Bianco-Valente, Rem, 2002, Permanent installation at Rione Alto Metro Station, Napoli, lightbox cm550x190 Courtesy bianco-valente.com
Since 2001 Naples, has offered its citizens and the visitors of the city the opportunity to come into contact with contemporary art in public spaces of the underground, under the artistic direction of Achille Bonto Oliva. Designed by internationally renowned architects, the stations received over 180 works of art by 90 of the most prestigious contemporary artists and constitute one of the most interesting examples of decentralized museum which is spread over the entire urban area; a museum which, instead of concentrating works in an enclosed space, permits the dynamic fruition of the artists’ creations over the course of an open artistic itinerary. (Università Station has been designed by the unique architect and designer Karim Rashid, Toledo Station by the Catalan architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca, the stations of Piazza Dante and Museo by Gae Aulenti, , the stations of Mater Dei and Salvator Rosa by Studio Mendini, Quattro Giornate Station by the architect Domenico Orlacchio, Vanvitelli Station by Michele Capobianco, and the stations of Augustus, Lala, Mergellina, and Mostra by Studio Protec.
Surely the station of the University can be synthesis of the path that leads the Art Stations project throughout Naples’ underground, in fact the architect and designer Karim Rashid, focused on materials and colors that touch the emotional sphere of the users by involving them in a path that comes to the future through the words “virtual”, “network”, “operation”, “portable”, “database”, “interface”, “software” but that does not forget the past. Let’s think of the giant images of Dante Alighieri and Beatrice symbolizing the value of culture in an absolute timeless sense.
The station Piazza Dante houses the works by Carlo Alfano, Joseph Kosuth, Jannis Kounellis, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Nicola De Maria. The station Museo houses the essence of the culture of Naples and becomes trait d’union between the ancient and the contemporary. Are the students of Naples Academy of Fine Arts of in fact, that made the casts of the Farnese Hercules and of the Horse Head called "Carafa" while walking through the corridors in direction of the National Archaeological Museum, the photographs in black and white by Mimmo Jodice anticipate the journey in the ancient world with the work Anamnesi and with Athletes and Danzatrici series, works in which the Neapolitan master compares himself with the famous sculptures coming from Villa of the Papyri at Ercolano and preserved in the museum. The corridor that connects Museo Station with Cavour Station on Line 2 homes a selection of works by four different generations of artists from Campania, protagonists of contemporary photography: Luciano D'Alessandro, Fabio Donato, Antonio Biasucci, Raffaela Mariniello.
Mater Dei Station houses the works by Lucio Del Pezzo, Luigi Serafini, Sandro Chia, Ettore Spalletti. The flight of stairs leading to the lower floors of Mater Dei Station is surmounted by a mosaic with ceramic reliefs by Luigi Ontani a great marine expanse in which "wallow" fantastic creatures, street urchins and a Neapolitan Pulcinella who has the artist's face. On the ground tracks, just getting off the escalator, we find the refined drawings on wood panels by Domenico Bianchi, while all the central corridor is covered by colorful Wall Drawings by Sol LeWitt, the father of minimal art. Finally, both platforms are enriched by colored serigraphs by Mathelda Balatresi, Anna Gili, Stefano Giovannoni, Robert Gligorov, Denis Santachiara, Innocente and George Sowden.
In addition to Salvator Rosa Station, the surrounding area has also been benefited from the extensive revitalisation efforts, enhancing the surrounding buildings and transforming them into works of art, thanks to artists such as Mimmo Rotella, Ernesto Tatafiore, Mimmo Paladino, Renato Barisani, Gianni Pisani , Augusto Perez, Lucio Del Pezzo, Nino Longobardi, Riccardo Dalisi, Alex Mocika, Ugo Marano, Raffaella Nappo, Enzo Cucchi, LuCa, Santolo De Luca, Quintino Scolavino, Natalino Zullo, Perino & Vele, Anna Sargenti.
The entire outdoors itinerary is dotted with the works of some of the protagonists of contemporary art: Renato Barisani, Augusto Perez, Lucio Del Pezzo, Nino Longobardi, Richard Dalisi, Alex Mocika, Ugo Marano. Raffaella Nappo, Enzo Cucchi, LuCa, Santolo De Luca, Quintino Scolavino, Natalino Zullo, Perino & Vele, Anna Sargenti, Renato Barisani, Lydia Cotton, Nino Longobardi, Sergio Fermariello, Baldo Diodato, Anna Sargenti, Umberto Manzo, Betty Bee, Maurizio Cannavacciuolo, Marisa Albanese.
Vanvitelli Station homes the works by Giulio Paolini, Vettor Pisani, Gabriele Basilico, Olivo Barbieri, Mario Merz, Gilberto Zorio, Gregorio Botta, Isabella Ducrot while Rione Alto Station those by David Tremlett, Giuseppe Zevola, Katharina Sieverding and Rem, the two light-box by the artist duo Bianco-Valente (Giovanna Bianco and Pino Valente), which loom over the traveller from the tops of the vaults of the gallery leading to the tracks. . The stations Augustus, Lala, Mergellina and Mostra designed by Studio Protec, house works by Salvino Campos, Ousmane Ndiaye Dago, Monica Biancardi, Luca Campigotto, Vincenzo Castella, Nanni Balestrini, Luisa Rabbia, Franco Scognamiglio, Botto & Bruno, Cristina Crespo, Carmine Rezzuti, Matteo Fraterno, Gabriele Basilico, Mario Sironi, Pino Musi, Gianni Pisani, Marisa Merz and Carla Accardi.
The LAP invites you to explore the site dedicated to Naples Underground in the section Art Stations at http://www.metro.na.it/