Dubai, UAE; August 23, 2010: A collection of artwork by Italian artist Pordenone Montanari, described as a genius rediscovered, will be on display in London, on loan from the private art collection of a Dubai-based entrepreneur, and promoter of DAR Capital Group, a boutique investment advisory and private equity firm with business interests in India, the Middle East and Africa.
A core group of paintings by Montanari is part of DAR Capital’s commitment to develop a significant collection of contemporary art. DAR also has exclusive rights to the entire artistic estate of Montanari.
“It is rare to find such an impressive portfolio by a relatively unknown artist now in his seventies. We are proud to own several series of paintings by Pordenone Montanari and are delighted to accept an invitation from the Italian Cultural Institute to exhibit a selection of these in London,” said Arun Rangachari, Chairman of DAR Capital Group.
The exhibition of paintings and drawings will be held from September 21 to October 6, 2010. A series of over 50 of Montanari’s witty, modernist works, selected from a much larger cache of paintings and drawings found in a remote villa in the Piedmont region of Italy, will be on display.
In spite of a sell-out exhibition in Milan in 1986, when paintings were bought by the Credit Commerciale Bank, Société Générale, and Banca Rosenberg, Montanari dramatically retired from public life and sought to focus on his art.
He withdrew to the countryside and, for 18 years, proceeded to work in solitary confinement. The current exhibition will be the first time that Montanari’s work from this period has been on public display.
During his hermetic retreat, nobody really knew what Montanari was up to; only that he might be a painter. Raffaele Micheletti, the local Mayor of the province recalls, “For many years we respected the privacy of the inhabitants of the villa. We knew it was inhabited, but we never saw Montanari, only his wife occasionally. We had no idea that we had in our midst such a talented artist. Now that we do know the extent of his talent, we are extremely proud of what he has achieved.”
Three years ago, a local resident, Cinzia Albertini, discovered stacks of the artist’s finished canvases when she enquired about a ‘for sale’ sign in front of the artist’s villa. Since then, having bought the house, she has built up a friendship with Montanari and his wife which, over time, has led to an introduction to DAR Capital Group.
The exhibition will be co-curated by Dr Rossana Pittelli from the Italian Institute, and the renowned art critic and commentator Edward Lucie-Smith, who has spent time at the villa where Montanari lived.
“Montanari is a surprising discovery and a real addition to the history of Twentieth Century Italian painting” says Lucie-Smith. “He has produced work that does not fit the profile most art historians have of painting from this time. His links are essentially with the grand highway of High Modernist figurative art. He is unique as an Italian figurative painter of his generation because he is in full dialogue with the major masters of Modernism. Yet he is at the same time fully respectful of Italian Renaissance and Baroque traditions,” added Lucie-Smith.
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