THE PRESENT IS PICTORIAL, THE FUTURE WHO KNOWS
Cadogan Gallery bets on Italy: the London gallery opens a new location in Milan. "The art world is changing," says director Freddie Burness.
It is Sam Lock’s exhibition Carta that kicks off Cadogan Gallery’s new international venue in Milan. The London gallery, active since 1980, has chosen the Lombard capital as an outpost on dry land to present the work of new and emerging artists. The works exhibited in Carta continue Lock’s explorations of the ideas of presence and absence, history and memory, time and repetition presented in one of his solo shows in London in 2022. They also connect to past painters and paintings in the history of art to which the pages of the books from which the paper glued to the canvas and then worked on by the artist refer. This mix of past and future, memory and evolution, lies at the heart of the gallery’s new operation.
It is no coincidence, in fact, that a building has been chosen in Via Bramante, in Milan, in a neighbourhood that travels suspended between its characteristic railing houses and the skyscrapers of Porta Nuova. Just as it is not by chance that the choice to exhibit Lock's works to emphasise a renewed interest in painting, present among young artists today. Cadogan Gallery opened its first location in London in 1980 directing its attention to emerging and mid-career artists, which was later joined by a temporary space for special projects in Hampshire.
For the opening of the international office, Director Freddie Burness explained his vision and gave some insights into his upcoming project:
Why Milan and specifically Via Bramante? Was the choice of the neighbourhood “accidental” or were there particular features of the neighbourhood that directed your research to that precise location?
"It was the gallery space itself that drew us to Via Bramante first. This new development was very impressive and felt quite unique in comparison to other spaces we had looked at. But this whole area, between Moscova and Sarpi, is great. We are across the street from Kaufmann Repetto. We are very central but are in also a very up-and- coming area."
Can we define Milan as a city of artistic research and experimentation as well as business oriented? In light of this, as a gallery owner, how are the routes of art and its reference points changing?
"Milan has always been a cultural and artistic centre. But this, in combination with it being a major business and financial hub, leads to a thriving gallery scene. Although the way that galleries operate is changing. The world of artists and collectors is becoming much more international, which is exciting and Milan is the most international city in Italy."
Is there in your Milanese future, the idea of networking with the already existing cultural fabric? If so, in what way? Which institutions are you looking at with greater interest and curiosity?
"Certainly. I am very keen to participate and contribute to the wider art world in Milan, both institutional and commercial."
Regarding the curatorial choice of the gallery, what does the Milan gallery offer that is more or different from the London gallery? Can you tell me about your modus operandi?
"The gallery space we have in Milan will bring new curatorial options to the programme. But in general, I am keen to not make too much of a distinction between the programmes of London and Milan. There will be fewer exhibitions per year in Milan, perhaps five. And we will be looking to work with new artists, both Italian and international over the coming year."
As a gallery owner with an eye on the younger generation, have you noticed a change taking place in the language of contemporary art? If yes, in which direction?
"Contemporary art always shifts and changes but I suppose the obvious trend recently has been for figurative painting to become very much in vogue for the younger generation. This may be changing yet again though."
Lastly: what do you expect from this new adventure?
"I am very excited about this new project in Milan. We hope that with our participation in Miart this spring and a strong exhibition schedule, we can quickly become part of the vibrant gallery scene in the city."