Schifano and Friends: Jasper Johns

February 23 2021

This conversation and Q&A, part of a broader series titled Schifano and Friends covers the Italian artist’s friendship with Jasper Johns, as well as the reciprocal influence each had on the other.

This series of talks and conversations with art historians and curators, highlights thematic and aesthetic intersections between the work of Schifano and that of American artists from the 1950s and 1960s.

Flavio Fergonzi was born in Pavia in 1963. He teaches the History of Modern Art at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. His research interests include the sculpture of the nineteenth century (Rodin and Michelangelo. A Study of Artistic Inspiration. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1997) and of the twentieth century (L’arte monumentale negli anni del fascismo. Arturo Martini e il Monumento al Duca d’Aosta. Turin, Allemandi: 1992, with Maria Teresa Roberto). He has also worked on the history of twentieth-century art criticism (Lessicalità visive dell’Italiano. La critica dell’arte contemporanea 1945-1960. Pisa: Scuola Normale Superiore, 1996), and on Italian twentieth-century Avant-Garde (The Mattioli Collection: Masterpieces of the Italian Avant-Garde. Milan: Skira, 2003; Filologia del 900. Modigliani Sironi Morandi Martini. Milan: Electa, 2013). This last 2020 he published in Italy a book on Jasper Johns’ influence on Italian Art of 1950s and 1960s (Una nuova superficie. Jasper Johns e gli artisti italiani, 1958-1966).

This is on online event. A link will be circulated to those who RSVP prior to the event start time.



Curator Talk with Francesco Guzzetti, Facing America: Mario Schifano, 1960–65

February 11 2021

What did artists growing up in Rome in the 1950s and 1960s think about, when they thought about America? Such a key subject in Italian postwar and contemporary art can be articulated by looking at the early life and practice of Mario Schifano, one of the most relevant representatives of the new generation of artists rising in Rome at the end of the 1950s. Francesco Guzzetti will expand on the relationship between the painter and American art and culture between 1960 and 1965. Ideally walking through the exhibition, the major figures and moments which the American connections of Schifano revolved around will be taken into consideration vis-à-vis the evolution of the artist’s distinctive style and figurative interests.


Francesco Guzzetti, PhD, is the curator of the exhibition Facing America: Mario Schifano 1960-1965, currently on view at the Center for Italian Modern Art in New York (Jan. 26-Jun. 5, 2021). Dr. Guzzetti holds a doctoral degree in History of Modern and Contemporary Art from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. His field of expertise is postwar and contemporary Italian art, with special focus on its connections with international tendencies in the 1960s and the 1970s. Dr. Guzzetti’s research has been supported by various pre and post-doctoral fellowships and grants by institutions such as CUNY Graduate Center and the Center for Italian Modern Art in New York; Centre Pompidou in Paris; Harvard University; and Magazzino Italian Art Foundation in Cold Spring, New York. More recently, he was the 2019–20 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Drawing Institute at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. He has curated exhibitions and published essays on numerous subjects in the history of modern and contemporary art. He is the author of the book Ennio Morlotti e l’arte a Milano 1937-1953 (Milan: Scalpendi Editore, 2020) and is currently working on a publication about the connections between American and Italian art in the early 1970s.

This event will be online. A link to participate will be shared with attendees prior to the event start time.

Register now.



14 - 26 January 2021

The first U.S. institutional exhibition of painter Mario Schifano (1934–1998), explores the artist’s work from 1960 to 1965 together with art by his American contemporaries. A leading figure of Italian postwar and contemporary art, Schifano redefined painting through his multifaceted practice, as he marked the transition from postwar abstraction to the new figuration of the 1960s. Reassessing the tenets of painting and exploring multiple media, Schifano elaborated a radical visual vocabulary as early as at the beginning of the 1960s. His practice was prescient: his work pre-dates international Pop art and is comparable to the revolution Andy Warhol carried out in the United States during the same years.


The best way to experience CIMA is through a fellow-guided tour. An intimate conversation with a scholar in residence encourages visitors to forge deeper connections with the artworks on view. 

Let’s look together again. 

In-Person Tours: $15 /visitor. Free for CIMA members.

CIMA’s signature fellow-guided tours are conducted in our spacious and meditative SoHo loft. Tours are by appointment only at 11am and 2pm on Fridays. No more than 8 visitors are permitted on a tour.

Open Hours: $10/visitor. Free for CIMA members.
Visitors to CIMA’s open hours can experience the exhibition on their own between 11am –4pm on Saturdays by appointment only.  Visits are timed and no more than 12 visitors are permitted per hour.

NEW: Virtual Fellow-Guided Tours: $10/visitor.
For its 2021 season CIMA will offer LIVE online discussions led by a fellow-in-residence. These presentations, enjoyed from the safety of your own home, reimagine CIMA’s signature visits. Tours are 45-minutes, maximum 20 people per group, and available on Sundays at 11am. Visitors will receive a private zoom link to access their tour 24 hours prior to the event.

Private Virtual Adult, Corporate and School Group Tours
CIMA welcomes private groups for virtual tours. $300 flat fee per adult group. Schools visit free. To request an appointment, please contact at least two weeks in advance.

CIMA Members enjoy special private visiting hours Monday – Thursday by appointment. Membership begins at just $125. Learn more at


Marino Marini / Parviz Tanavoli: Reception and Translation of Influence

March 10 2020

In the 1950s, Parviz Tanavoli went to Italy where he studied first in Carrara and then in Milan with Marino Marini. This lecture by Fereshteh Daftari will highlight the nature of the encounter between the Italian master and his pupil, who has come to be known as the father of Iranian modern sculpture. Tracing the trajectory of Marini’s influence as it was translated and expanded into a modernist language in tune with the Iranian context will be the focus of the presentation.


Program schedule:

6pm: registration, aperitivo, and viewing of Marino Marini: Arcadian Nudes

6:15pm – program begins, followed by audience Q&A

8pm – Evening concludes

Curator and scholar Fereshteh Daftari received her Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University (1988). Her dissertation, The Influence of Persian Art on Gauguin, Matisse and Kandinsky, was published in 1991. During her tenure at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1988 – 2009), she curated a number of international exhibitions including Without BoundarySeventeen Ways of Looking (2006). She was co-curator of Between Word and Image at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in 2002, and Iran Modern at the Asia Society Museum in New York in 2013. She has also focused on contemporary art. Action Now, the first exhibition of contemporary Iranian performance art,  was held in Paris (2012); Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian, and Turkish Artists at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver (2013); and Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto  (2017). It then traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and in 2020 it will go to the Asia Society Museum in New York.  Daftari has published widely and her most recent book is titled Persia Reframed: Iranian Visions of Modern and Contemporary Art (London: I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2019).


The Pasts of Marini’s Futures

February 11 2020

Clemente Marconi and Ann Kuttner work on the art of Mediterranean antiquity, and its own issues of reception and retrospection. For this CIMA program, they conduct a dialogue about how Marini positioned his statuary practice in relation to what he would have known as very old – including Greek, Roman and Etruscan remains – in ways that were complementary to how he positioned that work relative to his contemporaries’ production. Such rapprochement with antiquity was claimed often by Marini, who even called himself ‘an Etruscan.’ They will weigh those claims against telling divergence from the classical record, on the one hand, and on the other explore resonances Marini never voiced explicitly but which the works themselves suggest.

In keeping with CIMA exhibition, one topic will be Marini’s female nudes, from miniature to monumental, from swollen lumpy torsos as of women aged by childbearing to exaggeratedly taut bodies, from mannered primitivism to the Neoclassical. (And do they echo the sacrality of so many ancient prototypes?) How these multiples of what Marini named the nymph ‘Pomona’ lived in the studio and in his own mind as seriated things, as here at CIMA, suggests the great galleries of Roman replica statuary Marini must have known. His cropping of limbs and head expresses that cult of the fragment that is so much a part of the appeal of archaeological traces to modernist sensibilities. Such aspects inform how Marini’s images both praised and caged the feminine. Just like their ancient prototypes, these statues often represented the increase of the earth, and pitted artifice against nature; that can’t help but have had political resonance. Marini explicitly attributed political messages to his seriated horsemen, as protests against modern threats of technologically enabled mass violence. For the female nudes, too, and their promise of auspicious fertility, which Marini spoke of, politics are in question. We ourselves, at a time of what many think a human undoing of Nature, might meditate what Marini’s engagement with Ovid’s fruit-bringing nymph could speak to in our age. And for all Marini’s retrospectives, the attempted Fascist appropriation of Etrusco-Roman antiquity, to adorn revived Italian greatness, has to have inflected Marini’s understanding of what it meant for him to stubbornly claim, reclaim, or turn his back on Italian classicisms of many kinds.


Ann Kuttner is Associate Professor in the Dept. of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, active in the Graduate Groups in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World and in Ancient History. Author of Dynasty and Empire in the Age of Augustus: The Case of the Boscoreale Cups (1995, Univ. of California Press), co-editor with Alina Payne of Antiquity and Its Interpreters (2000, Cambridge Univ. Press), she teaches and publishes broadly on arts of the Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique world, not least those of Italy. That includes special interests in sculpture, political art and domestic display, and in retrospective images, cross-cultural interaction, and the post-antique reception of the ‘Classical.’ Recent essays include, for instance, ‘(Re)presenting Romanitas at Sir John Soane’s House and Villa,’ in K. von Stackelberg and E. Macaulay-Lewis eds., Housing the New Romans: Architectural Reception and Classical Style in the Modern World (2017), and ‘A Tortured Image: The Biography of Lucullus’ Dying Hercules,’ in CIS: California Italian Studies Journal 6.1, 2016.

Clemente Marconi is the James R. McCredie Professor in the History of Greek Art and Archaeology and University Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts–NYU, and Professore Ordinario di Archeologia Classica in the Dipartimento di Beni Culturali e Ambientali of the Università degli Studi di Milano. The director of the Institute of Fine Arts–NYU and Università degli Studi di Milano archaeological mission on the acropolis of Selinunte, he is the author of Temple Decoration and Cultural Identity in the Archaic Greek World (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Art and Architecture (Oxford University Press, 2014).


Aperitivo & Drawing Night with Kaitlin McDonough

January 28 2020

CIMA opens its unique and intimate setting to artists, students, and others interested in trying their hand at studying works from the Marino Marini: Arcadian Nudes exhibition through drawing — interacting with, analyzing, and drawing inspiration from the sculptor’s work.

Expanding upon the premise that drawing is the most optimal way to apprehend a work of art, this Drawing Night, led by artist Kaitlin McDonough (New York Studio School), will present drawing as a way of understanding, empathizing and seeing.

Materials will be provided and all skill levels are welcome!

Event Schedule:

6pm – Registration and exhibition viewing

6:10pm – Introduction by Kaitlin McDonough

6:30–7:45pm – Drawing in CIMA’s galleries

7:45pm–8pm– Conclusion

8pm – Evening concludes


Kaitlin McDonough paints exuberant abstractions, often incorporating objects and nontraditional supports. Equally fascinated by imagery and materiality, her content originates from the sensual inextricability of both and hybrid ways of perceiving. McDonough received her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and her BFA from Boston University, Summa cum laude. Prior to being based in New York, Kaitlin lived and worked in both Venice and Rome, Italy where she developed a close relationship with Italian art of the past and present. Her work has been exhibited throughout Italy–in Venice, Rome, Vicenza, Bologna, Verona–and in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond and Serbia. She is the recipient of the Temple University Project Completion Grant and has participated in a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Kaitlin McDonough is currently the Program Director and member of the Faculty at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture where her courses focus on drawing strategies, Color, and Painting on Paper.



Marino Marini and Henry Moore: An Italian Friendship

January 14 2020

The talk will explore the friendship between two of the most celebrated sculptors of the 20th century, Henry Moore and Marino Marini. Having met through the New York art dealer Curt Valentin, throughout the 1960s and 1970s they often spent time together on the coast of Tuscany in Italy, where Marini lived and Moore had a holiday home. In 1962 Marini made a portrait bust of Moore at his Forte dei Marmi villa. United by a love for Michelangelo’s sculpture, which was famously made from marble sourced from the nearby quarries in Carrara, and by a desire to both revisit and modernize the European tradition of sculpture, of which Tuscany offered many exceptional examples, Moore and Marini shared many creative concerns and greatly admired each other. The talk will also consider the network of friendships and professional contacts around the two sculptors, from the master carvers at stone merchants Henraux to prominent artists and intellectuals such as Jacques Lipchitz and Eugenio Montale.

Sebastiano Barassi is the Head of Collections & Exhibitions at the Henry Moore Foundation in the United Kingdom. Before joining the Foundation he was the Curator of Collections at Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge (2001–12) and worked at the Courtauld Institute Gallery in London (1999–2001). He regularly curates exhibitions and contributes to publications about Henry Moore and 20th century sculpture. They include Henry Moore at Houghton Hall (Norfolk, 2019), Henry Moore Drawings: The Art of Seeing (Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, 2019), Henry Moore: Obsession, Vision, Creation (Arp Museum Banhof, Rolandseck 2017), Becoming Henry Moore (Henry Moore Studios & Gardens and Henry Moore Institute, Leeds 2017), Henry Moore: Arte en la Calle (15 cities in Spain 2014–17), We the Moderns: Gaudier-Brzeska and the Birth of Modern Sculpture (Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge 2007) and Immaterial: Brancusi, Gabo, Moholy-Nagy (Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge 2004).


MEMBERS ONLY TOUR: Bertoldo di Giovanni at the Frick Collection

December 05 2019

Join us for a tour at the Frick Collection on December 5th for an in-depth look at the work of Florentine sculptor Bertoldo di Giovanni. Bertoldo di Giovanni (ca. 1440–1491) was a renowned student of Donatello, a teacher of Michelangelo, and a great favorite of Lorenzo “il Magnifico” de’ Medici, who was his principal patron. The exhibit consists of more than twenty of Bertoldo’s statues, reliefs, medals, and statuettes which constitute nearly his entire extant oeuvre. They are on view exclusively at the Frick, which also houses the only sculptural figure by Bertoldo outside of Europe. Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence brings into focus the sculptor’s unique position at the heart of the artistic and political landscape in fifteenth-century Italy.

The tour will be guided by one of our current fellows Claudia Daniotti. Claudia is an art historian and researcher specializing in Italian Renaissance art, with an emphasis on iconography, the classical tradition and the transmission of visual motifs from antiquity to the present times. She holds a PhD from the Warburg Institute, University London, and a BA (Hons) and MA in History of Art from the Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. Her first monograph on the reception of the myth of Alexander the Great in Renaissance Italian art, based on her doctoral dissertation, will be published in 2020.

Claudia is an experienced tour guide, having led bespoke guided tours to museum permanent collections and temporary exhibitions for years, both in Italy and the UK. She has published extensively in the fields of the classical tradition and fourteenth- to eighteenth-century art history, contributing essays, articles and catalogue entries to a number of edited volumes, journals, exhibition catalogues and conference proceedings.

Please note this tour is limited to 15 people and it will be free though we do ask that members donate if they can. CIMA members will receive an email invite to the guided tour and are invited to RSVP by email. Slots will be allotted on a first come, first serve basis.


Members receive free admission to CIMA, access outside of regular public hours, a copy of the annual catalogue, and invitations to exclusive events and receptions.


Eternal Bauhaus: Myths, Legends, and Contributions of the Bauhaus on its 100th Birthday

December 03 2019

At first, the Bauhaus was as much a radically experimental art and design school, as it was a means for promulgating ideas about modernism in design far beyond the provincial German cities of Weimar and Dessau, where the school made its home for all but the final year of its short existence.   The school lasted only 14 years, before it was closed under pressure from the National Socialist Government that came to power in Germany in 1933.  Long before that, however, its unusual name had become synonymous with modernist design, the result of the Bauhaus’ creative use of publications and exhibitions to broadcast its philosophy and to amplify its achievements.  In the exhibition which took place in Weimar in 1923, the school displayed student work, and also harnessed a panorama of European modernism associating the work of architects from the Netherlands with the work of the students and masters in the United States.  Reality and myth began to fuse in the perception of the Bauhaus, where in fact no architectural instruction was offered until the school moved to Dessau a few years later.   This lecture will look at the difficult task of distinguishing the Bauhaus as school, from the Bauhaus as a propaganda machine.   Already a force during its lifetime, the Bauhaus only grew after its demise, as its legacy got caught up in the politics of the Second World War and then the Cold War.   The talk will also examine the question, to what extent has the opening of two new museums and hundreds of exhibitions in this centennial year of the Bauhaus contributed to a deeper understanding or reinforcement of myths forged through exhibitions for nearly a century.

Barry Bergdoll is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University and the former Chief Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  A specialist in the history of modern architecture, he curated numerous exhibitions at MoMA, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Musée d’Orsay, and other venues, including Mies In Berlin (2001), Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity (2009–2010), Latin America in Construction : Architecture 1955-1980 (2015) and Frank Lloyd Wright at 150 : Unpacking the Archive (2017).

He is the author most recently of Marcel Breuer: Building Global Institutions (2017), and many other publications including  Mastering McKim’s Plan: Columbia’s First Century on Morningside Heights (1997) and European Architecture 1750–1890 (2000).


As a special addition to the evening please join us for a prior to the lecture for a complimentary reception with a wine tasting* and hors d’oeuvres from 5PM – 6PM hosted by Santi Wines. The Santi Winery is situated in the heart of the most acclaimed wine growing zones in the Veneto near Lake Garda and is devoted to the production of Soave Classico, Valpolicella and Amarone.

The Santi reception will be co-hosted by Federico Zanuso, (GIV) International Top Brands Manager and Sara Mule, (Frederick Wildman) Italian Fine Wine Specialist and will feature a tasting of:

  • “Santico” Amarone della Valpolicella
  • “Proemio” Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG
  • “Solane” Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore DOC
  • “Ventale” Valpolicella Superiore DOC
  • Infinito Rosé Bardolino Chiaretto DOC

*Wine tasting for 21 and over.



November 19 2019

In a 1950 interview for the New York Times, Marino Marini lamented that the plight of sculptors in Italy was “very bad […] and people have no place to put sculpture.”  The sculptor’s woes connected the low market to the post-war reconstruction as well as to a slow move by architects to “create space for sculpture [where…] sculpture can assert itself in it, define it, give scale, and bring spiritual meaning.”  With the slow European market for art, hindered by the physical reconstruction efforts, Marini and his contemporaries, like Henry Moore, found a market for sculpture in the booming USA after WWII. Americans were building. They were building homes, opening and expanding museums, and funding new cultural organizations, and they ultimately used sculpture to ‘define it’. This paper will consider the market and its cultural implications of Marini’s work in the US during this period.

In the 1950s and early 60s, works by Marini were purchased for public and private collections alike. Notably, iconic works were cast multiple times, sometimes in various sizes and materials—some in gold or silver, rather than bronze. A notable example is the Cavaliere cast for Edgar Kaufmann’s house by Frank Lloyd Wright called Fallingwater would later be commissioned for Peggy Guggenheim’s house in Venice, with the title Angelo della Città.  The familiarity of his subjects, like dancers and equestrians, combined with Marini’s innovative use of media solidified the sculptor’s success with American collectors. From Nelson Rockefeller to Alexandre Rosenberg, Marini’s work was championed with the help of a 1949 exhibition at MoMA and the savvy representation by gallerist Curt Valentin.

The talk will be preceded by a sampling of wines and light bites courtesy of Santi.  The Italian winery has been a leading producer in the Valpolicella area since the 1800’s. With its dedication to quality and its unique aging process, Santi offers a series of beautiful wines for every palate.

Antje K. Gamble received her Ph.D. in History of Art at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on Italian modernist sculpture in the middle of the twentieth-century. From Fascism to the Cold War, Dr. Gamble’s work examines the exhibition, sale, and critical reception of Italian art and how it shaped and was shaped by national and international socio-political shifts. She is currently an assistant professor of Art History in the Department of Art & Design at Murray State University in Kentucky.
Her scholarship has been included in the recent volume Postwar Italian Art History Today: Untying ‘the Knot’(Bloomsbury Press, 2018), where her chapter titled “Buying Marino Marini: The American Market for Italian Art after WWII” looks at politicized collection practices during the early Cold War. She also has two forthcoming essays: one on the 1949 exhibition “Twentieth Century Italian Art” at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for a book due out late 2019 (The First Twenty Years at MoMA 1929-1949, Eds. Sandra Zalman and Austin Porter. London: Bloomsbury Press.), and another on the 1947-48 ceramic Crocifisso by Lucio Fontana for a 2020 Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) exhibition catalogue. Dr. Gamble is also working on a book project looking at the interdisciplinary importance of the 1950-53 exhibition “Italy at Work: Her Renaissance in Design Today” organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and the Brooklyn Museum and funded by the Marshall Plan.
During the CIMA-affiliated fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Dr. Gamble will be completing a book manuscript on the work of sculptor Marino Marini that tracks aesthetic shifts, both in parallel and opposition to larger geo-political shifts within and outside of Italy from Fascism through the beginning of the Cold War.


In partnership with: