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It 's time to expand. A new adventure for the Brancolini Grimaldi gallery
The third strategic location within the system in London, more curious, and international and competitive than the Italian one. The gallery owners demonstrate their preparation and reveal the news...

Two determined women: Isabella Brancolini and Camilla Grimaldi, both at the head of innovative artistic enterprises of their kind. A bright space was opened on April 7th, on the first floor of Albemarle Street in the heart of Mayfair, London. The gallery is located in an area which houses, in addition to the major art galleries, law firms and financial services, the best fashion boutiques, jewelry shops and great restaurants. Therefore it seems to have the credentials to aspire to be an important new hub for the British capital.
French artist Marie Amar (1962), also debuting on the London art scene, has been chosen to witness the aesthetic sense of the gallery. In the series of photographs exhibited investigates the matter of valuation. The works are light and deep images obtained through close-up photography of debris, carpet dust, the waste coming from the exhaust pipe of the washing machine. The color photographs of the 12 'powder sculptures' comes from pre-washed clothing. As if it were a kind of scientific investigation, the work reflects on how the clouds of dust can be used as indicators of a life spent, which traces its origins in an outfit you connect to a real life experience. Art, again, as redevelopment of the difference in a world increasingly addicted to excess in consumption and the indiscriminate production of waste. We talked about these subject and much more with Camilla Grimaldi...

The new space is certainly an important goal. I would like to retrace the path that brought you this far, the background of the gallery and of your professional relationship. How did you and Isabella meet?

In Milan during the 2003 MiArt, a mutual friend introduced us, an English art dealer, at a party by Trussardi. I was at the time working in Milan for the great Claudia Gian Ferrari. After a period of cooperation in Isabellaís Florentine gallery, in May 2005, we founded the company and opened the gallery in Rome. Realizing the strong demand, we decided to focus our attention on contemporary photography, working from the start with Massimo Vitali and Federico Barbieri.

What moved you to open the gallery in London?

Obviously there were market necessities, but in addition we should bear in mind that our clientele has always been foreign and international. This was determined by our participation in fairs and exhibitions. It seemed to be a good time to expand. London is a cosmopolitan city where there are many collections, as well as museums including the Tate Modern, paying attention to photography.

You have already prepared the exhibition program for the next two years. What do you expect from the new space in London?

To work with museums, foundations and other collectors here because there is a greater focus on contemporary photography. The pictures we are dealing with are not just vintage or fashion, but of another kind.

You are the first Italian gallery specializing in contemporary photography to open in London in many years. Although this gives you  few competitors there, what distinguishes you from the crowd?

We try to appeal to a niche. I donít see the photograhic medium in in a merely decorative sense. We deal with a new way to show contemporary photography, for example through the installations. Marie Amar is also very pictorial. The way in which we mounted the work, suspended, gives it practical meaning. We see the photograph as a print but also as an object in and of itself.


To which collectors do you relate?

Itís interesting, because in Italy we had some collectors who began looking at contemporary photography together with us. Others are collectors with a large collection already established who, at a later moment, began buying photographs. Even auction houses like Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips are devoting auctions exclusively to photography, selling big names at high prices. Our audience is very diverse, we also work with banks and corporations.

Why did you choose to inaugurate this new space with pictures of Marie Amar alongside sculptures by Pino Pascali?

Maria Amar, being very conceptual and pictorial, immediately and easily represented our intention to present the photograph in a different and new manner. We believe that Pino Pascaliís silkworms relate well to the powder photographs of Amar. The choice of Pascali was functional, underscoring our geographical location, because it seemed right to make a reference to Arte Povera, given the attention that this movement has received here in London in recent years. First Gagosian and now the retrospective exhibition underway at the Camden Art Center.

What is the relationship between the spaces in Florence, Rome and London, and what are different between them?

Our space in Florence is above the bookshop Steidl, where we oversee the sale of this publishing house specializing in photography in Italy. In Florence we will also curate exhibitions during the period of the Pitti for the Gallery Hotel. As for Rome, we are looking to move into a new space in the historical center. We do not want to lose our Italian collectors and we hope to continue working with foundations. The most important space now becomes London, where we set up six exhibitions a year. Rome is the Italian center, where we will bring the works that we consider most important among those exhibited in the London gallery.

You chose Paul Gombell, a controversial figure in the field of contemporary photography in Britain, to curate the first exhibition space in London. What programs and agreements do you have with him?

Paul Gombell will curate the gallery's program for the next two years. He was the first to show the photographer Massimo Vitali in 1997 at the gallery in London and we will inaugurate an exhibition of his in November.


Am I correct in understanding that there is a particular interest in photography, not to its economic
value ...

We are interested in following our artists. Not only placing them in important collections, but also placing them in museums and foundations. In our team we have both young and established artists that we follow in the same way. We take them to fairs and commission photographs and videos, as well as exhibitions and catalogs.

curated by martina adami

From April 8th to May 21st, 2011
Marie Amar & Pino Pascali
Brancolini Grimaldi
43-44 Albemarle Street
London W1S 4JJ
United Kingdom
Opening Hours: mon. -fri . 11-19; Sat. 11-17, and by appointment only
Info: +44 (0)207 493 572


Reserved Reproduction