RETAIL-ART: It has been said that art — as well as beauty — will save the world.
As Milan continues to grapple with spiraling COVID-19 cases and many of the city’s retailers remain unable to reopen their doors, a new art project is breathing life into the shuttered storefronts of luxury shopping thoroughfare Via Spiga.
Organized by cultural collective Visiting Installation Art, and headed by entrepreneur Lorenzo Lombardi and his partner, photographer Valentina Angeloni, the showcase is called Viavài, which translates into come and go. It was curated by art expert Federica Sala.
The exhibition, made possible by the support of retailers on the tony shopping street lending their spaces, is aimed at highlighting the works of different international artists and bringing some joy to the street, which is far less crowded with shoppers than it once was.
Artists in show include Nathalie Du Pasquier, Gianluca Malgeri and Arina Endo, Lorenzo Vitturi and Regine Schumann.
In particular, Du Pasquier — the French artist who gravitated to the Memphis Group art collective at an early age — took over the spaces, designed by Ettore Sottsass, once occupied by the Marisa boutique of legendary retailer Marisa Lombardi with paintings in vivid hues depicting a stone, a thumbs-up and a walnut flanked by geometric tiles she designed for Italian ceramic company Mutina.
A few steps away, on Via Spiga 48, Venice-based Vitturi displays a sample of his towering textile sculptures created in partnerships with artisans from the Rajasthan, India-based Jaipur Rugs Foundation and which were front and center in his latest monographic exhibition titled “Jugalbandi.”
Schumann was helped by Milan’s Dep Art Gallery in selecting a range of Plexiglas sculptures exploring the power of light and color for an almost sci-fi visual effect.
Debuting this week, the exhibition will run until the end of March.