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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lo Spirito del Lago -- Contemporary Art Exhibition

Guests wander among the art in the outdoor area of Spazio Luparia during the vernissage.

L'intero e' piu grande della somma delle parti... The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That is my opinion of Spazio Luparia, the Stresa location of Lo Spirito del Lago, the contemporary art exhibition which has just opened here and on Isola Bella.

Giampiero Zanzi, the creative director of the Lo Spirito, as well as one of its founders, has been working day and night for the past weeks with the artists involved to get everything ready for this summer's show. Last night, at Spazio Luparia, on via A.M Bolongaro in Stresa, was the vernissage, the preview. This followed the preview which took place the evening before, at Ristorante Elvezia on Isola Bella. Let's take a little behind-the-scenes look at some of the works from Spazio Luparia. They will give you a sense of what you can expect in this world-class exhibit.

A painting fits perfectly into an alcove in Spazio Luparia. The entire space functions as one grand work of art, in addition to the individual pieces.

The theme this year is "13 Paradiso (Cantico)", a reference to Dante's Divine Comedia. How you interpret the theme's representation in these works is up to you. Twenty-four well-known, international contemporary artists have works featured this year. The show, says Giampiero, "...is a different way to promote the image of the Borromean Islands and of Lago Maggiore."

Spazio Luparia is an old warehouse, and this marks its second year in use as the Stresa venue of the exhibition. The concrete rectangular space with the wooden beam ceiling has been left untouched, the better to create a neutral background for the works that Giampiero chooses.

From inside the space, looking out, a metal sculpture.

On Isola Bella, the entire island is the venue, with the works placed in areas surprising and fitting for them. Certain pieces from past years have become permanent features on the island, perhaps something from this year will as well.

Can you count the seven skiing frogs in this playful sculpture? This piece will be moving to a permanent spot in Venice when Lo Spirito del Lago closes.

Some information about the artists and the show can be picked up at Ristorante Elvezia, and at Spazio Luparia. The show runs from now through September 30. Spazio Luparia's hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 17.30 until 22. Entrance is free.



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