May 5-28, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, May 5, 6-9pm
Panel Discussion  /  Art in Context-ItalyThursday, April 18; Doors at 6:30, Talks at 7pm



From The Olnick Spanu Collection

May 5 – July 2, 2017

Nancy Olnick, Giorgio Spanu, the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington DC are pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition MARCO BAGNOLI, DOMENICO BIANCHI, REMO SALVADORI: From The Olnick Spanu Collection, on view at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington DC from May 5 through July 2, 2017.

This exhibition presents three artists from the Olnick Spanu Collection who will also be part of the inaugural exhibition at Magazzino Italian Art, a new warehouse art space located in the Hudson Valley, NY.  Dedicated to Post-war and Contemporary Italian Art, Magazzino will open to the public by appointment on June 28, 2017.

For the exhibition at Hillyer Art Space, Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu have selected Bagnoli, Bianchi and Salvadori, whose work is imbued with the illustrious history of Italian art as well as a profound understanding of today’s world and man’s search for meaning. These artists represent the next generation, following the Arte Povera movement, who continue to explore the human condition and the greater cosmos, and are an example of the artistic talent flourishing in Italy today.

We hope this exhibition will serve to inform the US audience of the relevance of Contemporary Italian Art as well as present 3 influential artists who are lesser known in the United States.

The Olnick Spanu Collection
Established by art advocates Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, The Olnick Spanu Collection is one of the most expansive collections of Post-war Italian Art and Design in the United States. In development since the early 1990s, the art collection is centered around works by conceptual and contemporary Italian artists with a strong focus on the artists associated with the Arte Povera movement. In addition, the Olnick Spanu Collection includes a thoughtfully curated collection of Murano Glass, a breathtaking tribute to design, color and light, featuring over 500 hand-blown works from the 20th and 21st century.

Marco Bagnoli
Born in Empoli in 1949 , Bagnoli has long been a presence at major international exhibitions including the Venice Biennial (1982, 1993,1997), Documenta in Kassel (1982 and 1992), and Sonsbeek in Arnhem (1986). From the mid-1970s to today, Marco Bagnoli has had solo exhibitions at prominent institutions like De Appel, Amsterdam (1980 and 1984), Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneve (1985), Castello di Rivoli (1992), Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea ‘Luigi Pecci’, Prato (1995) and Madre, Naples (2015). He has pursued and continues to pursue his own very personal path, creating site-specific installations in places of exceptional artistic, architectural, religious and spiritual value. His works can be found in important international collections, and permanent installations of his pieces have been commissioned by public institutions and private patrons.

Domenico Bianchi
Born in Rome in 1955, where he lives and works today, Bianchi attended the city’s Accademia di Belle Arti, and at age 22 made his debut with a solo exhibition at Salvatore Ala Gallery in New York. In the years that followed, his work was shown at the Galerie Swart in Amsterdam, Yvon Lambert in Paris, Gian Enzo Sperone in Rome and New York, L.A. Louver Gallery in Los Angeles and Galleria Christian Stein in Turin and Milan. Bianchi’s first museum exhibition was at the Museo of Rivoli in 1989. He exhibited in the Italian Pavilion at the 45th Venice Biennale (1993), in Arte e Alchimia at the 42nd Venice Biennale (1986), and at Aperto 84 at the 41st Venice Biennale (1984).

Remo Salvadori
Born in Cerreto Guidi, near Vinci in the province of Florence, in 1947, Salvadori  currently lives and works in Milan. An exponent of the generation following Arte Povera and Conceptual Art, Salvadori opens up a new space in the conception and formulation of the work, in which art is experienced as a “revelation”. The attention directed toward time and space in his work, as in his own life, intersects with reflections upon the essence of color, on the nature of pure metal, and on the role of the observer. Salvadori’s important solo exhibitions include those at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2005); Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato (1997); Magasin, Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble (1991); and the Italian Cultural Institute and The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1987).



Julie Wills 
Desire and Its Constraint

Wills’ current collage-based and sculptural works are inspired by the tools of desire: wishes, hopes, effort and intention. An evolving understanding of her roles as a parent, child, sibling, spouse, citizen, friend and lover, as well as her awareness of competing external expectations for each of these roles, directly shapes the content and structure of her works.

The works in this exhibit draw imagery from celestial sources; the moon, stars and cosmos recur throughout in varying forms. This imagery, however, is eclipsed by its materiality: stars are rendered as abraded holes in sandpaper, and deep space in a rough wood tree branch. Wills chooses materials for their metaphoric or associative meanings; matchsticks, for example, suggest a continuum from latent potential to residue, while sandpaper contains a tactile recognition of its erosive function. The collages pair traditional drawing materials with the nontraditional materials found in her sculpture and incorporate her longstanding interest in poetic language.

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Julie Wills is an interdisciplinary artist working in the expanded field of sculpture, including installation, collage works on paper, performance, video and site-specific practices. She holds an MFA from the University of Colorado, and an MA in art criticism from the University of Montana. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Jentel Foundation, PLAYA, and the Hambidge Center, among others, and has exhibited her work widely. In addition to her individual studio practice, Wills has worked since 2004 as one of four members of The Bridge Club collaborative.

Wills is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Washington College in Chestertown, MD.



Joseph Crawford Pile  
4×4 Dreams

Why am I compelled to draw trucks raising hell, dirtbikes peeling out, and army helicopters racing across the canvas? I grew up on a farm in rural Kentucky, deep in the sticks. We only had a handful of neighbors. There were very few children around that were my age, except my siblings. We weren’t allowed to watch much television.

 Until I got my driver’s license, I spent my summers on the farm. The most exciting thing around was the monstrously large and loud machinery used to work the farm: the jacked-up 4×4 trucks and the off-road dirtbikes and 4-wheelers. In the country, everything is very quiet and still. So when a mammoth combine harvester thunders by your house, shooting up big black plumes of smoke and rumbling out a deep raspy diesel groan, it gets noticed.

Our driveway merged with the highway at a sharp right angle. To make this turn, cars had to slow down almost to a stop. Some locals used to this as an opportunity to burn out, loudly. Thick woods lined nearly the entire perimeter of our property. We couldn’t see our neighbors, but we could hear their 4-wheelers and dirtbikes.

 We lived in between Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. Military planes and helicopters frequently buzzed our house. When I heard them coming, I’d drop what I was doing and run outside to stare in awe. I still run out to watch the airshow when I’m visiting the farm.

It’s common for people to think of vehicles’ relationship to humanity, and, in a broader sense, the natural world, as an antagonistic one. Vehicles Misbehaving is my attempt to capture the primal beauty I see in these machines.

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Joseph Crawford Pile grew up on a pig farm in rural Kentucky and was raised in the house his great-grandfather built in 1874. The land the farm was built on was purchased with the wealth passed down from a land grant in Kentucky for Pile’s great-great-great-great-grandfather’s service in the Revolutionary War.

Pile dreams about the farm every night. Usually the dreams are a mix of family members and peers from his formative years, all set on the farm with a desperate apocalyptic theme. He has spent his life trying to interpret these dreams, to gain insight into his personal, emotional, and psychic identity and his place in the world.

Pile’s mother is an artist, and as a child he watched her paint portraits, landscapes and still lifes. She fostered his interest in the arts and enrolled him into summer art programs as a teenager, which lead him to art school as a young adult.

He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.