Miami Dade College to stage exhibits at the historic landmark Freedom Tower building, which is located across from the American Airlines arena and is one of Miami’s most beautiful buildings. In fact, attending nighttime openings there reminds me of being in Rome.

Galleria Ca’ D’oro, which is owned by Gloria Porcella , has curated wonderful exhibits since their arrival in Miami and have contributed greatly to our cultural landscape. They’re one of a handful of galleries that consistently host thoughtful exhibits and remain loyal to Italy and Italian artists (and that’s rare in Miami). They also publish intelligent, well-written exhibit catalogs. And they’re dear friends and neighbors to Il Console Generale d’Italia a Miami, Adolfo Barattolo, who is often at their openings with his wife, Federica.

Next week, on September 5, they’ll open a show called “Original Sin” at the Tower that showcases work from Camilla Ancilotto. Her paintings remind me of the Italian Renaissance in their beautiful figurative- ness and vibrant color. And that’s her intention. She alludes to Michelangelo, Bronzino and Tiziano, but combines these references with contemporary painting and mixed media techniques. Her work is exactly the type of painting I’m most passionate about personally. And, much like the mirror works done by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ancilotto’s work integrates the viewer and relies on their participation by incorporating parallelepipeds they can touch and move.  Galleria Ca’ D’Oro writes in their press release for the show, “Using lively and playful images and colors, she invites the viewer to participate both physically and thoughtfully while viewing her work.”


Unfortunately, I can’t attend the opening that night because I have to attend the press preview for Rashid Johnson at the Miami Art Museum – another artist I’m excited about – and then run back up to Boca for an afternoon client meeting. I’m disappointed because I’ll miss meeting the artist and Galleria Ca’ D’oro will be serving an aperitivo of Italian wine, the other thing I’m passionate about. Times like this make me sad I’m not closer to Miami, but, frankly, I don’t really think I’d enjoy living in that city – perhaps Coral Gables, which is very similar to Westchester County where I grew up. I like all the history and charm – and green trees and lawns, which make me happy.

However, I won’t miss the Camilla Ancilotto show. I’m right now planning when to attend and if, like me, you’re enamored with Italy and Italian art, you should be too. Galleria Ca’ D’oro doesn’t simply bring Italy’s best contemporary artists to Miami, they provide the entire Italian experience.

And, if you want to learn more about Italian post-war and contemporary art, and are near Palm Beach next week, please join curator Wendy Blazier and me at the Armory Arts Center on Tuesday, September 4th at 6:30pm. We’ll be presenting on and leading a discussion of artists Michelangelo Pistoletto, Valerio Adami, Alighiero Boetti, Maurizio Cattelan, Sandro Chia, Maurizio Vetrugno, Paola Pivi, Francesco Simeti, Lara Favaretto and curators Massimiliano Gioni and Achille Bonito Oliva.


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