On 16-17 May, artists, art critics and art historians along with curators and restorers gather to discuss conservation of artworks from the Eighties


Turin, 15 May 2019 – For Thursday 16 and Friday 17 May 2019 at the Intesa Sanpaolo skyscraper, Intesa Sanpaolo in partnership with the Italian Group of the International Institute of Conservation (IGIIC) and the Fondazione Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale” (CCR) have organised the third International Congress on Conservation of Contemporary Art, entitled “Linee di Energia. GLI ANNI OTTANTA. VERSO ALTRI ORIZZONTI” (Lines of Energy. THE EIGHTIES. TOWARDS OTHER HORIZONS”)


Following the 2017 and 2018 conferences on art of the Sixties and Seventies, the third edition of Lines of Energy – organised by a panel of scientific experts headed by Giorgio Bonsanti, accompanied by Francesco Tedeschi, Antonio Rava and Sara Abram – will be dedicated to art of the Eighties, exploring new viewpoints and the multiform artistic (as well as technical and poetic) aspects of the decade that heralded the shift from conceptual art to new postmodern artistic forms dominated by colour and a move beyond abstract art.


Using the tried-and-tested formula of previous editions, the event will compare the standpoints of some artists, who are invited to explain the relationship between their artistic stance and reasoning with the practical results in their work; calling on art critics and historians who have focused on the specific situations in depth, in order to offer their interpretation of the relationship between original artistic concepts and their historicisation. Curators of museums and restorers are also on hand, as professionals who deal with the problems of art conservation, management and defence of original artistic reasoning.


The congress will be organized with sections dedicated to tackling and investigating thematic issues in light of the general context of the period, highlighting the values of the time by looking at projects and exhibitions of that specific period.


The initiative is part of Intesa Sanpaolo’s huge commitment to protecting the country’s artistic heritage. The Group is in fact dedicated to the conservation of its own collections and the “Restituzioni” project, the programme supervised and sponsored by Intesa Sanpaolo that has restored artworks since 1989 in collaboration with Italian government departments responsible for conservation (with 1,300 artworks restored for museums, archaeological sites and churches all over Italy).

The commitment of Intesa Sanpaolo and the Progetto Cultura is clearly evident in the Gallerie d’Italia, the three museum complexes of our Bank that publicly share the beauty of the Group’s buildings and art collections, staging exhibitions that promote Italian art. But we do not neglect the important themes of conservation, study and research. Proof of this can be found in ‘Linee di energia’, now in its third edition. This event bears witness to our commitment to the enhancement and necessary interventions in art and culture, to protect the Bank’s artistic heritage as well as the country’s one, as confirmed also by the ‘Restituzioni’ project”, said Michele Coppola, Executive Director of Art, Culture and Historical Heritage of Intesa Sanpaolo.

The congress is free to enter, following registration at www.igiic.org. A certificate of attendance is provided.

Press information

Intesa Sanpaolo

Media Office for Institutional, Social and Cultural Activities

+39 337-1337592





Thursday, 16 May 2019

9.30-10  am          Participants’ registration and welcome coffee


10.00-10.30am   Welcome note to congress

                               Michele Coppola, Executive Director of Art, Culture and Historical Heritage of Intesa Sanpaolo

Giorgio Bonsanti, formerly Professor of Restoration Techniques at the Universities of Turin and Florence, President of the Inter-ministerial Commission MIBAC-MIUR on teaching of art restoration.


10.30am-12.00pm             First session. The Eighties – a decade of creativity

The session opens with a discussion with some of the key figures from a period when exhibition events and the work of specialised press played an important role in sharing expressive forms, in their liberal transformation from within during a period of huge enthusiasm and creative outbursts.

                               Moderator: Francesco Tedeschi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan

                               Renato Barilli, art historian

                               Demetrio Paparoni, art critic and curator


12.00-1.30pm      Second session. From earthquake to Terrae Motus

The earthquake in Irpinia in November 1980 was a tragic episode that transformed into a moment of solidarity and an attempt to relaunch cultural interest with the Terrae Motus initiative by gallery owner Lucio Amelio. The top international artists of the Eighties contributed to a collection with a high symbolic value in terms of the processes of protection and conservation of cultural wealth.

Moderator: Antonio Rava

Giuseppe Oreste Graziano, head of Conservation at the Reggia di Caserta

                               Antonio Rava, art restorer


1.30-2.30pm        Break


2.30-4.00pm        Third session. Looking to the future with the dizziness of the past

During the Eighties there was a new “return to the craft”, which did not reject the achievements of the avant-garde movements but absorbed them into the debate between techniques, models and proposals, where design, painting and other forms were updated by recycling different lessons from the past.

Moderator: Antonio Rava

                               Omar Galliani, artist

                               Lorenzo Canova, art historian

                               Eugénie Knight, art restorer


4.00-6.00pm        Fourth session. Looking East

The charm of the Orient is an important factor in artistic creation, from the point of view of established relationships and in technical terms, which impact on a cultural perspective where temporal and spatial relationships are subject to a profound redefinition.

Moderator: Francesco Tedeschi

                               Luigi Ontani, artist

                               Davide Benati, artist

                               Walter Guadagnini, art critic and historian

                               Camilla Roversi Monaco, art restorer



Friday, 17 May 2019

9.00-11.00am      Fifth session. Shapes, sculptures, and other things and stories.

As in painting, also the field of sculpture (national and international) saw a harmonious co-existence of traditional materials with a deep sense of free design, construction and narration in the Eighties.


Moderator: Sara Abram

                               Giuseppe Maraniello, artist

                               Luigi Mainolfi, artist

                               Francesco Poli, art historian

                               Riccardo Passoni, Director of Gam gallery, Turin

                               Michela Cardinali, Director of CCR Restoration Workshops “La Venaria Reale”


11.00-11.30am   Coffee break


11.30am-1.30pm Sixth session. The Eighties’ design and the intertwined relationship between art, architecture and design

This session is intended to focus on the field of design, which in those years was particularly aligned with the direction of art, in an extremely important exchange for that period.


Moderator: Sara Abram

Stefano Giovannoni, designer

Enrico Morteo, architect, art critic and historian of design and architecture

                             Silvana Annichiarico, architect and design curator

                             Barbara Ferriani, art restorer      


1.30-2.30pm        Break


2.30-5.30pm        Seventh session. Promotion and conservation (of Eighties’ art) by archives in museums, art galleries, and collections.

Even though the era in question is not far removed from the present, it was only in the ninth decade of the twentieth century that there began to be laid the foundations for conscious conservation as well as promotion of artistic works, with a new awareness of the art system where various stakeholders play a decisive role. The current awareness of context that in promoting the management and dynamism of works from the recent past witnessed in that moment a point of no return in the debate between those many figures responsible for the issue.


Moderator: Francesco Tedeschi

Massimo Minini, gallery owner

Giorgio Verzotti, art critic and historian

Marcella Beccaria, Chief Curator and Curator of Collections at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea  

Marco Meneguzzo, art critic and historian, Accademia di Brera, Milan – Archivio Mario Schifano, Rome

Alessandra Donati, professor of Comparative Contract Law, University of Milano – Bicocca – member of expert committee AITART (Italian Association of Artists’ Archives)

Paola Iazurlo, art restorer, ISCR, Rome





The Intesa Sanpaolo Progetto Cultura is a three-year series of initiatives through which the Bank expresses its commitment to the promotion of art and culture in Italy. The Gallerie d'Italia (the three museum complexes of Intesa Sanpaolo based in Milan, Naples and Vicenza), house a selection from over 30,000 works belonging to the artistic heritage of the Group, from archaeological artefacts to contemporary art. Milan focuses on the Italian nineteenth and twentieth century collections; Naples hosts the Martyrdom of St Ursula, the masterpiece by Caravaggio, along with works from artists in the south of Italy between the seventeenth and early twentieth centuries; Vicenza holds the Attican and Magna Grecian ceramics, Venetian paintings from the eighteenth century and Russian icons. Alongside the permanent exhibitions, the Gallerie d'Italia organise temporary exhibitions thanks to original academic projects, and loans and exchanges with major museums on the national and international scene. One location for the temporary Progetto Cultura exhibitions is the 36th floor of the Intesa Sanpaolo skyscraper in Turin. Since 1989, the Restituzioni programme has supported the restoration of artworks of Italian heritage that have been identified in collaboration with conservation bodies of the State. Apart from promoting its own and public artworks, the Bank also heavily supports leading museums, institutions and cultural initiatives across Italy - from theatre to music, from exhibitions to festivals, with a particular focus on books and literature.  The Historical Archives (which own the valuable photographic collection of the Publifoto Archives) preserve and promote historical documents of importance not only for the Group but the entire country. Its publishing and music initiatives include series dedicated to works of art, the Bank’s historic buildings, the art collections for children, and history, economics and documentary, art and music publications. The Officine delle Idee project also aims to provide young people, graduates and post-graduates, with first-rate learning opportunities within the art world. Progetto Cultura is set up by the Art, Culture and Historical Heritage Head Office Department of Intesa Sanpaolo, headed by Michele Coppola.