Palazzo Zevallos as a linking point between Naples and New York thanks to the exhibition 'The thousand lights of New York', dedicated to the cultural and artistic movement of the 80s and its main protagonists: Jean Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel and Andy Warhol.
After the conceptual severity of the previous decade, the 1980s were marked by a return to painting and intense cultural activity for New York but also for Naples, which lived an extraordinary period, demonstrating to be the most artistically exciting and international Italian city thanks to the activities of art curators such as Lucio Amelio, Lia Rumma, Giuseppe Morra, Pasquale and Lucia Trisorio, who built a profitable connection with the American city, creating the conditions for contact among the five artists.
"The protagonist of the exhibition is the art of the eighties, a season of extraordinary acceleration towards the contemporary - says Michele Coppola, Cultural Activities Manager of Intesa Sanpaolo - and is a significant moment for Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano, which for the first time opens up to American the paintings of the last century, highlighting the relationship of some of its protagonists with the Neapolitan city. This demonstrates the ability of Gallerie d’Italia to renew cultural offerings, to accommodate contemporary authors, and to address subjects other than those of the great classical tradition".
In the early 1980s, in a period that saw him again in great creative activity, Andy Warhol was a guest of Lucio Amelio in Naples. Here he produced several works inspired by the Campania territory, such as the Vesuvius series, and the famous Fate presto, work related to the 1980 earthquake in Irpinia. Another guest of Amelio was Keith Haring, who started out with Street Art in the subway, and made several works in Rome, Naples and Milan, in addition to the great mural of Pisa. Jean-Michel Basquiat represents the encounter between graffiti and a more sophisticated style, closer to Expresionism, Picasso and Ar Brut. In the same years, Francesco Clemente transferred to New York, an exponent of the Transavanguardia, capable of combining the language and images of Southern Italy to a more international style: in the Big apple Clemente frescoed the ceiling of the trendy Palladium disco. Julian Schnabel, a painter of great dimensions for museums and galleries, in the mid-1990s started as a movie director as well, achieving excellent results, from his first film representing a generational portrait dedicated to his friend and colleague Basquiat.
The exhibition takes its title from the novel Bright Lights, Bright City, published in 1984 by Jay McInerney: curated by Luca Beatrice, featuring a selection of works from private collections and institutions such as the Madre Museum of Naples, as well as the collection of Intesa Sanpaolo.
Until 5 November. From Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 6pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 8pm. Closed Mondays
Gallerie d’Italia – Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano. Via Toledo, 185, Naples. T: 800.454229 www.gallerieditalia.com