Fondazione dalle Nogare: Nurturing contemporary artistic projects in rural Bolzano

After a few months of stressful thesis writing for university deadlines, I’m finally back here, sharing my (perhaps) favourite space dedicated to modern and contemporary art in my hometown – Bolzano.

The Antonio Dalle Nogare Foundation was established in 2012 to promote contemporary art as a language for interpreting changes in society and as a tool for promoting interaction between art, architecture, innovation and artistic research, intending a wide range of the general public to engage and take part in various programmes.

The Foundation’s exhibition programme is characterised by a passion for contemporary art, as well as a focus on future generations through artist residencies (inviting artists to stay at the house in the location of South Tyrol, Italy.

Built into the porphyry rock, this is a place where art and architecture come together in a rather magical atmosphere. Its geographical position, the surrounding nature, the choice of the materials used and the numerous works of international artists, all combine to make it truly unique.

Designed by the architect, Walter Angonese and his colleague, Andrea Marastoni, the house has succeeded in turning Antonio Dalle Nogare’s dream into concrete reality. Right from the beginning, the aim was to create a structure where domestic and exhibition requirements would coexist, so that anyone could enter and feel immediately at home.

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View of the Fondazione dalle Nogare, located on the hills of Bolzano, Italy. Image source: fondazioneantoniodallenogare,com

The latest project, on view until 1st of June 2019, realises the idea of including contemporary art into a local and cultural context too.

At the invitation of Fondazione Antonio Dalle Nogare, the Lebanon-born artist Rayyane Tabet, embarked on a year-long research project into the multiple histories of Bolzano and the region of South Tyrol. The result, an exhibition entitled “Fault Line”, is a large site-specific installation composed of three different elements: marble, steel and a painting, which, on one hand, represent three layers of the region’s landscape and, on the other, mirror three different socio-economical moments in the history of Bolzano and the South Tyrol.

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The exhibition’s cover. Image source: Instagram (@debellisvincenzo)

The geographical and geological level has the Lasa marble quarries as its leitmotif. Lasa marble is a unique geological feature of the region South Tyrol. Tabet has used this precious material to create the ground floor of the exhibition space, which reminds you of both a moon and a mountain landscape.

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The socio-economic level relates to another significant, yet dark period in the history of Fascist Bolzano. During his research the artist came across the “LAMA BOLZANO” company, producing razorblades since 1937, on a specific request of Mussolini himself.

During the economic boom, the “Lama Bolzano” brand became one of the symbols of Italy and Europe’s new mass consumption mentality. Tabet has decided to cut the walls of the space with a continuous line of 1550 razorblades positioned at shoulder height, thereby forming both shines and disturbs.

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The third level refers to the private sphere, focusing on the Tyrolean landscape painter Hans Josef Weber-Tyrol, who was born in Austria and died in Italy. The story of this artist is connected to Antonio dalle Nogare, whose private collection includes one of his watercolours. It is in fact one of the first works he bought, back in time when the collector was mainly dedicated to local art.

At the root of the artistic project there is not only an in-depth research but rather a desire to involve a wide range of local people and experiences, like the provincial geological and historical archive. Weber-Tyrol can be seen as another important symbol for Tabet, showing how identities can shift given that his nationality changed along with the border between Austria and Italy after the First World War. Tabet has arranged the work on an easel in the midst of the whole installation, creating a dialogue with the surrounding landscape, outside of the only window.

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Hans Josef Weber-Tyrol, Landscape, 1940, Watercolor and white pigment on laid paper. Photograph by Jürgen Eheim. Image source: fondazioneantoniodallenogare.com

Make sure you don’t miss out on Rayyane Tabet’s version of Bolzano, South Tyrol and the incredibly innovative space of Fondazione Antonio dalle Nogare.


The exhibition is curated by Vincenzo de Bellis. 

Find out more about the exhibition here. 
Find out more about the Foundation hereOpening hours: From Tuesday to Thursday by appointment.
Friday from 10 am to 7 pm
Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm

Address: Rafenstein Street 19, 39100 Bolzano, Italy.

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