Meet the Galleries: Lia Rumma

With two galleries, one in Naples and one in Milan, over the last 40 years, Lia Rumma has become synonymous with the concept of collaboration between various stakeholders in the international contemporary art scene. These collaborative efforts between galleries, curators, critics and collectors have seen the gallery bring to life prestigious events and exhibitions in Italy and beyond. Here, we speak to Paola Potena, director of the Milanese Gallery.

Q: Tell us a bit about the history of Lia Rumma?

A: In 1968, Lia Rumma and her husband Marcello organised the first international exhibition of Arte Povera in Amalfi, Italy. Since then, thanks to the first opening of the gallery in Naples, and then with one in Milan in 1999, Lia Rumma has always promoted projects and exhibitions of international and Italian artists, who have had huge visibility in the international art scene.

Q: What has been the gallery’s greatest contribution to the international contemporary art scene?

A: Projects that were designed ad hoc by the artists, thanks to the collaboration with the gallery, are still the most famous public works, both abroad and in Italy. These include; Anselm Kiefer’s Seven Heavenly Palaces (2004) in Hangar Bicocca in Milan, the mosaic of William Kentridge in Toledo subway station in Naples and Vanessa Beecroft’s public performances.

Q: What sets it apart from other established galleries in Italy?

A: It is a gallery that brings together history and research on contemporary art, in which the special relationships built with the artists have created a unique identity in the art scene.

Q: What are you looking forward to as a participant of the 2019 Investec Cape Town Art Fair?

A: We’re excited to learn about a new market and also to explore the South African art scene.

Q: The gallery originally opened in Naples in 1971, what would you say has been the biggest change in the realm of contemporary art since then?

A: The creation of an art system based on precise rules and operating mechanisms similar to other economic and production systems.

Image Credit: Joseph Kosuth’s Essential C.S. #6 (Yes, it is so.), 1988, Pink neon mounted directly on the wall. Photocredit Sebastiano Pellion

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