Famed Art Dealer Massimo De Carlo Has Revealed Plans for a Monumental Private Art Foundation in Italy. Here’s What We Know

The center has been “dream in the making for many years.”

Massimo De Carlo attends the opening of Torre at Fondazione Prada on April 18, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pietro D'Aprano/Getty Images for Fondazione Prada)

Massimo De Carlo is building a new private foundation in his home country of Italy. 

On July 12, the veteran dealer signed a declaration of intent with the Italian province of Asti, where the venue will be erected “in the coming years,” according to a press release. The planned facility is billed as the “first private hub dedicated to contemporary art” in the province.

The move, De Carlo said in a statement, “not only enables the realization of a new hub for contemporary art but also opens up new institutional and cultural prospects for the gallery.” 

“Through this foundation, we aim to bring the most intriguing voices of the international contemporary art scene to the territory in a remarkable landscape context complemented by an architectonic approach that exudes great respect despite its monumentality,” he added. 

A model of Massimo De Carlo’s planned private foundation in Italy. © Archive Olgiati.

De Carlo’s foundation will center around an exhibition program for international contemporary work and offer dedicated residences for artists. The Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati will design the master plan for the foundation, while De Carlo’s team will launch a competition for young Italian architects to develop the site’s service buildings.  

Asti mayor Maurizio Rasero said the province wholeheartedly [supports] a project that aims to enrich our cultural heritage.” He added that Asti and its province deserve an international platform, and initiatives like these are decisive steps in the right direction.”

De Carlo opened his first gallery in Milan in 1987, focusing on early-career artists who otherwise had no representation in Italy, including Olivier Mosset, Steven Parrino, and Carsten Höller. Since then, the business has grown into an international enterprise, with outposts that opened in London, Hong Kong, and Paris in 2009, 2016, and 2021, respectively. Names like Maurizio Cattelan, Jamian Juliano-Villani, and Danh Võ now highlight De Carlo’s roster of over 60 artists. 

In an email to Artnet News, the dealer said that the decision to open a foundation has been a “dream in the making for many years.”

“It is a very exciting—dare I say humbling—challenge for me to expand my activities from the commercial work that I undertake with the gallery to the realm of public non for profit activities,” De Carlo concluded.

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