That’s exactly what the Roman gallery Montoro12 Contemporary Art is doing at Arte Fiera 2015, the modern and contemporary art fair in Bologna. In the coming months, the gallery has scheduled four solo exhibitions—featuring Faig Ahmed, Larissa Sansour, Emmanuele De Ruvo, and Virginia Ryan—and the gallery will bring works by each of these artists to Arte Fiera this weekend.
The artists represent a wide range of cultural backgrounds and influences; only two of the four have strong ties to Italy. Sculptor Emmanuele de Ruvo, born in Naples, was chosen to participate in the 54th Venice Biennale, and in 2014 won a major sculpture prize from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna di Roma. His Black World - mechanical (2013) is a classic example of his work, engaged in the pursuit of equilibrium, and employing a wide range of materials—in this case, cast iron, wood, rubber, and varnish.
Virginia Ryan is an Italian national, though she hails from Australia and has a studio in the Ivory Coast. Naturally, her work is concerned with migration and displacement. Her Picnic at Gagne (Ivory Coast) (2012), in which she casts an African figure in traditional Western men’s clothing, hints at her unique and worldly perspective, and her desire to separate herself from the Eurocentric gaze.
Faig Ahmed and Larissa Sansour are from different worlds entirely: the former works and lives in Baku, Azerbaijan, while the latter is from Jerusalem. Both are deeply engaged with the cultures that shaped them. Ahmed is a student of the art of traditional Azerbaijani rugs, disassembling their structures and rearranging their forms to create provocative pieces like the woolen carpet of Stickiness. Sansour, for her part, plays the lead role in her own photo and video project, The Nation Estate (2012), a sci-fi take on the deadlock in the Middle East. Together, these works offer a compelling preview of the culturally diverse exhibitions that Montoro12 will present in the year to come.
Visit Montoro12 Contemporary Art at Arte Fiera Bologna 2015, Booth B35, Jan. 23–26, 2015.