I'm a freelance art curator and writer based in Rome and Helsinki (FI). I completed my MA in Contemporary Art at “La Sapienza” University of Rome with a monographic dissertation on the British artist David Tremlett and obtained my certification as a Contemporary Art Historian at the Specialization School of the University of Siena.
Before coming to out-and-out curatorial practice, my professional experience was characterized by multifaceted interests and activities. In fact, in addition to publishing texts in art magazines and catalogues and curating exhibitions in Italy and abroad, for years I collaborated in the establishment of artists’ archives and worked for artists, private galleries and public institutions such as the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea and the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, carrying out various duties as art historian and researcher.
Following the exhibition curated in Belfast at the Golden Thread Gallery in 2012, “Patria Interiore”, I started to develop an interest in the history and art of Northern Ireland thanks to being selected in 2013 for the ICI’s Curatorial Intensive at the CCA in Derry and for the International Residency at Flax Art studios in Belfast.
Between 2015 and 2016 I was Managing Editor for art publications and Researcher for the web magazine at NERO Editions.
In 2017, I curated “Lost in Narration. Riccardo Giacconi, Invernomuto, Luca Trevisani” exhibition at the MAC in Belfast and co-curated the second Curatorial Directions, focusing on the importance of text, narration, and story-telling in relation to the curatorial process with workshops and talks in Belfast and Milan.
My strong interest in experimental and critical writing developed in a series of projects, workshops and lectures at universities and other institutions gave me a solid foundation for the conception of the upcoming platform “RUTH”.
I recently published the bilingual monographic essay “Bertille Bak. The Fairy Tale of the Real” (postmedia books, Milan) and I write regularly for “Flash Art” (Italian and International editions) and for “The Visual Artists’ New Sheet” (Dublin).
As an independent curator, I work on cultural exchanges between Italy and some Central and Northern European countries such as Austria, Finland and Northern Ireland and on exhibitions’ projects which will take place in public venues in Rome (Pastificio Cerere Foundation), Turin (Associazione Barriera) and Derry (VOID) over the next years.
My early interests as a curator were essentially directed at the theme of memory, particularly Proustian memory, and in the way some artists develop apparently private concepts in their work, with outcomes that instead capture a territory’s common memories. After encountering the context of Northern Irish history and art in 2012, these interests slowly turned towards the elaboration of trauma and postcolonial studies. Then, by working with NERO (magazine, publishing house and agency) in Rome – which dealt, not only with contemporary art but, with its relation to other disciplines since 2004 – I have become very interested in artists who operate between many fields of media and research. Today I work with artists who have an interdisciplinary approach and are interested in breaking common and official narratives.
The selection I have made for Ungalleried reflects my interests and also the places in Europe where I am very familiar with the contemporary art scene, such as Italy and Northern Ireland (where I have worked since 2011). In both places I have had the chance to meet and learned to know many artists who are lacking a gallery representation and even – such is the case of Northern Ireland – never met a real market system. I have selected artists of all ages and of all media, to give a wide opportunity for Ungalleried’s clients. So there is painting, drawing, engraving and printing, photography, from sculpture to video and a possibility of site specific installations.
I would like to let collectors have a glance in understanding the huge capacity of the artists selected (all with a very strong CV) and the possibilities they could have in dealing with artworks that reflect the best of contemporary discussions, in formal outcomes and content-wise. In some cases I have decided – together with the artists – to insert in their selection of artworks for Ungalleried more “easily approachable” works (in terms of dimensions, prices, and media); but I believe that, once one has fully understood their practices, it would be just perfect to engage with wider environmental art pieces, to bring at home or to other venues a full experience as unique as those in big museums or international events, with the difference that it would be experienced over and over again. This will also give these artists the possibility to keep on with their art and research; supporting them means supporting art and culture, which is nowadays not only urgent but that which could make a difference.
Fabio Giorgi Alberti
The artists that I have selected for Ungalleried work across different media and live in different parts of the world, although a core group of them reside in Germany, where I also live and work. A number of them I have collaborated with before in different capacities and some of them are new to me. A commonality linking all of the artists in this selection is how they search for moments of exchange and encounter in their work, rather than adhering to formal or discipline-specific concerns.
A Berlin-based artist whose work I recently discovered and I’m quite excited about is the French artist Daniela Macé Rossiter. She explores photography through a process of mise en abyme and stratification of the image medium, deconstructing reality in an endless space between folds and strata. Daniela’s work takes place in what may be described as metaphotography, transcending the photographic process.
I’ve been following the work of American artist Elizabeth McTernan for several years now, but Ungalleried has provided my first opportunity to collaborate with her. Elizabeth’s work can be described as a form of cartography and she approaches mapping through the lens of storytelling, approaching territory and terrain in a poetic sense that is able to encompass the gaps and elisions that are common to traditional forms of mapmaking. Among other things, her work has mapped the patterns of waves in the Baltic Sea, patterns of sunlight, and the “Death Zone” in the Himalayas.
I’ve been in conversation with the American Amada Miller since we met last summer while she was in residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanian in Berlin. We’re currently preparing a site-specific project that will take place in Berlin in 2020. Like Elizabeth, Amada’s work investigates and observes natural processes on their own terms in order to present new means of looking at the world. Her recent work reveals a new type of chemistry pairing clay, indigo, meteorites, and glass; materials we might regard as extreme until we realize the sources that make them possible. Brazilian artist Fernanda Figueiredo has lived in Berlin since 2015.
For Fernanda, painting needs to figure out something, whether formal or conceptual. Her work strongly engages with art history and its socio-cultural implications in Brazil and expresses a deep interest in Latin American postcolonial theories, tropical exoticism and the role of visual arts and design in these narratives. Israeli artist Alma Alloro mixes patchwork fabric with other materials like video, animation, and drawing, connecting the analog with the digital. She interweaves old and new works into new compositions and, in doing so, aims to continually cross boundaries.
A commonly cited tidbit about curating is that the root of the word means “to care.” This is often linked to things like tending or preserving. For a curator like myself, this notion of caring doesn’t merely extend to art as an object itself but also relates to how we as curators might create frameworks for exchange: in other words, ways of being together. Whether working with non-profit institutions or in commercial contexts, I like to ask myself: How can I create frameworks within my projects that support artists in the process of creating new works? Moreover, in which way might intimacy be a curatorial material? When I say intimacy I don’t mean giving someone a hug, but rather creating an atmosphere conducive to exchange—it’s an invisible curatorial material that’s impossible to quantify and challenging to even describe, but nonetheless I would argue that a curatorial stance of cultivating intimate spaces within institutions and the other places and contexts that we work within, ultimately expands the channels through which we can engage with art and with each other.
What prompted me to accept the invitation to curate for Ungalleried is how the project positions itself as an international community of emerging artists and collectors, which is nurtured through pop-up events and an editorial platform that offers direct insight into the artist's studio. As a business model, this works against the traditional positioning of the artist/brick-and-mortar gallery/collector triad, which although in my opinion plays an important (although often much-maligned) role in the arts ecosystem, is typically predicated on exclusivity.
When art is good it has the capacity to ask challenging questions, to get us outside of our comfort zones, to make connections between different disciplines or areas of thought. It’s a very speculative and provisional space and that’s something that excites me. This is an ethos shared by everyone that I have invited to join the Ungalleried community and I’m happy that the project will provide a platform for artists to share their individual visions in more nuance and detail directly with collectors, whether through their artist page or Ungalleried’s web magazine.
Syed Shoaib Mahmood
Syed Shoaib Mahmood
Claudia S. Preza
As a curator for Ungalleried, a dynamic new global art platform, I sought to find artists whose practice drew me in and whose artworks had a strong critical and aesthetic quality. I wanted to find art that was unique and innovative art that followed tradition while breaking the mold - stunning, compelling, powerful, expressive, serene and stimulating. I wanted to find art that caused a positive or negative reaction. Curators gravitate towards artists that explore similar themes they explore in their curatorial practice, and I believe I did that. However, I tried not to limit myself to just recruiting artists that aligned with my interests but was rather open to finding artists that fall outside my scope of interests.
My research did not follow a specific method, I mainly followed my instincts and consulted my curatorial databases and notes on artists I follow or have previously met at exhibition receptions. The best way to approach the selection of artists is to begin with a moldable vague idea. It is easier to change an idea rather than try to make it fit into it a specific model. It is important to keep in mind that a curator must respect artists' visions by not approaching curation with set guidelines to meet.
Through my Ungalleried selection, Border art was something I wanted to share with the world. The current political climate in the U.S. portrays the border between Mexico from a negative perspective—different from what it truly is. The border is more than speculated high crime rates and the influx of immigrants crossing every day – it’s a culturally rich place. Growing up as a Latina between the U.S and the Mexico border has enormously influenced my curatorial practice which investigates themes of identity, culture, belonging, and change.
I’m often asked what I do as a profession– what is a curator? The role of a curator is to promote the work of artists and augment the voice of the artist – to be an academic art agent. As a curator, I strive to support artists’ various creative endeavors and help them articulate their ideas. A curator is more than someone selecting art, but rather someone who provides a platform to elevate the perspectives of artists. One of the perks of working as a curator is meeting the diversity of artists and learning about their unique perspectives, the purpose of their art, and their creation process--meeting new artists is always an adventure. The act of curating offers the opportunity to gather similar, yet greatly different art pieces in a single space.
When approached to recruit artists and collaborate with Ungalleried, a dynamic new global online gallery, I immediately accepted as it was a golden opportunity I could not refuse. An online art gallery is a powerful platform to access the global art world. In my curatorial practice, finding artists consists of extensive searches online, attending various art-related events around the city, and even just receiving recommendations from other artists. A digital gallery broadens access to art and makes learning about emerging artists easier and removes the barrier created by location.
Art for me is one of the best ways to share emotions, learn about other cultures, and exchange ideas. An artwork reaches beyond the canvas, as it also embodies the process behind the resulting artwork. Through my curating practice, I want to convey the power of art to a diverse audience. My curatorial style is best described as fluid and ever-changing to achieve innovative ways to present art to an audience. Each exhibition I curate is always different, as there is no place for monotony when displaying art. Great art can suffer if it is not shown to its best potential, and as I grow in my profession, I strive to highlight artworks and artists to the best of my ability.
To develop as a curator, I’m constantly pro-active in understanding current and future exhibitions, new and emerging artists. Each gallery or exhibition I visit, I take with me all relevant printed material from exhibition programs as inspiration can come from anywhere and sometimes revisiting previous experiences lead to new discoveries, or even influence improvement to my own curatorial practice. Curation is an excellent vehicle to challenge the status quo. There is no such thing as a neutral decision in art, including or excluding a piece is a choice. As I mentioned previously, art has tremendous power of expression and by carefully curating an exhibition, one can create change—be it big or small.
The following collection highlights various artists working with new and traditional techniques in mixed media, photography, printmaking, paint, and other mediums. The selected artworks incorporate the identity of the artists—each piece represents the artist's voice both literally and metaphorically. The collection offers a balanced combination of the classical and the innovative with selections from artists in the U.S. and Mexico border region. As a collective, each artwork offers new perspectives on common themes. As standalone pieces, they explore unique narratives and themes of identity and culture.
April-May 2018: tech (in)dependent, co-curated with Emily Brostek, Pierro Gallery of South Orange.
September 2017: RISE., co-curated with Emily Brostek, Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall.
December 2016-May 2017: The Archangels Michael and Raphael, El Paso Museum of Art.
July 2016-June 2017: Female Portraits: A Connection between Artists and Models, El Paso Museum of Art.
May-November 2016: Female Saints and Heroes, El Paso Museum of Art.
December 2015-May 2016: Santos, Cristos y Vírgenes: Highlights from the Hamilton Collection, El Paso Museum of Art.
August 2015-July 2016: Tom Lea as Draftsman and Illustrator, El Paso Museum of Art.
May- November 2015: The Immaculate Conception, El Paso Museum of Art.
“Ukiyo-e Tales: The Biographies of the Loyal Retainer or '47 Ronin'” and “Understanding and Appreciating Kuniyoshi’s Warrior Prints” Rising Sun Prints (blog). March 17, 2019.
Brostek, Emily and Claudia Preza. RISE. (South Orange: SHU, 2017).
Map Design: Whitaker, Karl. “The Studios,” Desert Triangle Print Carpeta, ed. 2 (El Paso: Krrrl, 2016): 53
Proofing & Bibliography: Cable, Patrick S. ed. KNOT: The Art of Sebastian (El Paso: EPMA, 2016).
Translations: Biennial 2015 El Paso-Cuidad Juárez. (El Paso: EPMA, 2015).
Brochure Design: Preza, Claudia. Cristos, Vírgenes y Santos: Highlights from the Hamilton Collection (El Paso: EPMA, 2015).
Cable, Patrick S. and Claudia Preza. “Catalogue of Works with Artists’ Biographies,” Renoir to Remington: Impressionism to the American West, (El Paso: EPMA, 2014): 121-143.
Harry Sanchez Jr
Marija Radosavljević is a curator from Belgrade, Serbia, where she initially completed her studies in Photography at the Faculty of Applied Arts, Department of Applied Graphics. Marija has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, both in her hometown as well as abroad. Underlying Marija’s diverse spectrum of themes and subjects is her ability to capture spontaneous moments of candid energy, using primarily analogue but also digital photography and video. Besides creating content, Marija also works as an art director on various projects, curates for local magazines and international galleries, and participates in workshops and lectures on the local contemporary scene. Currently she is between Tokyo, Belgrade and New York.