Los Angeles (State of mind): contemporary art exhibition in Naples

An exhibition that tells the story of the city of Los Angeles through several generations of artists, from the seventies to date.

From 28 May to 26 September 2021, the Gallerie d’Italia - Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano in Naples will host an exhibition that offers an attentive and exciting glimpse into the America that has always captured our imagination. If New York is the world, Los Angeles is certainly the megalopolis that in recent years has been defined as the new mecca of contemporary art, finally from an international perspective and with a keen eye for new cultural phenomena.

Since New York began to reject the community of artists and creatives to make room for the purchase of art for investment, in Los Angeles people have started introducing works of art into their homes and bringing them to life, and the initiatives and new institutions dedicated to art with a broadly multidisciplinary take are steadily increasing.

The city has long produced complex art, acting as a pole of attraction for creatives coming from other countries, but no one expected that one day Los Angeles, which has always been the city of cinema and the mecca of the Hollywood star system, would become the world capital of art.

Los Angeles seen through several generations of artists, from the 70s to date

Los Angeles (State of Mind) is the story of a city, a universe in itself that speaks many languages and lives as many contradictions, a melting pot of languages, idioms, peoples. Art in Los Angeles describes a unique world where experimentation and painting, extreme performances and fusions with alternative lowbrow cultures go hand-in-hand.

“Then there’s this city called Los Angeles, even though no one can see what it may have to do with angels”, wrote Jack Kerouac. The city of Bret Easton Ellis, Francis Scott Fitzgerald and Charles Bukowski.

At the beginning, in the seventies, styles and languages overlap one another without an overriding line or genre. Ed Ruscha’s Pop Art, which differs from the New York one, more critical and less addicted to the media and consumption hype, coexists with the latest abstract painting experiences with Sam Francis.

The Seventies, however, are also the decade of conceptual art, Body Art and happenings, in the figures of John Baldessari and Paul McCarthy, often extreme performers, of Ed Kienholz and Lynda Benglis, among the leading exponents of militant feminism.

The middle generation, artists born between the fifties and the sixties, plays a very important role: Raymond Pettibon, interpreter of American nightmares in his drawings in black which represent the negative heroes of counterculture, Manuel Ocampo, author of a baroque style of painting that reflects on the sacred and profane mix, Jeffrey Vallance, whose artistic investigation becomes social and anthropological, Jim Isermann, who overturns the principles of Minimalism through the mix with design and digital graphics, all the way to Eric White, representative of the new pictorial wave known as Pop Surrealism or Lowbrow.

Doug Aitken, who expresses himself through video installations and photographs, the neo-minimalist Rita McBride and the abstract painter Ingrid Calame emerged in the 1990s. Today’s Los Angeles looks above all to Black Culture, a phenomenon that manifests itself in all its social urgency and constitutes the backbone of a critical renewal of American culture. Umar Rashid’s drawings and Henry Taylor’s intense painting testify to this era-defining transition, for an ever-changing America.

Discovering the capital cities of contemporary art in Gallerie d'italia, Naples

For several years now, Intesa Sanpaolo’s museum in Naples has been hosting a cycle of exhibitions on the world capitals of contemporary art. New York, London and Berlin were the protagonists, turning Gallerie d’Italia into a showcase for the very latest international art research. The fourth date in the series explores the art of another American metropolis, Los Angeles.

Once again, the direct dialogue with Naples is important on this occasion as well. The exhibition brings out the cultural sensitivity of the local area, emphasising how receptive the city is to the artistic innovations expressed by California.

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