The "Fondazione Dino Zoli" hosts an exhibition that celebrates the 50 years of activity of the Group. We had a conversation with Nadia Stefanel, the director of the Fondazione, who explained us how the collection was born and how she selected the exposed artworks.
“ART AND BUSINESS – DINO ZOLI, 50 YEARS OF CREATIVITY” IS THE TITLE OF THE EXHIBITION CURRENTLY BEING HELD AT THE FOUNDATION. HOW DID YOUR COLLABORATION BEGIN?
I've been with the company since 2017, and I've got to know Mr Zoli, Monica and Marco over the years, and I've learned to pick up creative input and emotions left behind by the passing of the seasons and which needed to re-emerge. This is what the time spent together was for, to build an exhibition at the Dino Zoli Foundation which would tell us a lot about their work, in 50 years of activity, but also about their being, and which would be meticulous in telling the story of the initiatives or projects built before my arrival in Forlì.
WHAT KIND OF WORKS BELONG TO THE COLLECTION AND IN WHAT WAY THEY ARE LINKED TO THE COMPANY’S HISTORY?
The collection comes from a true passion. An instinctive passion for art that Mr. Dino Zoli has always had. In 2007, for this reason, he decided to start a more reasonable pathway by opening a Foundation and acquiring the first masterpieces. For example:
Achille Perilli with Viaggio in Italia (1955), Emilio Scanavino with Tramatura sull'Azzurro (1970), Agostino Bonalumi with Verde (1983), Enrico Baj with Donna e Generale (1980), Mario Schifano with il trittico teatrale (1993), Mimmo Paladino with la scultura del Dormiente, Luigi Ontani with GallAllegoria (1990), Piero Dorazio with CloKwise (1999). And also works by Mattia Moreni, Marco Neri, Alessandro Algardi, Bruno Cassinari, Salvatore Fiume, Alberto Magnelli.
Since 2017, a photography section has also been made possible with works by Silvia Camporesi, Mustafa Sabbagh, Alessandra Baldoni, Pio Tarantini, Cosmo Laera and the photographs of Roberto Conte (official photographer of Edoardo Tresoldi's installations).
IS THERE A COMMON THREAD AMONG THEM? AND HOW WERE THEY SELECTED FOR THE EXHIBITION?
I selected the works of great historic artists from the permanent collection according to a criterion of temporal sequence, from Nature morte Au Pichet by Alberto Magnelli in 1914 to Il dormiente by Mimmo Paladino in 2000. The intention was to go through a century of Italian art, presenting it through the artists, who differed greatly in their techniques, poetics and political commitment. It is not an exhaustive excursus, but it certainly highlights the complexity and artistic diversity of those years.
DINO ZOLI IS A LEADER IN THE TEXTILE SECTOR AND ALSO LIKES TO EXPERIMENT WITH NEW TECHNOLOGIES: HOW DOES FABRIC CONNECT WITH ART AT THE FOUNDATION?
All the companies in the Dino Zoli Group are strongly characterised by the creativity and innovation of their activities, from the world of textiles for furniture at Dino Zoli Textile, to the integrated and lighting systems for DZ Engineering’s sites and museums. Dino Zoli Foundation has therefore become a physical and mental meeting place between Art and Business, with the possibility of narrating and showing, through artistic languages, vast and heterogeneous worlds that are closely linked.
The relationship between Dino Zoli Textile and artists originated in the strong desire for the two entities to meet concretely thanks to the artists’ stays at our headquarters. Hosting artists in our workplaces and collaborating to build together a project, is always an important opportunity for exchange and mutual growth, for them, but also for us.
We started with the emerging Elena Hamerski, who was selected in the 2018 edition of Arteam Cup, creating a large diptych "Duplex Natura - Cornus sanguinea" that originated from the artist's book "Piante medicali e velenose della flora italiana", created by the artist in 2016. During her stay, Elena came into contact with the reality of the company, with the people involved in designing textile items, who know the processes and products. With their help, it was decided to use digital transfer printing, first on paper and then on fabric. After several tests to select the main fabric, a 100% polyester Jacquard chenille was chosen, because its three-dimensional structure would give depth to the design. The print result was then given to the artist for hand embroidery with cotton thread, thus creating a double design of the same plant.
Loredana Galante was the following guest, an artist born in Genoa but now living in Milan, who has become famous creating a movement where people are encouraged to revolutionise their daily lives starting with small gestures of kindness, and her magical project La Rivoluzione Gentile, whose themes of change, care, attention and respect have a deep meaning for us. She was the winner of the 'Premio Speciale Dino Zoli Textile' at Arteam Cup 2019. During the stay, a site-specific installation 'Come acque versate' was conceived. The edges of the tank were made with ten 70x100 cm panels, characterised by a series of accurate suggestions drawn by the artist, then processed on the computer and printed with special machines on Dino Zoli Textile's cotton-polyester satin, with a following embroidery.
Inside, the company's scrap materials were inserted, long and rounded like the waves of the sea. Waters in which one could ideally immerse oneself to search for thoughts gathered through a call to action and transcribed or embroidered on the strips of fabric.
There were also some unpublished works, created especially for the occasion using the collage technique, applied to the fabrics and five "Portatrici": embroidered, free-floating canvases evoking women's features.
THE COMPANY TRULY TRUSTS IN NEW TALENT, SO MUCH SO THAT IT HAS BEEN WORKING WITH THE ACCADEMIA DI BELLE ARTI IN BOLOGNA FOR YEARS; HOW DOES IT GIVE YOUNG ARTISTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW THEIR WORK?
Since 2012, a continuous collaboration has been created between Dino Zoli Textile and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna thanks to Prof. Vanna Romualdi, a lecturer in the course of Decoration, within the Degree in Decoration for Architecture. It is a way of giving Master's students the opportunity to have a company at their side to support their ideas. This relationship has created that productive combination of training and enterprise that can give enormous results in terms of design, supported by the innovative technologies that the company has always made available, and has spawned that ability to realise, allowing the students to deal professionally with all their artistic projects.
The collaboration continues to this day.
AS AN EXHIBITION CURATOR, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO START OUT IN A CAREER LIKE YOURS? IS IT DIFFICULT TO WORK IN THIS FIELD? DOES ITALY OFFER ENOUGH OPPORTUNITIES?
I live in Emilia, which has always been "una terra di Resistenza" (resilience), and that is why I reiterate that in order to realise a dream you need training, study, dedicated time, but also infinite passion.
There are not countless opportunities in the world of art and culture, but those that do exist should not be missed. Even by going abroad when possible.
As we have done, who since 2017 have carried out several cultural projects in Singapore, during the week of the Formula 1 Grand Prix, where DZ Engineering (Group Company), builds the track lighting and telecommunications systems on the Marina Bay circuit.
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Images provided by Fondazione DZ