International Sculpture Center

   

Fattoria di Celle - The Gori Collection

Fattoria di Celle - The Gori Collection
Via Montalese 7
51030 Santomato di Pistoia
Italy
tel.: (+39) 0573-479907
fax: (+39) 0573-479486
Email: goricoll@tin.it

The Fattoria di Celle (Celle Farm) hosts the important collection of site-specific art that Giuliano Gori and his family began in the early 1980s. The property, which sits on a hill overlooking the central Tuscan plain, is located just 35 kilometers from Florence and five kilometers from Pistoia. Here selected international artists have been to be invited to create installations in the remarkable outdoor spaces of the Romantic park and farmland as well as inside the historic villa and various farm buildings (see Artists in the permanent collection below.)

Today Celle hosts over sixty completed installations while others are still in progress. But most importantly, the Gori Collectionís initiative has founded a creative laboratory that continuously produces and experiments new vocabularies in various disciplines of contemporary art. This is the reason why thousands of people come during the annual visiting season to visit the collection at Celle (see How to visit below.)

A Historical Note:
Although documents and some remains indicate that a construction already existed on the site in the year 1000, the Villa Celle and the chapel next to it were built, in their present form, in the late seventeenth century by Cardinal Carlo Agostino Fabroni from Pistoia (a great patron of the arts and an important figure in the ecclesiastical hierarchy).

In the 1800s the property was acquired by the Caselli family who commissioned local architect Giovanni Gambini to create an English-style park behind the villa, extending over a surface area of about twenty hectares. An extraordinary example of the Romantic ideal of nature, the park includes a number of nineteenth-century follies such as the Aviary designed by the poet/architect Bartolomeo Sestini, the Tea House, the Egyptian Monument, the two lakes with their bridges, crags and thundering waterfall. Today these constructions seem prophetic forerunners of the installations of contemporary art that have been built in recent years.

The contemporary art collection
For over forty years, Giuliano Gori's collection has developed through his acquaintance and friendship with artists striving to renew contemporary art.

At the end of the 1950s, in order to house his vast number of paintings and sculpture, the collector was obliged to look for new spaces. His attention to the display of each artwork in space moved him to specially renovate a building in Prato which soon became a meeting point for Italian and foreign visual artists.

In 1970 the collection, in continuous expansion, was moved to the Celle farm, the Gori family's new residence. The vast spaces and unique nature of the new property made it possible to put into action a project which had been taking form in Mr. Goriís mind for some time; he wanted to know how contemporary artists might respond to a new kind of commission where space would become an integral part of the artwork and no longer be used as a simple container for art. The idea was tied to Goriís observation of the new movement towards site-specific art, as seen at the great art shows such as those in Kassel and Venice in the 1970s. He noted that while artists were presenting works created specifically for the exhibition spaces, they mostly used materials that would last only as long as the event.

Goriís idea was to propose the use of lasting materials to create permanent installations at Celle, either outdoors in the park or inside the various buildings. His first step was to submit the validity of his ideas for examination by internationally qualified experts. Amnon Barzel, who was ready and willing to supervise the building of the works, was named curator of the project and an advisory committee was constituted: Renato Barilli, Francesco Gurrieri, Knud Jensen and Manfred Schneckenburger; all enthusiastically approved the project. The inauguration of the first nine site-specific pieces in the park and six installations on the top floor of the villa was held on June 12, 1982.

About Site-Specific Art
The idea of site-specificity is fundamental for all the projects carried out at Celle. The artist, once invited, chooses the place where he will develop his project, specifically for the characteristics of the site. So he carefully analyzes all the elements that can condition the place (climate, light, vegetation, to name just a few). Moreover he must also take into account the spirit of Romanticism that connotes the park. For many artists this has been a chance to find ties between their own work and the history and culture of Tuscany. In fact many works have originated as homages to figures like Leonardo and Galileo or to the artistic and monumental patrimony of this region.

So behind each project there is a serious investigation of the site which results in each work being unmovable. This is the main difference between that art which has been simply placed in a site: a work often created in the artistís studio and that c0ould have any number of possible settings, more or less suited to the workís meaning. Instead at the Gori Collection the projects originate at Celle and for Celle.

A word about our current operations:
Although Celle has developed a program of activity that brings thousands of visitors every year to tour the grounds, the collection is privately owned and operated (see How to visit below). The participating artists are invited by the Gori family and at present applications are not considered.

Facilities
In addition to its permanent collection, the Fattoria di Celle also promotes temporary projects and exhibitions that are usually hosted in the restored farm buildings known as Casa Peppe and Cascina Terrarossa. Outdoors the sculpture theater by Beverly Pepper, inaugurated in 1992, serves as a space for summer events featuring dance, music, theater and performance. Inside the main farm building, a video/conference room can accommodate sixty viewers for screenings or up to a hundred and fifty people for conferences. Educational programs, workshops and lectures for all ages can be developed on request.

How to visit
Every year the collection may be visited by appointment on weekdays from mid-April to September 30. To make an appointment, please write (allow at least five weeks) to the address/fax above. Note that the collection is closed on weekends and national holidays as well as a period in August.

Important for all visitors to know: All visits are guided and involve a long open-air hike that lasts between 3-4 hours, according to the visitorsí preparation. For this reason the tour is advisable only for people who are true lovers of contemporary art and are not put off by challenging walks. Comfortable walking shoes are advised.

Tours are possible for single individuals as well as for small groups that are often scheduled together according to the language spoken (English or Italian). Punctuality for the arranged appointment is essential in order not to keep the other members of the group waiting

Tours include the works outdoors and inside the farm buildings as well as temporary exhibitions. Adverse weather conditions may result in the reduction of the tour itinerary or even a cancellation of the appointment.

Transportation:
How to reach us by car: from the A11 (Firenze-Pisa), exit at Pistoia. Stay right after the toll booth and continue straight through three traffic lights. At the traffic circle exit left for Montale, follow signs in the direction of Montale. At circa 5 km from traffic circle, you will find the large red Alberto Burri sculpture on your left, in front of our gate.

Large buses (over 30 seats) have to park outside the gate; cars, vans and mini-buses can drive up to the villa where there is free parking available.

How to reach us by public transportation: from the Pistoia railway station take either a taxi or a COPIT bus in the direction of Montale, but ask to get off at Villa Celle in Santomato (the bus stop is across the road from the main gate). Bus schedules may vary, so check ahead (COPIT, Pistoia, tel. 0573-21170).

Important for people arriving with large tour buses or public bus: please be aware that it is a long, uphill walk from the main gate to the villa where the tour group assembles, so it can often be tiring even before embarking on the long visit to the park. Therefore, we advise using mini-buses or cars unless a shuttle service between the entrance gate and the villa has been specially arranged.

Visitor Facilities
Excellent food service can be readily found in the nearby towns of Pistoia and Montale. A complete list of the areaís eateries, hotels and historical monuments can be obtained from the EPT (Ente Provinciale di Turismo), Piazza del Duomo, 51100 Pistoia; tel 0573-21622.

After the tour it possible to visit the bookshop where farm products (wine and olive oil) and publications (see below) may be purchased.

Printed Material and Information available on the collection

Catalogue of the collection
Art in Arcadia (Umberto Allemandi, Turin, 1994, also available in Italian: Arte Ambientale), 504 pp., 192 ill. in color, 240 ill. b/w. Essays by R. Barilli, F. Gurrieri, R. Hobbs, K. Jensen, P. Restany and additional texts by the artists of the collection.

Monographs

  • Robert Morris: A Pathway Towards the Center of the Knot by Bruno Corà, also in Italian, 1995
  • Magdalena Abakanowicz: Katarsisby Pierre Restany (English & Italian) 1987
  • Alan Sonfist: Circles of Time by Norman Rosenthal (English & Italian) 1990.
  • Claudio Parmiggiani: Dust, (English & Italian), 1998.
  • Beverly Pepper at the Fattoria di Celle, by Robert Hobbs (English & Italian), 1998.
  • Dani Karavan, exhibition catalogue of 1999 shows held at Forte Belvedere, Florence; Centro per líarte contemporanea L. Pecci, Prato; Piazza del Duomo, Pistoia; Fattoria di Celle.

Other titles currently available:

  • Cei, Marco: Il parco di Celle a Pistoia (Edifir, Florence, 1994)
  • Massa Antonella: I parchi museo (Loggia deíLanzi, Florence, 1995)
Artists in the permanent collection of site-specific art:
  • MAGDALENA ABAKANOWICZ
  • ALICE AYCOCK
  • ROBERTO BARNI
  • ALBERTO BURRI
  • ENRICO CASTELLANI
  • GIUSEPPE CHIARI
  • PIETRO COLETTA
  • FABRIZIO CORNELI
  • STEPHEN COX
  • NICOLA DE MARIA
  • LUCIANO FABRO
  • IAN HAMILTON FINLAY
  • PIETRO FOGLIATI
  • MICHEL GERARD
  • HOSSEIN GOLBA
  • BUKICHI INOUE
  • MENASHE KADISHMAN
  • DANI KARAVAN
  • JOSEPH KOSUTH
  • OLAVI LANU
  • SOL LEWITT
  • RICHARD LONG
  • LUIGI MAINOLFI
  • FAUSTO MELOTTI
  • AIKO MIYAWAKI
  • MAURIZIO MOCHETTI
  • ROBERT MORRIS
  • HIDETOSHI NAGASAWA
  • MAX NEUHAUS
  • NUNZIO
  • DENNIS OPPENHEIM
  • MIMMO PALADINO
  • MARTA PAN
  • GIULIO PAOLINI
  • A.R.PENCK & FRANK BREIDENBRUCH
  • GIUSEPPE PENONE
  • BEVERLY PEPPER
  • MICHELANGELO PISTOLETTO
  • JAUME PLENSA
  • ANNE & PATRICK POIRIER
  • DIMITRIJ PRIGOV
  • ANDREI ROITER
  • ULRICH RUCKRIEM
  • GIANNI RUFFI
  • RICHARD SERRA
  • SUSANA SOLANO
  • ALAN SONFIST
  • GIUSEPPE SPAGNULO
  • ALDO SPOLDI
  • MAURO STACCIOLI
  • GEORGE TRAKAS
  • COSTAS TSOCLIS
  • EMILIO VEDOVA
  • GILBERTO ZORIO

Artists who have exhibited temporary works at Celle:

  • STEFANO ARIENTI
  • HOSSEIN GOLBA
  • ROBERT MORRIS
  • LUCIANO ORI
  • CLAUDIO PARMIGGIANI
  • BEVERLY PEPPER
  • JAUME PLENSA


Sol LeWitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dan Karavan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Anne & Patrick Poirier

 

 

 

 

 


 


Alberto Burri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Magdalena Abakanowicz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Robert Morris