Painting is back. Exhibition in Milan

The Gallerie d’Italia in Milan - Piazza Scala will host an extraordinary exhibition dedicated to the great masters of Italian painting of the Eighties, a decade that begins much earlier, with Mario Schifano, Franco Angeli and Carol Rama and sees the international and sudden rise to fame of Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Nicola De Maria, Luigi Ontani and Mimmo Paladino, to name but a few of the names that visitors will unexpectedly find alongside Valerio Adami, Mimmo Rotella, Aldo Spoldi and Emilio Tadini hosted by Gallerie d’Italia - Piazza Scala , an Intesa Sanpaolo museum and cultural complex in Milan , from 2 June to 3 October 2021.

The eighties and Italian painting

The exhibition pays homage to the creative energy shared by Italian artists in those years: different characters that would often find themselves being compared in now historical exhibitions, such as A New Spirit in Painting at the Royal Academy in London (1981) or Zeitgeist in Berlin (1982), and who wrote the pages of art critique and history for decades to come. It is at this juncture that the border between centre and outskirts becomes blurred; a new “art system” is thus born, which sees the galleries of cities like Modena, Naples, Milan or Turin respond to the same mechanisms and share the same names as those in New York, Cologne and Zurich against the backdrop of a particularly dynamic and vibrant Italian context. It is no coincidence that in 1982 The “New York Times” wrote “Italians are everywhere”.

“A journey into the art of painting of the Eighties, featuring some key exemplary names, but also cases that were central back then but today are less celebrated, to which this exhibition intends to give back their rightful place in that artistic panorama. A highly articulated, complex and essentially already “fluid” scenario which fatally forced the exclusion of some names, just as crucial to the events of those years but perhaps simply “disorienting” with respect to the formation and evolution of the rooms, designed above all as a starting point for the new generations who, in “various” manners, are becoming keenly interested in painting.”


Luca Massimo Barbero, Associate Curator of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Modern and Contemporary Art Collections and creator of the exhibition “Painting is Back”

On the occasion of the exhibition, a special edition of Flash Art magazine will be distributed to mark the event, featuring articles, interviews and documents linked to artists in the exhibition and reflecting the critical wealth of Italy’s international art and culture scene in the Eighties.

Artworks on display in Milan from June to October 2021

Safety measures are in place at this exhibition. Booking recommended. Information and bookings at gallerieditalia.com.