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“Acrobazie” di arte libera: UniCredit Group supports a program linking a passion for art with social commitment



The Acrobazie project, promoted by UniCredit Group, was developed in 2004 to promote the works and artists of the Adriano and Michele Atelier of Painting, based at the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center of the Fatebenefratelli Hospital at San Colombano al Lambro.


The goal is to develop connections between "outsider art" and mainstream contemporary art and, through the work of the artists of the Adriano and Michele Atelier and the young talents represented in the UniCredit Group Collection, to use art to overcome biases against mental illness.


At the Art Fair in Bologna in January 2009 UniCredit Group announced Elisa Fulco's selection of a keynote artist for Acrobazie#5, Flavio Favelli.


The initiative, endorsed by UniCredit Group CEO Alessandro Profumo, broadens the sphere of UniCredit Group's artistic endeavors to unite the social sector and the cultural sector as engines of civil and economic development. UniCredit Group has chosen to invest for the fourth consecutive year in a project that goes beyond the usual conventions in order to give visibility to a minority viewpoint in which art serves as an instrument of socialization, integration and redemption. UniCredit Group has chosen to link its passions for art and social commitment by spotlighting the differences both between different cultures and within our own society. The goal of the project is to broaden the scope of art from the center to the outskirts and to make a positive investment in an institution, like the psychiatric rehabilitation center, that is subject to strong social and cultural prejudices.


In this year's program, Flavio Favelli will focus on an approach involving applied art and design, with the objective of transforming the artists' drawings into useful objects to be put into production. The project's theme is "the brand and the flag," both of which have served as expressions of the Italian spirit and excellence, but can also be symbols of authority and power, capable of evoking both dreams and disappointments, emblems of socioeconomic inclusion or exclusion tied to a world of privileges and rights. The origin of the word "brand," meaning a mark made by burning, as in the branding of animals or slaves, has greater resonance than the Italian word "marchio," which lacks the connotation of the imposition of force or violence by one person on another. But the word also suggests the way in which a symbol can mark one's life, one's memory and everyday perceptions.


Starting with the simple iconography of the familiar "Made in Italy" label, which will be presented to the artists of the Atelier as a starting point, Favelli hopes to explore the personal fallout from Italian brands, which, as they are consumed by all of us, are transformed into stories, into personal accounts; these can then be captured through pictures, drawings, texts and collages and developed into practical items, like ceramics or textiles.


At the end of the show, as in earlier editions of Acrobazie, a work by Flavio Favelli will be added to UniCredit Group's collection of "young art," while a selection of works from the Atelier will be added to the more than 100 works of "outsider art," currently arranged into seven groupings within the Sharing Passions project.


During the fair, we publicly presented the catalogue from last year's project, Acrobazie#4, Francesco Simeti, published by Corraini Editions, containing images recalling the choral texture of the site-specific installation created by Simeti for the exhibition space in San Colombano in 2008. The catalogue guides the reader through the issues examined by the exhibition - the ideal of a utopian home and the ambiguous relationship between art and nature.


Francesco Simeti's project, which immersed the Atelier in a design experience, resulted in an intricate installation that encapsulated the dreams and projections of the artists of San Colombano, who, living in the hospital, envisioned spaces expressing freedom and a desire for normality. It portrayed homes with views of the sea and the mountains, swimming pools shaped like cloverleaves, impregnable castles, elaborate structures and spaceship houses, often equipped with the latest in hyper-technology. As a testament to the international impact of Acrobazie, a section of Acrobazie#4, Francesco Simeti - including bird-themed wallpaper and a selection of works by the artists of the Atelier - will be displayed from April 9 until the end of May at the Artists Space in New York.





FLAVIO FAVELLI (born in Florence, 1967) lives and works in Savigno, near Bologna. For ten years he has been a major figure in the world of contemporary art, known for his collages, site-specific installations and public art projects, some of them permanent (e.g., Sede ANAS di Venezia, Palazzetto Foscari e Sala d'Attesa, Pantheon di Bologna, Cimitero Monumentale). Among his major projects are: Galleria Sales, Rome 2008; Fondazione Maison Rouge, Paris 2007; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rabaudengo,Turin 2007; Projectspace176, London 2005; Museo Pecci, Prato 2005; IIC, Los Angeles 2004; Galleria Maze, Turin 2003; Artinprogress, Berlin 2002. Among his major group shows are: Italics, Palazzo Grassi, Venice; XV Quadriennale of Rome; Elgiz Museum, Istanbul 2008; Clandestini, 50th Biennale of Venice, 2003. His works appear in numerous public and private collections.


ELISA FULCI (born Palermo, 1971) is an art historian, a contemporary art critic, an exhibition curator and consultant for cultural projects. She is currently a consultant for Assolombarda, Museimpresa, the Italian Association of Museums and Archives of Prints, and since 2008, she has been the curator of the Fondazione Borsalino for the planning of cultural activities. For several years, she has worked with the magazine, Flash Art Italy. In 2004, she conceived the Acrobazie project that was sponsored by UniCredit Group in 2006. Among her major exhibitions: Perdere la testa. Il cappello tra moda e follia, Museo del Cappello Borsalino, Alessandria, Palermo 2008; Rome, Rimini, 2009; Acrobazie#3, Sara Rossi, 2007; Acrobazie#2, Marcello Maloberti, Adriano and Michele Atelier, 2006, San Colombano al Lambro; Banditi. Sulle vie dell'Art Brut, a show of the photography of Mario Del Curto, Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia, 2006; Acrobazie, Sandrine Nicoletta, 2004, Adriano and Michele Atelier, San Colombano al Lambro; Gabriele Basilico, Palermocittà, Palazzo San Bartolomeo, Palermo; Maria Lai, Scritture, Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Palermo.


ADRIANO AND MICHELE ATELIER OF PAINTING was created in 1996 with the purpose of offering patients in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center of Fatebenefratelli Hospital an opportunity to hone their artistic skills. Founded by Dr. Giovanni Foresti, the graphic designer Luciano Ferro, the art historian Bianca Tosatti and the painter Michele Munno, who led the organization until 2005, the Atelier has been witness to the emergence of many talents whose works are now in major public and private "outsider art" collections. Among its major exhibitions: Perdere la testa. Il cappello tra moda e follia, Museo del Cappello Borsalino, Alessandria, Italy 2008; Nuove Follie, Galleria une sardine collée au mur, Geneva 2008; Ai margini dello sguardo. L'Arte Irregolare nella Collezione Menozzi. Chiostri di San Domenico, Reggio Emilia, Italy 2007; Un'arte senza precedenti, Spazio Milano, UniCredit Group, Milan 2007; Acrobazie#3, Sara Rossi, Adriano and Michele Atelier, 2007, San Colombano al Lambro; Io è un altro, Palazzo Ducale, Lucca 2007; Acrobazie#2, Marcello Maloberti, Adriano and Michele Atelier, 2007; Banditi. Sulle vie dell'Art Brut, a show of the photography of Mario Del Curto, Brescia 2006; Outsider Art in Italia. Arte irregolare nei luoghi della cura, Progetto Itaca onlus, Finante, Semenzato, Milan 2003; Carlo con Adriano e Michele, Lodi 1997; Figure dell'anima. Arte irregolare in Europa, Pavia, Genoa 1998. Since 2004, with the Acrobazie cycle curated by Elisa Fulco, the Atelier has begun a journey of dialogue and cross-fertilization with young, Italian contemporary artists (Sandrine Nicoletta, 2004; Marcello Maloberti, 2006; Sara Rossi, 2007). Until 2007, the Atelier's activities were managed by art historian Teresa Maranzano and by educator Gabriella Vincenti. Since 2008, the Atelier has been managed by Gabriella Vincenti and Laura Garzia, who is also an educator.





UniCredit Group has a presence in 22 European countries, with more than 177,000 employees and 10,200 branches.


With a strong European identity complemented by an international network, the Group benefits from its extensive customer base and strategic position across the region.


In addition to Italy, the Group is active in Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.


The UniCredit Group Art Collection is distinguished by its diversity, richness and historical importance, with works originating from all of the countries that are a part of our Group.


The collection contains more than 60,000 items that range from prehistoric Mesopotamian artifacts to the works of the greatest Italian masters, such as Canaletto and Tintoretto. It includes Klein, Léger, Beuys, Cragg, Christo, Richter and Baselitz. The collection also has more than 4,000 historical and contemporary photographs.




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