Interview with Alessandra Minini, co-owner of the Francesca Minini gallery in Milan
In the Italian art world the name Minini is immediately associated with Massimo Minini, a gallerist from Brescia in North-East Italy, who opened his gallery more than 40 years ago and has shown important Italian and international artists such as Vanessa Beecroft, Peter Halley, Sol Le Witt, Dan Graham, Daniel Buren and Anish Kapoor to the Italian public. But for the last ten years the Minini name has a new association: the Milan gallery for contemporary art Francesca Minini, run by Massimo Minini’s daughters, Francesca and Alessandra.
When does the story of the gallery Francesca Minini begin?
The gallery was founded in 2006. This year we are celebrating our first 10 years. After having worked several years at Massimo Minini in Brescia and having had experiences abroad in galleries in London and New York, Francesca decided to open her own space in Milan and to continue the research work she had started a few years before with emerging Italian and international artists.
When did you join Francesca?
I joined Francesca in 2010. We had also occasionally collaborated before, on some special projects and at fairs. Then, after I left my job in advertising, I decided to dedicate myself completely to the gallery.
What are the pros and cons of being a gallerist having as a father an important art dealer such as Massimo Minini?
I would say that there are only pros! Definitely an advantage is the fact that growing up in this world, having lived and breathed art since childhood gives us some confidence in our thought, intuition, movement. At the beginning of the gallery, the desire to create our own identity was very strong, and this led us to try to be somewhat separate from our father’s path. But now, after 10 years of activities and having received recognition, we feel more free and secure, and now we like the idea of being able to share adventures with the gallery in Brescia. We started with the exhibition of Landon Metz in January 2016, and in the future we will do more projects together.
What is the program of the gallery? What is the common thread that unites the artists?
We look at the present day, at what is happening around us. We travel, we exchange with our international colleagues, we visit the artists, and we let ourselves be carried away by the creations we see in their studios, or by their crazy ideas. It depends, every time is a new experience. For sure, our research relies on intuition and instinct, and we must fall in love with an artist’s idea to embark on a journey together. We rarely do one-shot exhibitions, because we like the idea of sharing a path together, long or short – time will decide. We are fascinated by artists who work with space, in sculpture, and in painting, or in any other media.
Which artists did you start with, and how you have expanded your program?
The gallery opened in 2006 with a solo show by Riccardo Previdi. He was followed by Paolo Chiasera, Gabriele Picco, Jan De Cock, Francesco Simeti … A predominantly Italian start, I would say. Then we began looking at the international scene, from Germany with Matthias Bitzer and Armin Boehm, to Turkey with Ali Kazma and Kutlug Ataman, to a more recent interest for Latin American artists that lead to new collaborations with very interesting artists. This what we did so far, but it is not over yet! Research never stops.
Have you ever thought of opening another space, and where would you go?
We thought about it, but at the moment we prefer to increase the number of fairs we attend, and to stay in our space, that we really like, and that even the artists have demonstrated an ability to interpret it every time in a surprisingly new way. Perhaps an idea might be to do temporary projects in other cities, or even use other areas of the city of Milan for special events. Still there are no particular destinations, but we are thinking about it.
How has digitalization changed the art market?
It has changed it in a positive way, expanding the possibilities of reaching new contacts and using new channels. Maybe it initially seemed a slightly impersonal way to relate to each other, but actually it is nothing else but a contemporary way to make contact.
How is the Milanese contemporary art scene evolving?
It has become more and more sparkling. In recent years it has experienced a very prosperous time. The beautiful exhibitions at Hangar Bicocca, the Trussardi Foundation, the Fondazione Prada, and the ongoing work of the important galleries that are based here. In the last year many galleries also decided to open temporary spaces in the city for projects. Also Miart progressively grew and many non-profit spaces run by artists opened. It is a very rich landscape, inspiring, and appealing.
How do you see the future of your gallery?
Better and better!
Francesca Minini takes part in the 3rd edition of Granpalazzo from May 27th to 28th, 2017 with a selection of works by Alice Ronchi.
Francesca Minini takes part in Liste–Art Fair Basel from June 13th to 18th, 2017. The gallery will present a selection of works by Elena Damiani and Runo Lagomarsino.
Via Massimiano, 25
Tuesday to Saturday: 11am–7:30 pm