Apre a Firenze la Collezione Roberto Casamonti

Rinnovamento culturale per Firenze con l'apertura di una collezione dedicata all'arte contemporanea, si tratta della Collezione Roberto Casamonti, che aprirà il prossimo 25 Marzo presso Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni in Piazza Santa Trinità 1 .

CS ( per ora l'ho solo in inglese)

The Roberto Casamonti collection is one of the most important collections of its kind in Italy and it will now be open to the public ... allowing Florence's art lovers, as well as its millions of tourists, to enjoy the fruit of his passion for contemporary culture, which has driven his collecting since the very start. It is also a way for him to give something back to the city that he loves and that has nurtured his career.
– Bruno Corà, President of the Fondazione Alberto Burri,
Curator of inaugural exhibitions at the Roberto Casamonti Collection
FLORENCE, ITALY – The city of Florence, birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and one of world’s richest centres of the history of art, attracts an estimated 13 million visitors annually. It is now about to welcome the first public art space solely dedicated to modern and contemporary art: the Roberto Casamonti Collection, which opens on 25 March 2018.
Roberto Casamonti, a native Florentine, gallerist and founder of Tornabuoni Art, has purchased and carefully restored the piano nobile of the historic High Renaissance Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni, dating from 1523 (image below) to house a portion of his extensive personal art collection, assembled over a career spanning more than 30 years. Paintings will hang in an elegant suite of Renaissance rooms, with six-metre high gold-coffered ceilings, overlooking Piazza Santa Trinita and the renowned Via de’ Tornabuoni, in the historic centre of Florence.
A major lender to the 2012 Alighiero Boetti exhibition at Tate Modern and MoMA New York, as well as to the 2015 Fontana exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Casamonti has amassed a personal collection of Italian and international art of over 5000 pieces, from which he has selected around 250 highlights for the museum, including work by: Burri, Fontana, Castellani, Manzoni, Boetti, de Chirico, Picasso, Ernst, Kandinsky, Klee, Warhol, Basquiat, Kapoor and many others.
‘The Casamonti collection is undoubtedly one of the most important collections of its kind in Italy and it will now be open to the public,’ says Bruno Corà, President of the Fondazione Alberto Burri, who has curated the inaugural exhibitions, which will unfold over two years. ‘This generous philanthropic act will allow the city’s art lovers, as well as its millions of tourists, to enjoy the fruit of his passion for contemporary culture, which has driven his collecting since the very start. It is also a way for him to give something back to the city that he loves and that has nurtured his career.’

The 2018 inaugural exhibition will include works from the early 20th century to the 1960s. In March 2019 the collection will be rehung to show works from the 1960s to the present.

Andy Warhol, Jackie, 1964
The Roberto Casamonti Collection also plans to host interdisciplinary events on art with the aim of animating the cultural debate regarding modern and contemporary art. This new space will be run by the art historian Sonia Zampini, a longtime collaborator of Tornabuoni Art.
Entry to the collection will be by appointment only and free of charge. As a token of his love for the city of Florence and his wish to share his collection with as many people as possible, Casamonti, along with the Associazione Culturale that will run the space, have decided that all profits made from the sales in the shop and events in the space will go towards providing scholarships for students to pursue art history studies in Florence.
‘The birth of this project,’ says Casamonti, ‘comes from a desire to share my collection with the city of Florence and to promote a love of contemporary art. I am strongly convinced of the educational value of art, how it stimulates thought and animates our life. I want my collection to be accessible to all, regardless of their ability to pay, because I too believe, like Dostoevsky, that beauty can save the world.’
Casamonti, who began working in his father’s home furnishings shop in Florence at 16, first discovered contemporary art when the painter Ottone Rosai walked into the shop and his father refused to accept payment, asking instead for the artist to paint his portrait. The experience of visiting the artist’s studio and watching the creation of a work of art made a strong impression on the young Casamonti and began his life-long love of art. To this day, he strongly believes in encouraging his fellow Florentines to look at the art of our time and in sharing his love of art and artists.

Max Ernst, Femme, Maison, Moineau, 1965
‘For me this project reflects my firm belief that we should love art for what it is, not for what it’s worth socially and financially,’ says Casamonti. ‘I fell in love with Fontana and Boetti’s work long before they gained world-wide acclaim. It thrills me to be able to hang works by these now established and international names next to works by other artists who today find themselves outside the glare of the international media spotlight and the machinations of the art market. You’ll find Fontana, Burri, Boetti and Castellani hanging alongside Ottone Rosai’s portrait of my father and works by Viani, Boldini, de Pisis and Fattori.’
For Casamonti, now 79, the personal element is important. This collection reflects his love of Italy, his curiosity about the art beyond it and how his own eye developed to encompass both. He knew many of the artists in the collection personally and their work forms part of his visual autobiography:

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 1961
‘Many foundations are made to celebrate their owners. But if you’re expecting to find a “shrine” to my long career as a gallerist you’ll be disappointed! If you’re looking for surprises and off the beaten track works, on the other hand, you won’t be. I don’t believe we need another space to celebrate Futurism, Arte Povera, or Italian Spatialism, but I do believe there is a need to tell more stories about a genuine love of art.’ 

The Roberto Casamonti Collection, Florence

Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni, Florence, Italy
Opening Date: 25 March 2018
Admission: Free of charge, by appointment only
Address: Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni
Piazza Santa Trinita 1
50123 – Florence
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 11.30 am – 7 pm
Telephone: +390556812697

Roberto Casamonti (b. 1940) is an Italian collector and gallerist, founder of Tornabuoni Art, the leading international gallery of twentieth-century Italian art.
Casamonti’s love for art comes from his family. As a teenager in Florence in the 1950s, he worked in the family home furnishings business. When the painter Ottone Rosai came to buy furniture, Casamonti’s father Ezio refused payment, asking instead that he paint his portrait. Casamonti visited the studio to watch his father being painted and was mesmerised by the artistic process, thus beginning a lifelong passion for art and artists. Today the portrait of his father remains in his collection.
Casamonti began collecting 20th-century art in the 1960s. Over the years, Casamonti befriended artists like Lucio Fontana, Alighiero Boetti and Piero Dorazio, who were little known at that time. He acquired their works and also began collecting international artists, such as Picasso, Warhol and Basquiat.

After taking over the family business and building it into a successful enterprise, Casamonti gave it to his eldest son in 1981 and launched Tornabuoni Art, the first major gallery of modern and contemporary art in Florence, named after the city’s famously elegant street in which the gallery was originally located.

As the gallery’s activity increased, Casamonti opened three new exhibition spaces in Italy, in Milan (1995), Forte dei Marmi (2004), and a separate antiques gallery in Florence (Tornabuoni Arte Antica, 2006), as well as three galleries abroad, with the help of his children Ursula and Michele, in Crans Montana, Switzerland (1993), Paris (2009) and London (2015). Today Tornabuoni Art is the leading gallery of Italian post-war art and a recognised presence in the international art world, participating in all major fairs.
The opening of the Roberto Casamonti Collection in Florence marks an important moment in Casamonti’s professional career. Carefully built up over the years, Casamonti’s personal collection spans the entire 20th century, with thousands of works of Italian and international art from around 1900 to the present.


Founded in Florence in 1981 by Roberto Casamonti, in the street that gave the gallery its name, Tornabuoni opened other exhibition spaces in Crans-Montana in 1993, Milan in 1995, Forte dei Marmi in 2004, Paris in 2009 and London in 2015. The leading international gallery of Post-War Italian art, the gallery presents the work of artists such as Fontana, Burri, Castellani, Bonalumi, Boetti, Scheggi and Manzoni. Tornabuoni also  has  a  permanent collection of significant works by major Italian artists  of  the Novecento, such as de Chirico, Morandi, Balla and Severini, as well as international 20th-century avant-garde masters, such as Picasso, Mirò, Kandinsky, Hartung, Poliakoff, Dubuffet, Lam, Matta, Christo, Wesselmann, Warhol and Basquiat. Complementing its focus on Italian art, the Tornabuoni collection also features the work of young contemporary artists such as the Italian artist Francesca Pasquali and the Italy-based Armenian artist Mikayel Ohanjanyan, who won the Golden Lion at the 2015 Venice Biennale and whose work is on show at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2017.

Tornabuoni participates in major international art fairs such as the FIAC in Paris, TEFAF in Maastricht and New York, Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Basel Hong Kong, Frieze Masters in London, Masterpiece London, Artefiera in Bologna, Miart in Milan, Artgenève in Geneva and ArtMonte-Carlo in Monaco.

The gallery also works closely with museums and institutions. With its experience and knowledge of the work of the artists it represents, the gallery has also established itself as an advisor for both private and public collections. The gallery has also been a lender to important exhibitions at Tate, MoMA and the Centre Pompidou. Recently, Tornabuoni Art organised ‘Alighiero Boetti: Minimum/Maximum’ at the Giorgio Cini Foundation, Venice, which launched during the vernissage of the 2017 Venice Biennale.

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