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Ventura Contemporary Art Night

An out-of-town field trip to discover the first Art District in Milan

Ventura Contemporary Art Night is an event that collectors and art lovers wait for anxiously: it gives them a different way to spend an evening, looking at art and exchanging opinions with the artists and insiders with the big advantage of having in a single evening the most diverse angles of the current contemporary panorama, all in a young and relaxed type of atmosphere.

Getting to Lambrate for the inauguration of the exhibition of “Chiarivari” by John Armleder last February 18th wasn’t as easy as going for an aperitif at the local cafe’, but as soon as I got to the two main roads (Via Ventura and Via Massimiano), where many galleries – milanese and not – have chosen to move, was no doubt a beautiful discovery. Regardless of the dark, all I had to do was follow the many small groups of people at the entrance of different buildings to find my bearings and my surprise grew as I realized that almost all of the galleries in the area were inaugurating on the very same evening.

The Armleder exhibition in the Galleria Massimo De Carlo (Massimo De Carlo Gallery) – open to the public till March 28th – is definitely the most “looked after” and it’s distributed along the two floors of the marvelous building. I’m immediately attracted by music, to then discover that the melody is part of the installation that welcomes the public into the first room. About twenty visitors walk around looking a little lost among clouds of red-orange smoke coming from shiny structures that descend from the ceiling, trying to admire the huge bi-color canvases on the walls. The feeling is breathtaking, capable of stimulating all of the senses and making me feel part of the work itself. Excited, I continue and take advantage of this unique evening to visit as many galleries as possible.

I enter another courtyard – which embraces four galleries – and I recognize a gallery friend who tells me he has one of his artists on view at Lambrate, because he sees this worldly occasion as a great window of opportunity. The works of Matteo Negri, artist of the ABC – Arte gallery in Genova, may seem purely decorative and easily admired, but they hide an emotional story all their own and full of nostaglia. The “Lego” and “Specchio” sculptures, lacquered in pop colors like red, yellow, and blue tell the story of a generation, that of the artist and many of us, whose childhood was shared with the huge success of toy produced industrially and distributed globally.

The last exhibition I recommend you visit – by April 10th – is the one hosted in the Francesca Minini gallery. It was easy to recognize the sensational works of art by Ali Kazma who displayed her videos at the last Biennale di Venezia (the 55th). Even though the space was of small dimensions compared to those of the Turkish’s pavilion, the grand videos of the “Resistance” series become even more penetrating and disturbing, in the small dark space. The exhibition is titled “Care” and revolves around the artist’s idea in which the human body, through social and cultural behaviors and new technologies, can be liberated from its limits, and prosper, or be confined or controlled. The Kazma videos are portraits where the human body is at the center of the performance rather than the center of the performance itself, like in “Tattoo”.

I get to the end of my “field trip out-of-town” in Lambrate, having been able to admire the works of internationally renowned artists in a friendly atmosphere and hardly snobbish. Thanks to the proximity of the galleries and the route made more fluid by the absence of cars (away from the chaotic historic center!) we can finally have the pleasure of declaring that in Milan we have a small Art District!

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