Schifano & Friends: Gerard Malanga

June 23 2021

This in-person event, in partnership with Elizabeth Street Garden, is dedicated to the poetry and underground cinema of Gerard Malanga.

This event will begin at CIMA at 6:00, featuring an interview with poet, photographer and filmmaker Gerard Malanga, as well as a reading from his latest book of poems, The New Mélancholia (Bottle of Smoke Press, 2021). A book signing with the author will follow. The evening will also feature a screening of In Search of the Miraculous, a 1967 movie which includes contributions by Mario Schifano, among other artists and filmmakers of the time.

An emblematic protagonist of the underground New York scene ’60s-‘70s, Gerard Malanga is a multifaceted and prolific creator whose work intersects multiple genres and intellectual milieus. A poet, a photographer, a director and actor, he was one of “Andy Warhol’s superstars.” As chief assistant for Warhol’s Factory in the mid-Sixites, he gave an important contribution to the making of Warhol’s famous silkscreens and films. He has published numerous collections of poems, including Chic Death (1971), Mythologies of the Heart (1996), No Respect (2001), and Cool & Other Poems (2019). His work has appeared in Poetry, Raritan, Yale Review, Harvard Review, The Paris Review, Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Poetry Foundation, and the Italian literary journal Nuovi Argomenti, among others. His iconic photographs of figures such as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, John Recy, Allen Ginsberg and the Beats, have been coveted by publishers and connoisseurs worldwide and can be found in monographs such as Screen Tests: A Diary (in collaboration with Warhol, 1967), Resistance to Memory (1998), Screen Tests Portraits Nudes 1964-1996 (2000), Someone’s Life (2008). Having been introduced to underground cinema by Willard Maas e and Marie Menken, Malanga went on to produce short movies throughout the 60s that were screened in American and international film festivals. One of these, In Search of the Miraculous, was created during his 1967 trip to Italy, where he took part in the happenings orchestrated by Mario Schifano at the renowned Piper Club. In Rome, he met and befriended artists, writers and intellectuals like Franco Angeli, Tano Festa, Elsa Morante, Fernanda Pivano, Peter Hartman, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, and Flavio Lucchini. After the presentation of In Search of the Miraculous at the 1967 edition of the Bergamo Film Festival, writer Alberto Moravia described the movie as “a series of images strangely beautiful and revealing.”

6:00-7:30 pm
The New Mélancholia (2021): Book presentation, poetry reading, and book signing

COVID-19 policy: this is an in-person event at CIMA. Social distancing and mask wearing are required.

Elizabeth Street Garden
8:00 pm
In Search of the Miraculous (1967): Film screening


In partnership with Elizabeth Street Garden.
For information about how you can help save Elizabeth Street Garden, visit

Free public access to this event is made possible thanks to funding from:



Schifano and Friends: Larry Rivers

June 10 2021

This talk and Q&A is part of a broader series titled Schifano and Friends, which explores the relationship and connections between Mario Schifano and the work of other American and Italian artists and intellectuals.

David Joel, Executive Director of the Larry Rivers Foundation, will focus his talk on the life and art of Larry Rivers, while looking at connections to Mario Schifano’s art.

Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Free public access to this event is made possible thanks to funding from:


Schifano and Friends: Frank O’Hara

May 20 2021

This talk, part of a broader series titled Schifano and Friends covers the Italian artist’s friendship with poet Frank O’Hara, as well as the reciprocal influence each had on the other.

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

Raphael Rubinstein is a New York-based poet and art critic whose numerous books include Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism 1990-2002,  The Afterglow of Minor Pop Masterpieces and The Miraculous. He edited the anthology Critical Mess: Art Critics on the State of their Practice and is widely known for his articles on “provisional painting.” His poetry has appeared in, among other places, Grand StreetFence and Harper’s Magazine and in Best American Poetry 2015. From 1997 to 2007 he was a senior editor at Art in America, where he continues to be a contributing editor. He is currently professor of critical studies at the University of Houston. In 2002, the French government presented him with the award of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2010, his blog The Silo won a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. In 2014 The Silo was given a Best Blog Award of Excellence by the International Association of Art Critics. In April 2017, The Miraculous: Houston, a public-art installation by artist and wife Heather Bause Rubinstein, based on his book The Miraculous, debuted as part of the CounterCurrent Festival.

This program is made free to the public thanks to support from:


Something Else: Schifano and Music – Luciano Chessa

May 13 2021

This mini-series of conversations highlights the intersections between the work of Mario Schifano, the world of Jazz music, and Schifano’s own involvement in the underground music scene of the 1960s.

Luciano Chessa is a composer, conductor, performance artist, pianist, and music historian specializing in 20th-century Italian and 21st-century American repertoire. His compositions include the experimental opera Cena oltranzista nel castelletto al lago—a work of over 55 hours of fasting that was entirely livestreamed—and A Heavenly Act, an opera commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, with original video by Kalup Linzy. In New York alone, Chessa has been commissioned multiple times by the Performa Biennial, and in 2014 he presented three concerts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as part of the exhibition Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe. Chessa is the author of Luigi Russolo Futurist. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult (2012), the first monograph dedicated to Russolo and his “Art of Noise.” In 2009, his Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners (OFNI) was hailed by the New York Times as one of the best events in the arts; it continues to tour internationally.

He will discuss Mario Schifano’s foray in music production with the underground rock band Le stelle di Mario Schifano. With CIMA Fellows Marica Antonucci and Carlotta Vacchelli.

Photo by Jamie Lyons

This program is made free to the public thanks to support from:



May 12 2021

This conversation with Vincenzo Sparagna and Filippo Scòzzari explores the collaboration between Mario Schifano and the Italian counterculture magazine Frigidaire through the 1980s and 1990s. Among the themes addressed, the interview discusses the involvement of Schifano in the foundation of the magazine, the representation of his figure and his art through comics and fiction, as well as his friendship with the group of artists that animated the magazine.

Vincenzo Sparagna is one of the most active figures in the history of Italian counterculture. Publisher, journalist, essayist, writer, and illustrator, Sparagna collaborated with the weekly magazine “Il Male”, a hotbed of the satire and caricature of Italian politics and society between the end of the 1970s and 1980s. In 1980 Sparagna founded the revolutionary magazine of cultural dissemination and information “Frigidaire”, bringing about a decisive change in the history of Italian comics and graphic narrative. The original nucleus of “Frigidaire” is composed by the authors Filippo Scòzzari, Stefano Tamburini, Andrea Pazienza, Massimo Mattioli, and Tanino Liberatore, who had previously founded the legendary magazine of underground comics, “Cannibale”. Sparagna has since been at the center of a network of artists, and intellectuals, variously active in the field of visual and graphic arts: painting, photography, comics, and illustration. Among the multiple magazines that he started and edited, there are “Lunedì della Repubblica”, “La piccola Unità”, “Il nuovo Male”. In 2005, Sparagna founded “La Repubblica di Frigolandia”, which he currently directs, together with illustrator and graphic designer Maila Navarra. An artistic and creative crossroads, “Frigolandia” is the center, the archive, and the current publishing place of “Frigidaire”.

A key figure in the underground milieu of Bologna and Rome in the 1970s and 1980s, Filippo Scòzzari is one of the most influent master of Italian comics. A painter, a writer, a graphic artist, and an illustrator, Scòzzari participated to the fundamental experiences of Italian alternative culture, active between magazines, radio stations, and artistic centers. Among them, “Re nudo”, “Il Male”, “Radio Alice”, “Cannibale”, “Traumfabrik”, “Alter Alter”, and “Frigidaire”. With the group “Cannibale” and “Frigidaire”, Scòzzari operated critically in the Italian comics culture, exploring possibilities that had never been investigated before, and expanding the use of comics in an artistic direction, and as a tool for socio-political investigation. He contributed to disseminate a new aesthetic awareness around the medium of comics. His distinctive comics technique involves a constant clash between the fineness of the drawing and the color, and the contents, intentionally caricatural, grotesque, and anti-idealistic, provoking an effect of unveiling of the mechanisms behind this medium, and an irreverent anti-bourgeois polemic. Examples of this tendency are “Suor Dentona”, “Dottor Jack”, “Primo Carnera”, as well as the comics adaptations of Tommaso Landolfi’s “Mar delle Blatte”, and “The Blue Dahlia” by Raymond Chandler. Among his writings, his autobiographical memorial “Prima pagare poi ricordare”, and the play “Cuore di Edmondo”, inspired by Edmondo de Amicis’ novel “Cuore”. His science fiction comics have been recently collected in “Lassù no” by Coconino press (2019), which published in 2020 the graphic novel edition of “Il mar delle blatte”.

Carlotta Vacchelli is a Research Fellow at CIMA, with a project on the artistic relationship between Mario Schifano and the countercultural magazine Frigidaire; she also works on the vistual and literary portraits and representations of his Schifano and his art. She earned an M.A. (2017) and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies (2020) at Indiana University – Bloomington, as well as an M.A. in Italian Philology at the University of Pavia (2015), with a thesis on Dino Buzzati’s comics and pictorial production. Her Ph.D. dissertation focuses on the influence of artist Andrea Pazienza on contemporary Italian comics and graphic novels, literature, cinema, and pop music. She has curated the exhibition La funzione-Pazienza at the Centro Fumetto Andrea Pazienza (2020, Cremona), and the namesake catalogue. She is Associate Editor for the online peer-reviewed journal Simultanea. A Journal of Italian Media and Pop Culture. She has published about Italian literature, art, comics, and cinema for Italian and international scholarly journals (Studi ItalianiItalicaItalian QuarterlyStudi buzzatianiInternational Journal of Comic ArtCultura & Comunicazione).



Something Else: Schifano and Music – James Demby

May 06 2021

This mini-series of conversations highlights the intersections between the work of Mario Schifano, the world of Jazz music, and Schifano’s own involvement in the underground music scene of the 1960s.

This conversation and Q&A with James Demby, musician, composer and professor at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence, will explore Schifano’s passion for the New York Jazz scene and its echoes in the Rome of those years.

James Demby is a musician, composer, and professor of Teoria ritmica e percezione musicale at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence, Italy, where he also directs the course of Ewe drums. The son of actress and screenplay writer Lucia Drudi and African-American poet and novelist William Demby, James personally knew Schifano since the 1960s thanks to his family’s connections to the Italian art world of the era. His family collection included works by major Italian artists, such as Fabio Mauri, Mario Schifano, and Toti Scialoja.

This program is made free to the public thanks to support from:


Schifano and friends: Jim Dine

April 21 2021

The series of talks and conversations with art historians, writers, curators, and artists, highlights thematic and aesthetic intersections between the work of Mario Schifano and his American peers.

This talk and Q&A by Daniela Lancioni, Senior Curator, Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, Rome, will introduce the figure of Jim Dine and hint at possible relationships between Schifano’s and Dine’s work.

Daniela Lancioni was born in 1959 in Rome where she currently lives. She is senior curator at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. Between 2009 and 2002 she founded and directed the Spazio per l’arte contemporanea Tor Bella Monaca. Among the exhibitions she has curated at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni: Jim Dine, 2020; Mostre in mostra, 2019; Cesare Tacchi. Una retrospettiva, 2018; Anni 70. Arte a Roma, 2013-2014; Carlos Amorales, 2011; Giulio Paolini. Gli uni e gli altri (L’enigma dell’ora), 2010. Among the exhibitions she curated at the Spazio per l‘arte contemporanea: 20 mostre a La Salita tra il 1960 e il 1978, 1998-1999; Giacinto Cerone, 1999-2000; David Tremlett, 2000; Giuseppe Penone. Spoglia d’oro su spine d’acacia, 2002. She has curated additionally, Italia contemporanea. Officina San Lorenzo, MART, Rovereto 2009; Tano Festa. Da Mondrian a Michelangelo. Opere dal 1963 al 1978, Cinecittàdue arte contemporanea, Rome 2005. Among her publications: Roma in mostra 1970-1979. Materiali per la documentazione di mostre azioni performance dibattiti, Rome 1995; Giulio Paolini. Quadrante, Rome 2002, curated catalogues include: Incontri…Dalla collezione di Graziella Lonardi Buontempo, Rome 2003; Giuseppe Penone, Rome 2008; she has collaborated also on the monographs Spalletti, Naples 1999; Giuseppe Penone The Inner Life of Forms, New York 2018.

Our digital programming is made free thanks to sponsorship from:


Book presentation with author Giorgia Gastaldon

April 15 2021

Giorgia Gastaldon, PhD, in conversation with CIMA Fellows discussed her new book, the first comprehensive monograph on Mario Schifano’s early work (1958-1964).

Mario Schifano–resolute painter in years in which Italian art was taking the path of dematerialization–was an artist for whom the categories of character, legend, biography–one that was tormented, exaggerated, cursed–have long prevailed over a thoughtful consideration of the works.

This book, part of a series, the Studi of the Bibliotheca Hertziana, published in collaboration with Silvana Editoriale, examines Schifano’s pictorial evolution focusing on the blazing beginnings of his production–from 1958 to 1964, when he first participated in the Venice Biennial–and studies it starting with the most neglected fundamentals: considering documents from that time period; identifying, dating, and sequencing his works; analyzing his pictorial language in comparison to that of artists from his same period; and, lastly, bringing it back to the culture–visual and broader–of his time. The result is a Mario Schifano less character, and more artist, less fluctuating, and more rigorous in his research, the value of which lies in consistency, in the timeliness and autonomy of his choices, as well as in the instinctive joy of his painting.

Giorgia Gastaldon is currently adjunct professor at L’Università dell’Aquila. Previously she worked as post-doc researcher at the Bibliotheca Hertziana, where she developed a project focused on Italian women artists in the Sixties. In 2014 she obtained a PhD in Art History from the University of Udine with a dissertation on Mario Schifano’s Painting 1958-1964, which has been published in 2021. In 2017 she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Center for Art Studies Ragghianti, where she developed a research project on Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Florence, which became a book in 2019. Between 2014 and 2016 she spent two-years as research fellow in the framework of the FIRB ministerial project Spreading visual culture: contemporary art through periodicals, archives and illustrations.

Alongside her academic career, she works as curator of exhibitions: she has been appointed as scientific director of Palinsesti (San Vito al Tagliamento, PN) between 2015 and 2019 and as co-curator of the exhibition Carla Accardi. Contesti (Museo del Novecento, Milan) between 2019-2021.

She published several scientific essays, articles and monographs focused, in particular, on the themes of the reception of American art in Italy, on the role played by magazines in the Italian artists’ update, on the Italian art critic frame, and on women artists production in the Sixties.

This event is made free to the public thanks to support from Christie’s.


Schifano and Friends: Holly Miller

April 08 2021

This talk and Q&A, part of a broader series titled Schifano and Friends, covers the Italian artist’s friendship with American artist Holly Miller and the impact that Schifano’s aesthetic sensibility had on her work.

This series of talks and conversations with art historians, writers, curators, and artists, highlights thematic and aesthetic intersections between the work of Mario Schifano and his American peers.

Holly Miller was born in Buffalo, NY and raised in Rome, Italy. She graduated from School of Visual Arts in 1984 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She has shown nationally and internationally. Selected exhibitions include the Serpentine gallery in London, the Brooklyn Museum, the University of Kentucky Art Museum in Lexington, the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro NC, Gilman Contemporary gallery in Ketchum Idaho, ARENA, Lesley Heller gallery, Elizabeth Harris gallery and McKenzie Fine Art in NY and the Studio Stefania Miscetti gallery and Sala Uno in Rome. Her work is in the collections of the Arkansas Art Center, the Weatherspoon Art Museum and the University of Kentucky Art Museum. She lives and works between Brooklyn and Vermont.

Our digital programming is made free to the public thanks to sponsorship from:




Schifano and Friends: Dacia Maraini

March 30 2021

This exclusive conversation, part of a broader series titled Schifano and Friends, will explore Dacia Maraini’s long friendship with artist Mario Schifano, the cultural circles of 1960s Rome, and the poem and interview that Maraini dedicated to the painter over the years.

Dacia Maraini is an Italian novelist, poet, playwright, and public intellectual, widely known and published in over twenty countries. The daughter of a Sicilian princess and a renowned ethnologist, Maraini was born in Fiesole, near Florence, and from an early age began journeying with her family, following her father’s research travels in Japan. Maraini became a protagonist of Rome’s cultural scene during the 1960s—the context in which she met and befriended Mario Schifano. In 1973, she was among the founders of Teatro la Maddalena, a women-run theater in the capital that produces some of her most famous plays, such as Maria Stuarda and Dialogo di una prostituta col suo cliente. A prolific author, Maraini’s plays and novels tackle themes such as personal freedom for women, the abuse of power and its effect on women, the histories of women that break free from traditional gender roles, social activism, and women liberation. She has won several important literary awards for her work, including the Formentor Prize for L’età del malessere (1963); the Premio Fregene for Isolina (1985); the Premio Campiello and Book of the Year Award for La lunga vita di Marianna Ucrìa (1990); and the Premio Strega for Buio (1999). Several of her novels have been adapted into successful films by major Italian directors.

This event is made free thanks to funding from: