Some weeks ago I had a chat with a young Sicilian art dealer, Adalberto Catanzaro (www.galleriaadalbertocatanzaro.com). On that occasion he told me about his projects, his expectations and his programming.
Above all, he told me about Bagheria, a village near Palermo, well-known for its wonderful villas from the 18th century, and the passion for Art which this city transmits.
This is the reason why, despite all the difficulties that working in a small village entails, he would never move away from his beloved Bagheria.
Everything turns around the air you breathe in this small paradise made of a millennial culture, lemons and much sun. Time seems to have stopped there, and it ignores the speed of our age we are often subjected to.
When was your gallery created?
It was born in 2014. I was torn about it and I reflected for a long period.
I had been attending other artists’ studios at that time with whom I still have a lasting relationship. Stimulated by their approach to the world and fascinated by the power Art has, I decided to set up my first exhibition in 2013 in Palermo.
I drew my conclusion about that event that had positive outcome, so I decided to devote myself to Art for the rest of my life.
Bagheria has been rich in Art for centuries, but how do you see yourself compared to more “official” contemporary art networks? Speaking of which, do you believe a gallery can get by in a small village far from contemporary destinations? If so, how according to you personal experience?
Absolutely! The area around Bagheria was once settled by the Phoenicians. It was a strategic settlement so as to take control over the Mediterrean sea from Solunto mountains.
My city is densely populated, about 60 thousand inhabitants, and a great percentage of them is fond of Art. I live and work in a city that has a strong cultural identity, rich in villas from 18th century, public and private museums.
Certainly, all this has allowed me to work free of many thoughts. Indeed, it was of great help since many artists knew Bagheria and were possibly tired of big cities.
My exhibitions allowed me to select a Sicilian and non audience, more sensitive to vanguard trends and curious about more revolutionary proposals, something I have always supported from day 1.
Who are the artists you deal? What is your orientation when you program?
My work focuses on that generation of artists who were active in the ‘80s. Besides, I am also very attracted to sculpture, the use of poor recycled materials, and by the idea that a specific work spreads out to everyone.
All the exhibitions I have planned for this year are site specific. The first one will display Hidetoshi Nagasawa’s works. I suggested him to use materials from my land so as to create a connection and have a strong impact on the local people.
The second one will be a collective exhibition, created and led by Bruno Corà entitled «Primiera»: it is a show displaying 4 Italian artists confronting time and space differently, and also they are involved and connected to our land for various reasons.
This year’s end of season is for Alfredo Romano, a Sicilian artist. His project comes from the will to underline and confront the ancient History of Bagheria which immediately fascinated him.
What are the latest news for your gallery?
Recently , I have changed my exhibition location that currently is in a building in central Bagheria.
I have devoted myself to a series of shows that aim at underscoring the relation with the city and the surroundings.
Speaking of which, I ended my first exhibition dedicated to Vittorio Messina, led by Bruno Corà. Its title is apparently enigmatic: «ISNTIT». This artist needed to express the relation between 18th century villas and the urbanity zoning as it shows a video of an installation in the show.
What do you think is the difference you make compared to other local galleries?
I guess this is the funniest part of my job. Despite my young age, I work with artists over 60 more than emerging ones who I find it difficult to deal with.
This is the reason why I have cooperated with the so called “Contemporary Masters”. Luckily today this very choice is what makes me stand out.
Article and interview by Virginia Glorioso
English translation by Chiara Vilmercati
Cover image: view of the exhibition of Vittorio Messina – Courtesy of Adalberto Catanzaro Gallery