vent’anni – twenty years
[ Press Release ]
kaufmann repetto is pleased to present Vent’anni – Twenty Years: a group show staged in both spaces, Milan and New York, featuring a selection of works – some of them never exhibited before – by the artists that the gallery represents.
the exhibition is one of the many possible testimonies reflecting a story stretching over two decades; a free but coherent collection from which emerge the themes that have shaped the outlook and projects implemented by the gallery and the artists with whom it works.
In more subtle terms, the exhibition also constitutes an homage to human and intimate relationships – perhaps by their nature impossible to mediate externally – which lie at the very heart of the construction of that productive and collective space that a contemporary art gallery represents.
Having focused on research of the feminine right from the start, investigating matters of a social and a political nature within the field of artistic production, the gallery’s program has been open to a multitude of media and artistic approaches. Ever since its foundation, the gallery has continuously promoted ambitious and sitespecific installations and projects, fostering dialogue between artists and the space that hosts them.
The francesca kaufmann gallery opened its doors in 2000, in its first venue in Via dell’Orso, a space somewhat far removed from the more traditional “white cube”: in a small venue tucked behind the Teatro alla Scala looking onto an eighteenth-century courtyard, the gallery debuted with a seven-channel video installation by the South African artist Candice Breitz – The Babel Series – which had debuted a few months earlier at the Istanbul Biennial.
The process however, leading up to the opening of the gallery had already started almost a decade earlier, with Francesca’s training in the “workshop” of other galleries as well as the atelier of Alighiero Boetti. Already familiar with the art of “looking after” artists, for Francesca Kaufmann the figure of the gallerist turned out to be the one most fitting for her.
In 2005, Chiara Repetto (Francesca’s sister) – who up until that moment had been linked to the world of literary publishing – joined the gallery structure. To cite the words of Francesca Kaufmann – “when in 2005 she officially came on board, perhaps not even she herself realized just how much she had already been doing for the gallery.” After ten years in the original venue, the gallery moved to its current space in 2010, changing its name to kaufmann repetto, thus officially formalizing the partnership between Francesca and Chiara.
In the new venue, the gallery had the chance to further expand its exhibition program, adding a project space to the main gallery for the presentation of the work of up-and-coming artists, along with a courtyard dedicated to the presentation of sculptural and outdoor works.
Another key stage in the history of kaufmann repetto was the opening in 2013 of the gallery’s first space in New York, in the Chelsea neighborhood. In September 2019, the gallery expanded to larger premises at 55 Walker Street, joining a dynamic community of both emerging and well-established galleries, non-profit institutions and experimental exhibition spaces, as part of the project to develop a new art district in the Tribeca neighborhood. To celebrate the event, kaufmann repetto opened a solo show by Lily van der Stokker, who has been represented by the gallery since 2002.
The exhibition Vent’anni – Twenty Years is the celebration of a small story made of artworks and human relations, and a homage to all those who have joined us on this journey.