Old World Charm and Contemporary Art

   10209-Old-World-Charm-2Just Art Gallery made it to the news stands with Art New England (September/October Issue), the Providence Monthly and East Side Monthly (http://www.providenceonline.com/stories/Just-Art-Contemporary-Gallery-Italian-art-Providence-East-Side-Monthly,9646).


Our space is a casually elegant maze with over 400 linear feet of display space. The artwork is owned outright demonstrating the strength of our conviction in the works we sell and artists we represent. In today’s society, very few things are purchased to last a lifetime art however, is.

Think about a new car; you spend a fortune to get it off the lot and as soon as you drive off the lot it depreciates. As the years and miles accumulate, the value declines. You spend money to repair it, to insure it, to feed it and when you go to bed at night, it sleeps elsewhere. So what is the point of a car except to get from point A to B? It should only be that, a means to get to where we need to go, cheaply and safely versus a status symbol that sits in a garage or is only enjoyable as long as you can keep fuel in it and when driven to and from work. loggiatouffizi

Art on the other hand, lives and breathes with you, in the environment where one resides and for the lucky and smart ones, where they work. So few things are purchased for the significance beyond our lifetime. Why not leave art to one’s children, something that says so much more than just physical money? Buying art does not mean you need an education, it means you need a feeling. If the work talks to you, speaks to something inside then that is the piece for you. How and where do you start? By trusting in galleries who put their money where their mouth is. People who are experts in the works they sell and who invest in the works and artists they represent. embrace

Just Art Gallery has risked its own capital and is the leader in imported Italian Contemporary art today. Our focus and specialty is unique and brings to American soil, artworks, talent and fresh images rooted in antiquity. Just think, you do not have to go to Europe to “feel” the strength and history among the old streets of the Old World but you can feel that through these works of art. Upon stepping in to the gallery, one feels immediately the sensation of art beyond the realm of America.

We are upfront about the pieces and will tell you the flaws because art is not perfect it just “is.” We are honest about the works and today that goes along way in a world full of tricksters. We love Italy, we love art and we love to talk about what we have. Make our space your destination where you can come and not be pressured to purchase. PlantOld

Go to our website to request our mailing list, check out our online store for some of our catalogs and if you wish to see works via email from some of our artists, just ask and we will be happy to send them. If you live outside Rhode Island, consider a B&B weekend in this lovely state and take your time to enjoy the “scrappy” kind of old world charm The Plant provides along with three art galleries and the Cuban Revolution Restaurant. This is where you will find people who have settled in Rhode Island after living in New York or Europe running world-class galleries and proposing real life topical issues along with our gallery’s centric Contemporary Italian and European art. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtheplant1

From Points North
Take Interstate 95 South into Providence. Take Exit 21 – Atwells Avenue. Turn right onto Atwells Avenue and continue straight 1 mile. The Eagle Square Shopping Center will be on your right. Turn left at the light on Valley Street. The Plant is 1/2 mile on your right at the corner of Valley and Delaine Streets. To park, take left at 4-way stop to Delanie Street. Take first right into parking lot. To enter the building, cross the street, through the arch, proceed up the ramp, there is a intercom on your left. Dial “852” to be buzzed into the building. We are in Unit 25 on the third floor at the end of the long hallway.

From Points East
Take Interstate 195 West to Interstate 95 North. Take Exit 21 – Broadway. Take the second left off the service road onto Atwells Avenue and continue straight for 1 mile. The Eagle Square Shopping Center will be on your right. turn left at light onto Valley Street. The Plant is 1/2 mile on your right at the corner of Valley and Delaine Streets. To park, take right at 4-way stop to Delanie Street. Take left at 4-way stop to Delanie Street. Take first right into parking lot. To enter the building, cross the street, through the arch, proceed up the ramp, there is a intercom on your left. Dial “852” to be buzzed into the building. We are in Unit 25 on the third floor at the end of the long hallway.

From Points South
Take Interstate 95 North. Take Exit 10 North – Cranston. Take Olneyville Square Exit. Take a left at light onto Westminster. Bear right at Olneyville Square onto Valley (there is no sign, Bank of America will be to your left when you turn onto Valley). The Plant is less than 1/4 mile ahead on your left at the corners of Valley and Delaine Streets. To park, take right at 4-way stop to Delanie Street. Take first right into parking lot. To enter the building, cross the street, through the arch, proceed up the ramp, there is a intercom on your left. Dial “852” to be buzzed into the building. We are in Unit 25 on the third floor at the end of the long hallway.

From Points West
Take Route 6 East towards Providence. Take left exit toward Broadway/Route 10 North. Turn left onto Broadway. After 1/8 mile, turn right onto Valley Street (there is no sign, Bank of America will be to your left when you turn onto Valley). The Plant is less than 1/4 mile ahead on your left at the corner of Valley and Delaine Streets. To park, take right at 4-way stop to Delanie Street. Take first right into parking lot. To enter the building, cross the street, through the arch, proceed up the ramp, there is a intercom on your left. Dial “852” to be buzzed into the building. We are in Unit 25 on the third floor at the end of the long hallway.

Please note: Visitor parking is available across the street, entrance on Delaine St. between Valley Street and Harris Ave., across from the Plant and The Cuban Revolution restaurant.

The Changing Tide of Art is not Capricious.

There is no better way to escape the world than through art and yet, it is the most secure and strongest link to our world.



Today’s art world is a captivating subject in fact, every single day there is something new to learn or discover. Auction houses are testimony, along with the persistent number of galleries doing business worldwide, to the current successful art market.

Global auctions welcomed bidders from 136 countries highlighting the international appeal of art. 19% of registered bidders were new clients. Christies has had record results in the past three years demonstrating that more people in more places in the world are captivated by art and seeking to acquire it. This trend is apparent at every level of the art market from £1,000 to over £50 million. Noting the top auction house sales figures, the Contemporary European art market continues to appreciate due to global demand.

Accessible Art is the latest trend in the art world. This means opening the world art market to emerging young artists, which allows them to sell their works at accessible prices. This movement continues to benefit Contemporary art in terms of audience because art is now more accessible to a public that might not have an art degree or be a collector. Thus, they do not have to be versed in the genre, but they can nevertheless enjoy the expansion and production of art.



In Europe and the world, art has crossed many different periods made of evolutions and of involutions, through which artists and their works become the expression of the times. Contemporary art has seen the birth of innovative movements and revolutionary ones such as Cubism. Therefore it is in contemporaneity where traditional representation of subjects and objects rests; bodies deform, lines break and figures are upside down in a general distortion of colors and light reflecting new contemporary society.

This contemporary world is one twisted by war, where the spirit of humanity has become disturbed; it is anxious thanks to the violent and sudden wars leaving no means of escape. Guernica by Picasso was probably the ultimate symbol of how to make art in a contemporary environment. It is an enormous canvas painted exclusively in black and white, with a few grey veins drenched in gloomy and decisive colors like those portraying the cities in the daily black and white newspaper images. Spades, dead babies and screaming mothers are only a few of the depictions alternating on the masterpiece of Picasso, symbol of a disarmed and anguished contemporaneity that nonetheless shows a hopefulness (the light placed high on the canvas), in returning to a semblance of normalcy.


During the twentieth century, the communicative and creative visual arts undergo an expansion. For example, in the Sixties and Seventies, Duchamp conceived the ready-made; installations, Land Art, happenings, Body Art, video and photography were some of the media used by these artists. At this point, the painting died a loud and gripping death. Recently however, painting has been exhumed and is making a great comeback, in fact its prestige has been restored worldwide thorough collectors and institutions. We saw towards the end of 2002 the Centre Pompidou in France who presented Cher Peintre, Lieber Maler (Figurative Painting since the last Picabia) and now a decade later, abstract works are coming back as well.

Charles Saatchi presented in London between 2004 and 2005, a series of three shows called The Triumph of Painting. In 2007, MOMA investigated the place of painting in contemporary art from the Sixties to the present with the exhibition ”What is Painting?” If we look at this multimedia era, it would seem that painting has nothing more to say, yet the question “why painting now,” seems to be the topic of conversation everywhere and artists worldwide have returned to the ancient form of communication.

It seems, the return to painting, has come about from an opposition to digital art and the explosion of computer screens. Today, painting has been and is being demonstrated, similar to writing, as one of the long-lasting and vital means of expression. Is painting that timeless vehicle through which real contact with the world is possible? It would seem to be.


Constellations by Riccardo Gusmaroli

In fact, there is a return to contemporary abstract painting now a decade later after the return to figurative works within this whole movement of returning to painting. The communistic ideal of anti-representation or anti-establishment has disappeared. The modern abstract paintings of the Thirties and Forties, minimalism of the Sixties and Seventies and the neo-abstraction of the Eighties are long gone. Art fairs are full of abstract works on the walls, bursting with painting.


Fori, by Riccardo Gusmaroli

Abstract works tend to reflect and or form an image of how the world feels. It too is simply a reaction against technology. Living in this world full of computer screens has created a lack of objects. Furthermore, real pigments used to mix oils and acrylics are extremely different from what comes out of an inkjet printer or through pixels on a screen. There is that special something, in material realness that paintings bring to the forefront and, the use of texture is an antidote to the total lack of texture of our society today.

The new generations of painters are emphasizing the method not the result, the journey being more important than the end. How the work is made seems to be the whole point of the work and the fascination with materials almost borders on fetishism.

As Jackson Pollock said, “modern art is none other than the expression of the ideals of the epoch in which we live.”

Art Collections

“You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to collect art. I thought I was rich having good art,” Herbert Vogel

Art CollectingTo build a collection, one does not have to buy big in fact, buying small from relatively unknown artists is the perfect way to begin. Buying what you like is important regardless of market value. Go out and dedicate yourself to what is happening with young artists and emerging ones as well and find out what is going on in your community and local art hubs. Budget constraints are just an excuse because if the Vogels could do it on a 23,000-dollar budget, anyone can. Prints are not the only starting point for buying art just because of the lower prices. Yes your tastes will change but that is what made the Vogel collection the greatest collection ever, it mirrored them through the years. Their passion for collecting turned them into improbable celebrities. They became working-class heroes among the throng of elitists in Manhattan. Herb’s dedication to the Cedar Tavern was for the purpose of just listening as artists such as, De Kooning and Kline, bellowed at each other time and again over the meaning of abstract expressionism. Herb was rooted in his chair listening, absorbing and learning.

peggyguggenheimArt collecting is almost a drug, once you begin and start to live with the pieces you purchase, your life changes dramatically. Not only are you living with the art, but you are also either consciously or unconsciously thinking about it every day; so without trying, art becomes a part of you. Art should make you feel something or it should do something to you, whether it is positive or negative is irrelevant; it is doing something to you.

Collector'sHomeArtists have a unique capability of understanding humanity with more insight and sensitivity than common non-artistic mortals, they seem to be plugged into the world. With a bit of luck, art might change one’s life. Art drives people and forces one to advance and evolve.  If you let it, by abandoning oneself to art, it will infuse your life and inundate the senses. Contemporary art can and will turn us into a student once again.

Contemporary art can be intimidating and inaccessible. People feel as though they need to explain why or why they do not like a certain piece. You do not have to explain anything because you do not need to theorize art to like it. The important thing is to look, because art is visual.

Becoming fully immersed in the art world, not only purchasing pieces, but also visiting the creators in their studios, immersing yourself in galleries, shows and literature and becoming a sponge willing to learn every second of every day will bring you closer to feeling art. So much of contemporary art at first glance can be difficult and that is why you must see it again and again and again because it does grow on you. The brain needs time to reflect from the visual onslaught sent through the eyes although, the Vogels took the visual information and sent it straight down to their souls bypassing the brain. They did not process art in their minds and as such, their collection is one of the greatest of our times.


What it Means to be an Artist Today

One of the secrets to being a famous artist is to become a household name and that means, being popular and having a big audience, easier said than done. One method is to be wholeheartedly committed to your work; producing work so meaningful and made with superior technical skills, so deeply true and heartfelt that dealers, buyers and the wider world will bond with it on a deep level. They will recognize your unique vision of the world, which is also one they understand in some way. However it’s not enough to work like our great artists such as, Anselm Kiefer, Banksy, or Lucian Freud, you have to find what makes you as unique a visionary as they.

Being an artist means dedicating every minute to your creative streak, looking for people to support you, give you a place to sleep and work and hopefully help pay for supplies. Some galleries will do this, have a program where they support young artists. Join an artists’ coop because these communal living and working environments are the perfect spawning grounds. Spend time with other artists and exchange opinions, argue, exercise together, drink together just be together.

Today artists do not have the social structure set up as it was in the past where artists gathered at the local bar, or park or cafe and talked, argued and spurred one another on to greater heights. This is what art was in the 1900s, artists talking to one another. It was not about copying but about growth about sharing political views and techniques and critiquing works of one’s friends. Albissola Marina, Liguria Italy (as well as, Vallauris, Provence) was one of those places in fact, Lucio Fontana made it his ceramic center together with Wilfred Lam, Asger Jorn, Roberto Crippa, Manzoni, Eugenio Montale and Salvatore Quasimodo.

Lucio Fontana, Pablo Picasso and the Cobra group, Albissola. '50s

Lucio Fontana, Pablo Picasso and the Cobra group, Albissola. ’50s

The Sixties were the golden years at Albissola. Everyone lived here, artists from all over the world went to this small town on the Ligurian sea. It was normal to see grand masters together with emerging young artists. Everyone in the town had a great love for the artists in fact, at the Trattoria Pescetto, there is still today a painting with everyone’s portrait. Painters, poets, and sculptors all went to Albissola, Sassu, Scanavino, Grassi, Ungaretti were part of the group as well. This town breathed art and everyone was attracted to it for that reason. It was completely normal to be a part of the elite without realizing that it really was elite. Everyone had fun, ate together along the seashore, drinking espresso at the bars; it was a real live exchange between artists and the town. In fact, today the artists’ walkway is still maintained, one where you can walk on a work of Fontana and many more.

Emilio Scanavino

Emilio Scanavino

This is where Emilio Scanavino and Giuseppe Capogrossi found fertile land for their informal works, the abstract expressionism of the Cobra Group, the Cuban Surrealism of Wilfredo Lam, the nuclear works of Enrico Baj and Sergio Dangelo, the pop condensations of Mario Rossello and Aurelio Caminati, the scenographic forms of Emanele Luzzati, the Surreal by Saba Telli and the infinite paths of experimentation that occurred in the little city. This was also an important architectural center thanks to the research conducted by Giambattista De Salvo, author of numerous urban design elements in Savona and other cities.

Enrico Baj

Enrico Baj

Giuseppe Capogrossi

Giuseppe Capogrossi

Being an artist is not the most practical career choice to make. It’s highly unpredictable, and you need a certain degree of luck to be able to break through. Choosing to be an artist seems like voluntary poverty. And in these hard economic times we are facing today, being an artist seems even more impractical, if not a stupid career path to take. It takes luck, and above all, persistence. Artists need to approach galleries and work towards representation in major shows and art fairs where galleries participate. For serious artists, this traditional approach alla Leo Castelli is still the best route to take.

Lucio Fontana's ceramic wall series

Lucio Fontana’s ceramic wall series

Of course, the other side of the coin is the sell-out. As an artist, you face judgment if you do one of three things as an alternative to starving and working and living in poverty. Such as, choosing a more practical career making art your hobby or side-job; changing your artistic principles by making arts and crafts to bring in money or becoming a copyrighter, editor, greeting card designer for Hallmark or, get lucky enough to make big bucks doing what you love. Richness of friends, community and others supporting your direction is the greatest wealth and aid for an artist to become successful thereby helping more, inspiring more and accomplishing more than the unsuccessful artist. In order to do that, cooperation is key; what many individuals can accomplish while locking arms together, is much greater than the individual.

Lucio Fontana's ceramic art

Lucio Fontana’s ceramic art

The Artists’ Sacrifices for Just Art

Pillino Donati

Pillino Donati

Our Italian and European artists are making huge  sacrifices to bring their works to the United States. There is an ocean in-between, horrific shipping costs, customs fees, Italian fine art regulatory laws and international phone bills that   would discourage most from even attempting the risk. Add to that consignment and framing (because Italian-made frames dance circles around the ones made in the US), all these out-of-pocket expenses for our European friends are more than most could withstand. In fact, Just Art’s decision to bring artists over to the United States comes with heavy responsibilities and expenses; just imagine sending art back to an artist where they have duty to pay, value taxes and fiscal fiascos to manage and, the gallery has to ship and pack the works as if they were going to go through WWIII.

ImportingFor some artists, their works are very personal, similar to having a pet or a child. They cannot let go of these easily and putting an ocean between them is tantamount to tearing their heart out. For others, the piece is important during the creation and formation and upon completion the significance is over so separation is not a problem. Nonetheless for a gallerist it is crucial to be sensitive to this issue and treat both artist and works of art with reverence at all times. Thus, it is with great pride we present these artists and their works and bring them over for solo exhibits. Our focus is ours alone making us one of the first and only galleries in the United States to cater almost solely to Italian and European artists.

autostrada_duecorsie Our collection represents years of close contact with the artists. Italy is a small country but it is compact and fraught with travel issues, there are so many places where the roads are as they were hundreds of years ago, repaved but still winding torturous and slow (unless you have a Ferrari). The Alps cut the country in the form of a cross; east to west across the northern portion then north to south slicing through from Bologna to Abruzzo.  16595756-long-winding-road-through-italian-mountains-landscape-view-from-above
The time traveling to visit each artist in their surroundings, in their studios is worth every headache that comes with driving in Italy. The agreements one makes while in the studio are priceless, the energy, the soul of the environment all come into play; things occur while under the spell of that artist in his or her environment. These are the memories we take away and bring to the gallery and then try to impart when talking about the various works.

At Madonna di Campiglio

At Madonna di Campiglio

The time and experiences we dedicated to them in Italy lives in us allowing us to mirror the spirit of what is behind the works and to present a gallery with an Italian flair as well as European know-how and class. This method today, in these times, is not always possible for many galleries in fact, due to the size of the United States, not many can just run off and visit one of their artists in Arizona if the gallery is on the east coast. Thus, what is truly missing with many galleries is this close and almost spiritual exchange with the artist and their works.          

Viviani's Mountains

Viviani’s Mountains

  Just Art is happy to share our knowledge and our numerous books available for perusal and research. The environment at the gallery is relaxed, we have chairs and an umbrella outside in the courtyard of the Plant (among the many chairs and tables of the artists who live and work in this creative environment) and hope to make our gallery a destination experience, a place to come and stay warm on cold and gloomy days, or stay cool on hot summer days. Come find your escape and dream world among the many works presented.  

With Matthias Brandes

With Matthias Brandes

In Luca's studio

In Luca’s studio

Seeking Joy


Riccardo Gusmaroli, maps, boats, wind vortices -Man and his Travels

Man must travel in fact he needs to travel; by his own means not through the images or tales, video, TV or books of others. Man must do this himself, see things with his own eyes, through his own eyes and walk it with his feet otherwise he will not understand who or what he is. Fighting the cold allows him to enjoy the heat; planting his own trees gives those trees the highest value. Experiencing distance and lack of shelter will allow him to feel comfort under his own roof.

Man and the journey taken or wished he had?

Man must travel to places he does not know shattering the ignorance causing him to see the world as he imagines it and not as it truly is. This is what will make us experts of what we have yet to see. To become students again and just go out and see with our own senses.