Gian Marco Montesano

With his painting Gian Marco Montesano (Turin, 1949) revisits in a postmodern key the popular tradition depicting the Madonnas and the sacred images, but covering them with conceptual and theoretical meanings. Montesano is known to the audience to reread the dramatic and crucial years of the formation of Europe during the Twentieth Century until the time of its crisis. In 2009 he was invited, together with other artists, to represent Italy at the Venice Biennale.

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Gian Marco Montesano. Le porte des Brumes

From 15/01/2005 To 28/02/2005
Exhibition's curator Luca Beatrice

Born in Turin in 1949, Montesano studied in the city at the Valdocco Salesian seminary. He did not follow up an ecclesiastic vocation for he felt more strongly his artistic and intellectual inclinations, which led him in the Seventies first to Bologna and then to Paris where, amongst others, he was able to meet Gilles Deleuze and Jean Baudrillard.

Montesano’s initiation into painting had taken place much earlier, when he was still a seminarian at Valdocco. This is what led to the title, Andarera – a sort of À rebours, a trip back into the places of memory and childhood.

In the early Seventies his first works were in fact reproductions of Madonnas and holy images, souvenirs handed out to the faithful in sanctuaries and during spiritual exercises. Montesano enlarged them and revisited them in a post-modern style, going back to the fine tradition of popular painting but also applying conceptual and theoretical meanings.

He devoted a number of paintings to Turin and to the memory of his father, who worked as an “eccentric” in the world of variety shows: the 1989 painting of Torino anno zero, with the artist as a child out for a walk holding his father’s hand, is emblematic. From the late Eighties until the end of the Nineties, Montesano was included in what is referred to as Medialismo, a current of pictorial revival with a neo-pop and comic-strip basis, of which in actual fact he was an absolute precursor.

He was quite distinct from this context, however, for in his investigations of history in the past, Montesano reinterpreted the crucial and dramatic years of the formation of Europe during the twentieth century, right up to the moment of its crisis. Together with these, there are also the most tender pictures of children, captivating female portraits, vast Romentic-style landscapes, and cinema-like cityscapes that Montesano painted with his unmistakable neorealist, or rather post-realist style.

As well as being a well-established painter, Montesano is also an avid stage director. His Compagnia Florian, based in Pescara, has put on shows in Paris, Hungary and throughout Italy.

In 2002 Montesano achieved great success with a group exhibition at the Boxart Gallery in Verona with works on the theme of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Between 2006 and 2007 Montesano’s solo show Berlino 1936, curated by Valerio Dehò, took place in the Cloister of Sant'Agostino in Pietrasanta (Lucca), Tuscany.

Solo exhibitions


2015 Gian Marco Montesano - Europa Addio (Das Abschiedslied), Lucca, Italy
Idill’io Basket: Gian Marco Montesano e U.S. Basket Recanati, Recanati (Macerata), Italy
ten more ten_#2: Gian Marco Montesano - Ma le gambe..., Naples, Italy


2012 Pro Memoria, Palazzo Panichi, Pietrasanta (Lucca), Italy
Il Mito Contemporaneo, Teatro Politeama Garibaldi, Palermo, Italy
Biancaneve e i Sette Nani, Pio Monti, Rome, Italy


2010 Guerra e Pace, Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno (Arezzo), Italy
Gianmarco Montesano - Opere scelte, Porto San Giorgio (Fermo), Italy
Colloqui sul contemporaneo. La parola agli artisti - Gianmarco Montesano, Riccione (Rimini), Italy


2009 Grazie dei Fiori, Claudio Poleschi Arte Contemporanea, Lucca, Italy


2008 Historikerstreit, Galleria Umberto Di Marino, Naples, Italy
I Montesano di Montesano, MACI Museo Arte Contemporanea, Isernia, Italy


2006 Berlino 1936, Chiostro di Sant'Agostino, Pietrasanta (Lucca), Italy
Fratelli di quale reggimento siete?, Galleria Emilio Mazzoli, Modena, Italy
Così fan tutte, Studio Raffaelli, Trento, Italy


2005 Gianmarco Montesano, Annina Nosey Gallery, New York, USA


2004 Gianmarco Montesano, Auf den Bergen, Museo Rimoldi, Cortina D'Ampezzo (Belluno), Italy


2003 Gianmarco Montesano, Forte Strino, Vermiglio (Trento), Italy
Gianmarco Montesano, Andarera, Regione Piemonte Galleria San Filippo, Turin, Italy
Gianmarco Montesano, Sembra un secolo, Palazzo Binelli, Carrara (Massa-Carrara), Italy


2002 Gianmarco Montesano, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio San Giorgio in Poggiale, Bologna, Italy


2001 Gianmarco Montesano, Mostra Occidentale, Galleria Emilio Mazzoli, Modena, Italy


1998 Gianmarco Montesano, Flash Art Museum, Trevi (Perugia), Italy
Addio mia bella Napoli, Galleria Umberto Di Marino, Naples, Italy
Gianmarco Montesano, Chiostri di San Domenico, Reggio Emilia, Italy


1996 Gianmarco Montesano, Galleria Il Milione, Milan, Italy


1995 Gianmarco Montesano, Galleria Alberto Peola, Turin, Italy


1994 Se da lontano ..., Galleria Emilio Mazzoli, Modena, Italy


1993 Gianmarco Montesano, Pio Monti, Rome, Italy


1992 Gianmarco Montesano, Annina Nosey Gallery, New York, USA


1991 Gianmarco Montesano, Annina Nosey Gallery, New York, USA
Gianmarco Montesano, Galleria Cardi, Milan, Italy
Gianmarco Montesano, Tornvall Galerie, Stockholm, Sweden


1990 Gianmarco Montesano, Galerie Lucien Bilinelli, Brussels, Belgium


1989 Gianmarco Montesano, Pio Monti, Rome, Italy


1986 Gianmarco Montesano, Studio d'Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy


1985 Gianmarco Montesano, Studio Cristofori, Bologna, Italy


1983 Gianmarco Montesano, Galerie Transform, Paris, France



Group exhibitions


2015 Montesano | Knap | Salvo, Bologna, Italy


2014 Cambiamenti. Ciclo di conferenze, Prato, Italy
Oltre la siepe. Omaggio a Giacomo Leopardi, Rome, Italy


2013 Non omnis moriar. L'eredità di Böcklin, Civitanova Marche (Macerata), Italy
Un viaggio nella pittura del XX secolo. Pittori contemporanei, Santa Maria Capua Vetere (Caserta), Italy
Sguardi sulla realtà, Salerno, Italy


2012 Bid for Build. Asta benefica a favore della ricostruzione in Emilia-Romagna, Modena, Italy
Aspetti dell'arte italiana del XX secolo da una collezione privata, Foligno (Perugia), Italy
NON TI FARAI IMMAGINE ALCUNA, Civitanova Marche (Macerata), Italy
Recenti acquisizioni, San Giovanni Valdarno (Arezzo), Italy
Les femmes et les hommes, Alba (Cuneo), Italy
POPism. L'arte in Italia dalla teoria dei mass media ai social network / 63° edizione del Premio Michetti, Francavilla al Mare (Chieti), Italy
20 X Ettore Majorana, Catania, Italy
In calda Sicilia 2, Catania, Italy
Attraverso l'arte del ‘900 italiano Pop Art, Arte Povera e tendenze del Contemporaneo, Castelbasso (Teramo), Italy


2011 Distillati d'Arte Contemporanea. 25 Artisti per il Museo delle Genti d'Abruzzo, Pescara, Italy
F for Fake, Caserta, Italy
Il giardino segreto, Bari, Italy
Elementi: 50x50x4, Catania, Italy
Artisti d'Italia, Arezzo, Italy
Italia Italie. Noi gli altri e il Bel Paese nell'arte contemporanea, Castelvetro di Modena (Modena), Italy
Fratelli in Italia, Ravenna, Italy
Motion of a Nation, Rome, Italy


2010 Ripercorriamo le tappe delle Arte!, Turin, Italy
I sogni dell'arte, Turin, Italy
Sight 09/10, Città Sant'Angelo (Pescara), Italy
Logos. Storie su carta da Oppi a Baechler, Bologna, Italy
Made in Italy. Solo arte contemporanea italiana, Senigallia (Ancona), Italy
Biennale d'Arte Sacra 2010, Isola del Gran Sasso d’Italia (Teramo), Italy
Mascarade – Maschere dell'arte, Recco (Genoa), Italy
Trame, Pietrasanta (Lucca), Italy
Agatarte Icona Magnifica, Catania, Italy
Ripercorriamo le tappe delle Arte!, Turin, Italy
I sogni dell'arte, Turin, Italy
Sight 09/10, Città Sant'Angelo (Pescara), Italy
Nuove acquisizioni per il Museo della Città, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, Bologna, Italy
Pittura europea dagli anni Ottanta ad oggi, Fondazione Stelline, Milan, Italy


2009 LIII Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione Italia, Venice, Italy


2007 Arte Italiana 1968 / 2007, Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy


2006 Iconica, Gruppo Credito Valtellinese, Milan, Italy


2005 XIV Quadriennale di Roma, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte moderna, Rome, Italy
Mostra collettiva, GAM, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy


2002 Schöne Aussicht- Der Blick auf die Berge, Kunst Meran, Merano (Bolzano), Italy


2001 Mostra collettiva, GAM e C, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy
Biennale di Tirana, Tirana, Albania


1999 Figurationen, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal-Unteröwisheim, Germany
Figurationen, Museion - Museum für moderne und zeit genössische Kunst, Bolzano, Italy
Figurationen, Rupertinum Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria


1997 Città Aperta, Città Sant'Angelo (Pescara), Italy
Universarte, Università degli Studi, Bologna, Italy
Pittura Iconica, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy


1996 Martiri e Santi, Fabio Sargentini, Rome, Italy


1995 Still Life, Barbara Gladstone, New York, USA
Fuori Uso, Pescara, Italy


1994 Icastica, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy


1993 XLV Biennale di Venezia, Aperto '93, Venezia, Italy


1992 Fuori Uso, Pescara, Italy


1991 Personal Portraits, Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, USA


1990 Köln Show, Cologne, Germany


1983 Pole Position, Gallery K, Tokyo, Japan
Vacances, Pio Monti, Rome, Italy