Art within art.

In Scicli, an art print shop, among the very few in Italy, is increasing its space and linking up with an art gallery in Modica that chooses to embrace this other Baroque center as well. A unique project that will be housed within an equally unique space, the ancient Palazzo Beneventano, a historic property that is a World Heritage Site. In the part below the aristocratic rooms, “Bassi Beneventano,” the squared art project being carried out by Loredana Amenta, an engraving printer, and gallery owner Giuseppe Lo Magno, was in fact born.

On Friday, June 9, at 7 p.m., the inauguration of this space that stands out for its uniqueness throughout Italy.

The art print shop, which thus changes locations, still makes extraordinary engravings through a process of presses, acids, and plates on behalf of numerous Italian artists including Piero Guccione, Angelo Ruta, Giovanni Robustelli, Giovanni Blanco, Franco Fratantonio, Rosa Cerruto, Giovanni Viola, Domenico Grenci, Carmelo Candiano and many others. Some of these artists are followed by the Lo Magno art gallery, a well-known creative hotbed based in Modica but which from now on can also count on this new space in Scicli. Originally established as a handcrafted framing workshop, the gallery just a few months ago celebrated 30 years in business and continues its goal of promoting leading Sicilian artists by presenting them at trade fairs as well as national and international events.

The joint project in Scicli was born out of a firm friendship. Loredana, who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania and specialized at the Il Bisonte Foundation in Florence, among the most important in the world for the study of graphic arts, has known and worked with her gallerist friend for about 7 years. Then the brave decision to open the print shop in a small property purchased in town with many sacrifices. Now the turning point to his project, which before being a job is above all a passion. So the chosen space is the basses of Scicli’s famous Baroque palace, one of the most visited by tourists from all over the world. And it is here that his art print shop will find a new home, a home shared with the Modican art gallery, which has always nurtured the dream of being present in other parts of the Val di Noto as well. From the mutual exchange of ideas, therefore, “Bassi Beneventano” was born, which will not be a normal exhibition space but a “living” one, because the users will be able not only to walk among the art path set up but also to see live the various stages of the engraving workshop that is always in activity. And this will allow tourists, visitors and art lovers to be able to discover the laborious and equally meticulous work behind each carving. A work that stems from the intimate connection between artist and printmaker-engraver. Alongside the mark made by the artist, there is in fact Loredana’s careful intervention in the various steps that, through the various and complex techniques used, make it possible to arrive, after repeated passages in the presses, at the final work. A unique work because in the intersection of etching and fielding it will be different from the previous one due to the skillful craftsmanship. On display for the opening vernissage will be the works of artists Sandro Bracchitta, Giuseppe Colombo, Emanuele Giuffrida, Giovanni Iudice, Giuseppe Leone, Rossana Taormina, Giovanni Viola, and William Marc Zanghi, curated by Lo Magno Gallery, along with engravings by Giovanni Robustelli, Giovanni Blanco, Piero Guccione, Rosa Cerruto, and some engravings by Loredana herself. Also on display are engraved matrices, to give a better understanding of the various steps leading to the creation of the works, and the now famous handcrafted frames of the Modican gallery. Redesigning the spaces of “Bassi Beneventano” were architects Elisa Lo Castro and Andrea Pluchino while the graphic identity was handled by Angelo Ruta, Sergio Iacono, Marco Lentini and the After Studio team. “I am happy for the mutual collaboration started in this space together with gallery owner Lo Magno,” explains Loredana Amenta, “because I know that we will enrich each other by having different tools and circuits that will intertwine within a space that has a rare soul, fully convinced that Bassi Beneventano will be able to represent an added value for Scicli. We will strive to make it a place of exchange, growth and contamination by organizing events that embrace various arts.” It is a project in which gallery owner Giuseppe Lo Magno, who, together with his assistant Valeria D’Amico, is taking care of the final stages of the interior design, also believes strongly: “It is a place that bewitches you and fascinates you, as it did me and Loredana. Our presence in Scicli pursues one of my gallery’s projects, which is to cross paths with other Sicilian historic centers in which to be present. And this represents a stage in that project. Scicli immediately welcomed us in this fascinating and at the same time precious space.” Among the most significant and at the same time curious items is an old Albion Press from the 1800s for the movable type press with which books were printed and which is still fully functional today. Loredana, with the use of special paper made from cotton or linen, uses it to produce virtually unique and valuable publications. An additional surprise lurking within this extraordinary art project.

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