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  • Detail view of Alessandro Piangiamore's La cera di Roma #23, 2016. Courtesy of Olnick Spanu Collection, New York. Photograph by Marco Anelli © 2018
    Art & Culture

    Alessandro Piangiamore's First U.S. Exhibition

    Curated by Vittorio Calabrese, director of Cold Spring’s Magazzino Italian Art, Marango will feature 14 pieces from Alessandro Piangiamore's Ieri Ikebana, La cera di Roma, Belvedere, and Primavera Piangiamore series, as well as a new site-specific work from the artist's Tutto il vento che c'è (All The Wind That Blows) open-ended project. 

    Sicilian born, Alessandro Piangiamore lives and works in Rome. In his work, the attempt to crystallize the ephemeral, the evanescent, is recurrent through a practical approach to the material that, as the artist claims, allows him to adhere to reality and an understanding of it. His practice always maintains an intimate and poetic dimension that often leaves the state of the final form to chance.

    The exhibition’s title, Marango, comes from the Sicilian word for Amaranth, a color extract from a flower originating from South America, which characterized the textile production of ancient Mesoamerican cultures. Amaranth is one of the elements found in Piangiamore’s Ieri Ikebana’s compositions, symbolizing the relationship between materials, tradition, and nature, typical of the artist’s oeuvre.

    On the occasion of Marango at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, Piangiamore has decided to portray the Nor'eastern, a Hudson Valley wind. The monolith, made of local soil, is currently living at Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring. At Casa Italiana, a text description of the site-specific project will present the ongoing erosion happening at Magazzino.

     “In my research, I often try to crystallize everything which is ephemeral and fleeting through a practical approach to the matter, which allows me to cleave to reality and grasp it. Between the physical and the abstract, nature and the artificial, my research aims – rather than creating single objects – to make their inside shape and images emerge. Rather than being static or frontal, their features are accomplished through evocations and semantic and visual shifts. “ Piangiamore explains.

    "We are always very busy," emphasizes Magazzino's founder Giorgio Spanu, "supporting and promoting Italian art. Not only the big names, but also the young artists. It is no coincidence that Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò will host from the first of May the exhibition of Alessandro Piangiamore in a wider project that will be constantly centered on the new voices of contemporary Italian art ".

    Marango marks the third collaboration between Magazzino Italian Art and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU following Burri-Posters in 2017 and Ornaghi & Prestinari in 2016.

     

  • Prosciutto of Norcia
    Dining in & out

    Earthquake. Buy Prosciutto from Norcia and Lentils from Castelluccio!

    The earthquake struck one of the most important food distributors in Italy, the one that created the term “norcineria” to indicate the art of producing pork that hails from the city of Norcia.

    Norcia’s typical pork products are unique in their traditional production techniques. The prosciutto from Norcia, with the trademark IGP since 1998, is one of the many quality products that is at the risk of disappearing if an immediate solution is not found for the small farmers who can no longer tend to the animals in the wake of the quakes.

    This is the same problem that dairy workers and shepherds face when they produce the “pecorino di Norcia del pastore”: a cheese made with sheep’s milk, a typical Umbrian product recognized and added to the list of traditionally Italian agricultural products.

    Agostino Cataldi, owner of the company Patrizi di Norcia, is already preparing to move production, but he is afraid that the bureaucratic procedures can negatively affect production, signaling the end of the business. Similar appeal in the last few days was launched by Valentina Fausti: “There’s absolutely nothing left. We lost everything. We need water and fences for the animals.”

     

    “We will not give up – says Vincenzo Bianconi, sixth generation hotel manager and owner of the fantastic restaurant Vespasia di Palazzo Seneca – We are the Japanese of Italy; we live alongside the earthquakes and we choose to stay here.” The Bianconi family, owner of four hotels and three restaurants, helps to count the damage. Along with other business owners, the Bianconis created the group “We are Norcia” to organize reconstruction efforts. “We will start with the town” – Vincenzo states – “then move to the tourist attractions.” We already started working again after the quake in September, and we were counting on this weekend, but we will not stop.”

    “The paradox – explains Bruno Petronilli, culinary arts expert and journalist – is that the tourist industry is in crisis because it heard that the earthquakes were in Umbria, but the tremors were felt more in Rome than they were in Perugia.”

     

    And we want to mention the Castelluccio lentils plant, which is famous for its blossoms in the spring. It’s a quality legume known all over the world because it can withstand both extreme cold and intense heat for long periods. It’s for this reason that Castelluccio lentils are of IGP certified quality. In this case the so-called meat of the poor is anything but cheap, because the peculiar texture and thin skin shorten cooking time, which is usually very long.

    The culinary world, like it did for Amatrice, needs to rally. Buy their products immediately and donate the food: cold cuts, pecorino, prosciutto, lentals, and everything that comes from Norcia and its surrounding areas. This is the best way to express solidarity.

    From Luciano Pignataro's blog >>