Spazio Amanita opens New York art gallery in former CBGB spot – ARTnews.com


New York City fell into mourning when famed rock club CBGB closed its doors in 2006. Legendary birthplace of rock and roll, punk and dance music, CBGB was where Johnny Rotten went to face the breakup of the Sex Pistols and where the police and Patti Smith began their careers, often singing for a nearly empty club. When the space was taken over by menswear brand John Varvatos two years later, many New Yorkers saw it as emblematic of the endless gentrification of the East Village.

But rejoice!

The Spazio Amanatia Art Gallery will soon open its doors at 313 Bowery in a reimagining that its founders hope will bring the famous venue back to its roots. The CBGB space originally housed the 313 Gallery art gallery. Spazio Amanita, which already has a space in Florence, is inaugurating the New York space with “Place Holder” featuring works by emerging Italian painter Leonardo Meoni which opens September 29.

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Amanita is the brainchild of two heirs to the art world: Caio Twombly, grandson of Cy Twombly, and Tommaso Rositani Suckert, whose great-uncle, Curzio Malaparte, was a leading Italian artist, writer and filmmaker who became war correspondent and diplomat during World War II.

“I came here to be a lawyer, but America brainwashed me to be an entrepreneur,” Rositani Suckert said. ART news over coffee this week.

Rositani Suckert’s father, a major intellectual property lawyer, had hoped his son would follow in his footsteps. But, like so many children of successful parents, he was exposed to the arts at an early age and took a different path. His family is the caretaker of Casa Malaparte, a house designed by Adalberto Libera for Curzio Malaparte. Rositani remembers summers spent in Malaparte, surrounded by artists and translators. He was doomed from the start, he said. When he arrived in the United States, he quickly befriended Twombly, who also grew up in Italy and was deeply rooted in the New York art scene.

“He took me on studio tours with him, and so I started getting into it,” Rositani Suckert said. “Naturally, our roles became a bit more explicit and I became more interested in the art world, but from a commercial background.”

Rositani and Twombly inaugurated the Spazio Amanita in Florence in March 2021, on the second floor of the famous Odeon Theatre, a stone’s throw from Palazzo Strozzi. Rositani Suckert and Twombly saw Spazio Amanita as a way to invest in emerging Italian and international artists in a city that generally values ​​more established and classical artists. So far, Amanita has featured artists such as Jenny Saville, Robert Nava, Oscar Hou Yi and Adrian Schachter, son of artist and journalist Kenny Schachter and close friend of Twombly.

“Florence is the heart of the Renaissance, but at the same time it’s not very contemporary,” Rositani Suckert said. “There are a lot of museum activities but not many galleries. We thought it would be very cool to have young artists from all over the world exhibiting in this historic city.

Spazio Amanita: Florence

At the same time, the two began the Iris Residency program at Cy Twombly’s studio in Bassano, a sprawling palace that houses Twombly’s collection of Greek and Roman sculpture and, now, works by artists with whom Amanita has worked. worked – although the works or artists, Amanita would not specify.

Inaugural resident Leonardo Meoni will make his New York City debut at Amanita. Meoni worked with unique velvet fabrics. Pushing the fibers with his fingers, hardware tools, rakes and brushes, he evokes subtle illustrations of monuments that have disappeared, been destroyed or moved around the world, from the bas-reliefs engraved in the walls of ancient Baylonia to the Robert E. Statue of Lee in Charlottesville that was removed after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in 2017. The artwork is incredibly responsive, changing with lighting and perspective.

Although the Florence space was an effective way to launch Amanita, the founders said, the need to expand into New York became apparent when they began working with more artists.

“We have a growing list of artists with growing needs,” said Jacob Hyman, who has become head of sales and exhibitions, and is also a partner. ART news. Hyman left a sales position at Gagosian to join Amanita, eager, he said, for closer contact with artists.

“Having a big base in New York is a pretty special opportunity to offer artists, especially younger ones, so we decided to take the challenge and the risk of doing it,” he said, while making visit the space alongside Garret Goldsmith. , Head of Operations and Partner at Amanita.

The space is large, offering 3,500 square feet of exhibit space, which includes two basement studio spaces for artists to use. CBGB fans flocked to 313 Bowery when they realized the space was being reinvented as an art gallery.

“The former Ramones manager came over the other day and was like, ‘Thank you for doing this!'” Goldsmith said. The founder of the musical rag of the late 70s punk magazine also dragged into the space, and a corner of CBGB’s notoriously filthy bathroom remains untouched. “We learn new things about history all the time,” he said.

Hyman, meanwhile, is happy to note that the space, although under construction for a month, has already become a meeting place for artists and the arts community and hopes it will remain a way to build community. . He believes Amanita is only able to do this because of the horizontal partnership structure between Twombly, Rositani Sucket, Goldsmith and himself.

“We are not a mononymous gallery, there is no name on the front door. I think it gave us the ability to look beyond ourselves and have an expansive partnership structure that really fosters collaboration,” Hyman said.

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