Airport, please! Happily heading to Italy to the Thomas Dane Gallery in Naples
Thomas Dane Gallery was established in 2004 and currently exists in two London gallery spaces at 3 and 11 Duke Street, St. James’s, with a third space in Naples on Via Francesco Crispi. One feature of the gallery is its commitment to the moving image, supporting the production and exhibition of works by Steve McQueen, John Gerrard, Akram Zaatari, Paul Pfeiffer and Bruce Conner. In addition, the gallery has introduced renowned mid-generation artists to London audiences such as Cecily Brown, Albert Oehlen, Glenn Ligon, Dana Schutz and Arturo Herrera, creating an established base of institutional and collector support for these artists in the U.K.
Along with nurturing the development of new talents including Hurvin Anderson, Caragh Thuring, Walead Beshty, Ella Kruglyanskaya and Anthea Hamilton, the gallery’s program seeks out guest curators and promotes gallery collaborations that include such inspired exhibitions as Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative, (2007, curated by Jens Hoffman), Sunless-Journeys in Alta California since 1933(2010, curated by Walead Beshty), Signals (2018) in collaboration with kurimanzutto and Terra Trema (2019) in collaboration with Mendes Wood DM.
In 2018, Thomas Dane opened a gallery in Naples, at Via Francesco Crispi, 69. A longstanding and respected presence in the art world, Dane has been involved in London’s art scene since the 1990s. In an interview with Silvia Anna Barrila in Contemporary Art Galleries on April 23, 2019, Dane explains his interest in opening an artist-centric location in Naples.
I was looking for interesting ways to find new space for artists to show in. Naples is a city that I find fascinating and so do many artists. I am opening a space for artists, not primarily for collectors. I go back to the sense that for artists it is a city where they will be excited to show, because of the layers of history. It is such an extraordinary city. It feels like Europe and also outside Europe, more exotic. It’s also that to open a gallery in New York or LA is just to follow the crowd.
I want to try and create a different path. A different experience for the artist and myself. I also think that Naples has a rich history of showing contemporary art. For example the great gallery of Lucio Amelio showed many well-known contemporary artists. Also the Museo Madre, whose director is Andrea Viliani, who is running an extraordinary programme of contemporary art.
The decision to open in Naples was instinctive. It is a city I had always had a curiosity for, its mystery, its ambiguous beauty… It is a beguiling city. All the artists I talked to were equally drawn to it, and for all of us it became natural, almost effortless, fluid – the opposite of moving to, say, New York, Hong Kong or Los Angeles.
The most recent (memorable moment in my career as a gallerist) was the opening of the Naples gallery last year. We went there with no clear idea of what we were doing and why we were doing it really, but the Neapolitans utterly embraced the project. For a gallery to open in their city when most are looking at Asia or North-America must have meant a lot to them, and ultimately to me.
LUISA LAMBRI EXHIBITION
May 29 – October 2, 2021
In the current exhibition at Thomas Dane Naples. Milan-based photographer Luisa Lambri focuses on two particular historical moments in and around Naples: the frescoes inside the architecture structures of the nearby first century A.D. ruins of Pompeii, and the legendary designer Giocolea Ponti’s elements for the interiors of the Royal Continental Hotel in Naples and the Parco Dei Principi in Sorrento.
Working on site this past year in the preserved ruins of the ancient city, Lambri has turned her photographer’s eye to the interior walls of the Casa degli Amanti, Stanza di Leda e l’Atrio di Narciso, and the Casa di Giulia Felice. While their interior frescoes are decidedly figurative, the artist paradoxically became fascinated with the ways that the Pompeiian artisans used linear design elements to define and enhance the portraits of patrons and allegorical myths that adorn these walls.
LUISA LAMBRI BIO
Her one-person exhibitions have been presented internationally at venues including PAC Milano, Italy; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA; the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; The Menil Collection, Houston, TX; the Palazzo Re Rebaudengo, Guarene d’Alba, Italy and the Hammer Museum of Art in Los Angeles. Forum 57: Luisa Lambri and Ernesto Neto was presented at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh 2006. Lambri’s work has been included in thematic exhibitions including Quadriennale d’Arte in
Rome; Among the Trees, Hayward Gallery, London; Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; 31 Panorama of Brazilian Art, Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Painting the Glass House: Artists Revisit Modern Architecture, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and the Yale School of Architecture, New Haven; The Shapes of Space, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Grand Promenade, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Vanishing Point, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus; Living Inside the Grid, New Museum, New York; and Yesterday Begins Tomorrow: Ideals, Dreams and the Contemporary Awakening, Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, New York.
The LRFA Blog is quite taken by the beautiful abstract interpretations of the city’s historical structures transformed by the eye of contemporary photographer, Luisa Lambri. Summer is officially here and travel is starting after our long siege to open again. We can’t think of a better place to spend time than the Thomas Dane Gallery in Naples.