From September 25, 2020 Galleria d’Arte Tommaso Calabro presents Casa Iolas. Citofonare Vezzoli, an exhibition dedicated to the Greek art gallerist Alexander Iolas (1907–1987) and curated by Francesco Vezzoli, with a setup designed by Filippo Bisagni. The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue with an essay by Luca Massimo Barbero.
The figure of Alexander Iolas (born Constantine Koutsoudis) is extremely interesting: he began his career as a dancer and then became one of the most important art dealers of the second half of the twentieth century thanks to his infallible taste and commercial intuitions. One of the first gallerists to create an international network of galleries, he introduced Surrealism to the United States and gave Andy Warhol his first solo show. Although he had been a friend and loyal supporter of some of the most important artists of his time (to name a few: Georges Braque, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso and Giorgio de Chirico), Iolas was soon forgotten after his death in 1987. His Athens house, Villa Iolas, was doomed to the same fate, its invaluable art collection being stolen and dispersed.
Casa Iolas. Citofonare Vezzoli intends to reimagine the lost spaces of the legendary house that belonged to this key figure of the twentieth century art market. Through the eyes of Francesco Vezzoli – an artist who has for long investigated the psychological complexities of fame – the exhibition will foster the rediscovery of Iolas, with a tribute that Vezzoli himself paid to this character "(...) in all his facets, as a gallerist and as a collector, as a dandy of the art market and as an aesthete.” The setup operates on three levels: works by artists exhibited at Iolas’ galleries are displayed alongside Vezzoli’s works (recent sculptures, two of which have never been seen before, and three specially made embroideries) and antique pieces of furniture reminiscent of those of the villa. Installations merging these three levels create focal visual points in each room.
With this project, Tommaso Calabro continues to shed light on some of the most relevant yet often partially forgotten gallerists of the twentieth century. Casa Iolas. Citofonare Vezzoli is the second chapter of an exhibition program inaugurated by the gallery in 2018 with its opening show dedicated to the Italian Carlo Cardazzo (1908–1963).