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.

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.

Italian Sales Pushing the Auction Houses


Sold at Christie’s

The auction houses of Italy for Italian contemporary art were multifaceted in the times before the summer 2012 closures. The market went from two to sixteen auctions, from 37% to 90% sold and gross sales went from 2.5 million Euros to over 10 million Euros. Five out of eight improved the winning bid closings. Castellani’s “Superficie Blue,” 1990, 100×80 valued at 160 thousand Euros sold at 120 thousand. A still life by Morandi, 1955 oil on canvas, 30×40, valued at 550 thousand to 750 thousand Euros, sold for 736.150. Santomaso’s oil on canvas, “Dalla parte della Meridiana,” 195×130 valued at 90-130 thousand Euros, sold for 156.250 thousand. Lastly, Cremonini’s “La Mosca Cieca,” 1963-64, oil on canvas 130×195, valued at 30-40 thousand Euros, sold for 96,720.

Burri                  1988, Acrylic, pumice on celotex 150x202cm                  330,000

Castellani         1976, extroversion 80x60cm                                              120,000

Santomaso         1956, 195x130cm, oil on canvas                                     125,000

Vedova         1954, 144x190cm, egg tempera canvas                                250,000

Balla                  1981, 127x79cm         pastels, ink, pencil paper               265,000

Balla                  1920, Sculpture, 50x34x10cm                                           110,000


Christie’s Italian Sale in October of 2012 achieved £18,162,650 or $25,526,640 or €19,831,008. It was 96% sold by value. The top price was paid for Piero Manzoni‘s Achrome realising £2,617,250 ($3,680,000 to €2,858,900). Four lots sold for over £1 million  and six for over $1 million. Five artist records were set for works by Fausto Melotti, Vettor Pisani, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Paola Pivi and Arnaldo Pomodoro.

Spring sales results will be posted as soon as the data is available.


Why Choose Contemporary Italian Artists?

ImageJust Art has been queried many times about its focus on Modern and Contemporary Italian Artists. The gallery response is based on both fact and the historical depth pertaining to all the arts, Italy has one of the world’s richest art heritages in fact, according to UNESCO, Italy is home to 60% of all the art in the world and 30% of that resides in Florence. Italy also has the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, 47 of them to be exact. In fact, 80% of all stolen art on a yearly basis is Italian art. The country hosts 6000 archeological sites and loses roughly a museum’s worth of art every year to thieves.

Italy experienced for more than 2000 years migrations and invasions and, was divided into many independent states. This gave Italy one of the richest art legacies in the world. The country inherited a great diversity of civilizations and with those, numerous periods of art, which are heavily patronized worldwide. Italy unified relatively late, in 1861, and because of this has an enormously rich cultural heritage made up of customs and traditions from the many regions. This allowed Italy to contribute immensely to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe.

Clearly Italians know what they are doing when it comes to art. They live and breathe 2000 years of history everyday. They walk by ancient walls, gaze upon fascinating rooftops and cupolas from their office windows or homes as an everyday occurrence. There is more “eye candy” in Italy than Miami Beach.


Just Art has recognized this cultural heritage and is focused on promoting the unbridled artistic talent residing in Italy; art did not stop after the Renaissance in fact, art has been the cultural turning point of every decade. Nowhere in the world is there such a concentration of talent. Do we need to mention Ferrari, Alta Moda, cuisine, jewelry designing and manufacturing, the silk trade of the northern regions, architecture, comics, literature, motion pictures, music, science and technology, sculpture and visual arts?

Just Art Gallery focuses on contemporary art but includes modern Italian masters and grand masters along with their European and American artists. The goal is to make the gallery a destination experience where one can go spend the day browsing the art books and general catalogs of many of the Italian masters and grand masters while seated outside in the courtyard under an umbrella sipping an espresso or a glass of wine or even a handmade fruit soda from the Cuban Revolution. The Plant is a wonderful environment for all, not just the many artists and clothes designers who live and work there in fact, that was one of the many reasons the gallery decided to open its doors at The Plant, it is a cultural hub for art.