Current Fellows

Biancalucia Maglione

Biancalucia Maglione is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Florence, Pisa and Siena. Her PhD research focuses on Italian collector Carlo Frua De Angeli (1885-1969) within the context of Milan’s art market between 1930 and 1950. The project is mostly based on provenance studies and on the analysis of galleries’ activities in Milan.

She did research on this subject at the Provenance Research Workshop at the Castello di Rivoli (Torino), and she is currently writing for the Art Market Dictionary (ed. De Gruyter).

Furthermore, since 2017 she has been Teaching Assistant in Contemporary Art at the University of Pisa, where she also had two research scholarships.

Previously, she obtained a MA (cum laude) in Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Pisa, with a dissertation on the Italian painter Osvaldo Licini (1894-1958). Much of the research for her dissertation took place during a research internship at the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris. She has both published and presented at conferences on Licini and, more recently, she has been part of the scientific committee of the exhibition La regione delle Madri. I paesaggi di Osvaldo Licini (Monte Vidon Corrado, 2020).

She was awarded a BA (cum laude) in Contemporary Art History from the University of Pisa, with a thesis on the Italian contemporary artist Loris Cecchini (published in 2017: Loris Cecchini. Testing effects, dancing reactions, Pacini Editore).

Her recent publications include essays on sculpture (“Prima di tutto il ritratto”. Un’aggiunta al catalogo di Marino Marini, «Critica d’Arte», expected 2021), Surrealism (L’ornement sens nom tra grafica tardo-ottocentesca e ibridazioni surrealiste, exh. catalogue Raffaello e la Domus Aurea, 2020) and the inter-war Italian art (Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti e Osvaldo Licini. Verso Arte moderna in Italia 1915-1935, in Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti e l’arte italiana tra le due guerre, symposium proceedings, 2020).


At the Center for Italian Modern Art, Biancalucia intends to investigate the importance of photography in Schifano’s early career, focussing on both the artist’s material practice of the medium in the pictorial field and the painter’s constant reflection on photographic framing. The overarching aim is to ascertain whether and to what extent certain typically photographic categories, syntactical and grammar rules can function as a plausible, even if not exclusive, analytical and interpretive tool to discuss some specific results of Schifano’s early oeuvre.


Aja Martin

Summer-Fall 2021


Aja Martin is a doctoral candidate in Art History at Rice University where she studies twentieth-century art and film of Italy. Her dissertation, “Chain of Shadows: Lucio Fontana’s ‘Concetto spaziale, Teatrini,’ and the Modern Grotesque’” addresses that lesser-studied group of shadow-boxes, as well as his “Ambienti spaziali” installations, to suggest how these series chide the artist’s seemingly nihilist claims for painting, proposed both in interviews and in the “Concetto spaziale: Attese” monochrome series. Through careful visual analysis, her project reveals how the series, instead, offer complex formulations of vital boundaries – an act crucial in Fontana’s distinction of works of art from their surrounds and the viewer, from other visual art mediums, and art forms. Given the theatrically-inspired structure of the “Concetto spaziale, Teatrini,” Aja’s project operates within the the broader art-historical dialogue between the theater and modern painting and seeks to extend these ideas toward the filmic frame, also apparent within the shadow box’s structure and color relationships.

Aja holds a Master’s Degree in Art History from Southern Methodist University and has presented her research nationally at graduate conferences, curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions, and served in curatorial departments, institutions and boards across Texas. Her previous research was attuned to the shifting notions of landscape from the medieval to the modern era, with an emphasis on Latin America and the US. Her current work picks up in Argentina, Fontana’s second home and birthplace, but crosses the Atlantic, to Italy, where Fontana would act as an important international conduit connecting with artists across Europe. Aja’s prior research into constructed public and private spaces opened onto notions of technology, vision, and being; which Aja continues to pursue in the work of Lucio Fontana, through his ultimate “spatialist realisms,” the “Concetto spaziale, Teatrini.”

Aja will pursue similar lines of research toward the work of 2020–21 feature artist, Mario Schifano, where she will investigate the artist’s manifestations of presence and absence within hybrid spaces that interface landscape with the framed, even televisual view. Beginning with formal properties, or the thing at hand, she will contribute extensive analyses of select works on display in order to offer new insights on Schifano’s practice, his relationship to American postwar artists, and the temporally dynamic Italian milieu.