An exhibition and a book celebrating one of the most significant women in contemporary Italian art. Essays, interviews and art works reconstruct the life of Christian Stein, gallery owner specialising in Arte povera
Christian Stein was born into the art world. She preferred to use her husband’s name rather than her own and painstakingly built up a significant collection of contemporary art during the span of her life.
It was in her well-known gallery in Turin in 1966 that the Arte Povera movement took shape. The current exhibition provides a synthesis of this artistic heritage through a hundred works by 22 artists, in a show that makes its debut at the Ivam in Valencia before moving on to the Canton Museum in Lugano. The catalogue contains essays by Francisco Jarauta, Jean Louis Maubant and Bruno Cor, a homage from Giulio Paolini and a lengthily fascinating interview with Ms Stein by Catherine Francblin in 1992, at the time of the first Stein collection exhibition at Villeurbane. A photographic diary portrays her in her gallery, at home and in the company of the intellectuals who gathered in what she herself defined more “as a cultural workshop than a gallery”. The work is completed by a richly illustrated chronology of the gallery and a DVD with previously unpublished interviews with the artists Penone, Salvadori, Pistoletto and Bianchi, the collector Rausmuller and gallery owner Gladstone, which reconstructs and illustrates the life of the Lady of Arte Povera, an unforgettable figure from the contemporary art scene.