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Back cover of La Stanza Verde
Art, History & Politics, Literature

La stanza verde

Autobiografia di Sandro Manzo

September 20, 2018
6:00 pm

La stanza verde
Autobiografia di Sandro Manzo

(2017, Electa)

by Fiamma Arditi

Author Fiamma Arditi and Sandro Manzo in conversation with artists Vincenzo AmatoShoja Azari, Phong Bui.

Moderated by Stefano Albertini (NYU).

La stanza verde is the amazing journey in the art world and behind its scenes of Sandro Manzo, who founded the gallery Il Gabbiano in Rome in 1967, moved to New York in 1982 and created a bridge between Italy and American artists.  In fifty years he organized shows of Antony Tapies, Robert Motherwell, Sam Francis and became friends with Bob Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Larry Rivers, Mel Bochner,  Fernando Botero, Manolo Valdes, Balthus. They all went to Rome for the openings of their shows at Il Gabbiano and for the parties in their honor in the most hip locations of the city. With each one of them, Sandro Manzo has shared time, stories, journeys and magic moments around the world.

Through the pages of La stanza verde, the personalities of these special human beings emerge together with their strength, their obsessions, but – most of all – their knack for discovery, adventures and life. A whole chapter is dedicated to the visits to their studios, which Manzo cherished and respected as sacred spaces, unveiled here to the reader.  A subtle sense of humour and the Neapolitan philosophy of living in the present are woven into the pages to create a unique portrait of this art lover.

Year after year, Il Gabbiano, in the heart of Rome, a few blocks from the Spanish steps, became the meeting point not only for artists, art historians and critics such as Achille Bonito Oliva,  but for movie makers such as Luchino Visconti, Bernardo Bertolucci, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, writers such as Alberto Moravia, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Leonardo Sciascia, Dacia Maraini, actors such as Monica Vitti, Helmut Berger, Audrey Hepburn, Laura Betti, as well as politicians – mostly liberals – who liked to be involved in the art world and be connected to its protagonsts.

From Rome to Paris, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the gallerist, born in the gulf of Naples at Oplonti (Torre Annunziata), next to Pompei, followed and realized his dream of introducing American artists to the Italian public and to become an American himself. The book, written by the journalist and writer Fiamma Arditi and narrated by Sandro Manzo, unveils with a firework of unknown stories the secrets of this colourful art world with its absurdity and its magnetic power.