Galleria Continua
China Dashanzi Art District 798 2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District Beijing
北京市朝阳区酒仙桥路2号大山子798 艺术区中二街
Italy Via del Castello 11, 53037 San Gimignano (SI)
France 46 rue de la Ferté Gaucher 77169 Boissy-le-Châtel (Seine-et-Marne)
+86 10 5978.9505
Opening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 11am-6pm
Federica Beltrame (Beijing)

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Galleria Continua

San Gimignano, a contemporary art gallery in the heart of Tuscany

Galleria Continua opened in San Gimignano (Italy) in 1990, the result of the initiative of three friends: Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Maurizio Rigillo. Occupying a former cinema, Galleria Continua established itself and thrived in an entirely unexpected location, away from the big cities and the ultramodern urban centres, in a town – San Gimignano – steeped in history, timeless, magnificent. This choice of location provided scope for the development of new forms of dialogue and symbiosis between unexpected geographies: rural and industrial, local and global, art from the past and the art of today, famous artists and emerging ones. The gallery’s presence in an area that is in a certain sense “forgotten” but which has a spirit and significant history of its own, has enabled it to create a reputation as a centre capable of producing exciting and challenging contemporary work where it is least expected, unhampered by the spatial and temporal restrictions of classic contemporary art institutions. Remaining faithful to a spirit of perpetual evolution and committed to interesting as broad a public as possible in contemporary art, in the course of twenty years Galleria Continua has created a strong identity for itself through its ties and experiences. That identity is grounded in two values – generosity and altruism – which lie at the heart of all its dealings with artists, the general public and its development as a whole. Galleria Continua is all about a desire for continuity between ages, the aspiration to having a part in writing the history of the present, a history that is sensitive to contemporary creative practices and which cherishes the link between past and future, and between different and unusual individuals and geographies.

Beijing, a pioneering contemporary art gallery in China

In keeping with the constantly evolving nature of the gallery and its desire to address as wide a public as possible, in 2005 Galleria Continua opened a new exhibition space in Beijing, China, the aim being to promote international contemporary art in a nation where it is little seen and to encourage new forms of cultural exchange. Galleria Continua Beijing performs a particularly intense cultural mediation role, offering Chinese art-lovers the chance to visit exhibitions in which international-level artists devise projects specifically for the gallery space and reflect upon their experiences. It is a twofold challenge: for the foreign artist, who is exhibiting in China in a rather particular venue; and for the visitor, who is venturing into very different cultural territory.
The gallery’s interest in China arose principally as a result of its solid ties of friendship with Chen Zhen and Xu Min. In April 2004 Galleria Continua participated in the first contemporary art fair in Beijing. Then, in November of the same year, the gallery hosted its first visitors to present them its project in the 798 Art District (the former 798 Factory), a reconverted industrial zone occupied by artists, gallery owners and art lovers. The premises taken over by the gallery (1,000 m2 and 13 metres high) had not yet been restored, and its 1950s Bauhaus style was intact. This style is preserved even after the renovation works. In May 2005 Galleria Continua held its inaugural show in the new space, featuring 16 artists from five continents. At the time it was one of the few initiatives to be organized by a Western gallery in China. Since then there have been exhibitions of the work of Chen Zhen, Daniel Buren, Loris Cecchini, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Anish Kapoor and Kendell Geers plus various other projects, monographic and group shows. The space has become an exciting venue for presenting artists from around the world, all the more remarkable given the comparative rarity of such ventures on the part of Western galleries. The underlying thread of Galleria Continua’s activities in Beijing, as it is in San Gimignano, is to discover new artists and to provide showcases that bring together spheres of creativity and various different cultures.

Artists include:
Ai Weiwei
Kader Attia
Daniel Buren
Cai Guo-Qiang
Loris Cecchini
Chen Zhen
Nikhil Chopra
Berlinde De Bruyckere
Leandro Erlich
Meschac Gaba
Carlos Garaicoa
Kendell Geers
Antony Gormley
Gu Dexin

Shilpa Gupta
Subodh Gupta
Mona Hatoum
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov
Kan Xuan
Anish Kapoor
Jorge Macchi
Sabrina Mezzaqui
Margherita Morgantin
Moataz Nasr
Hans Op de Beeck
Lucy + Jorge Orta
Giovanni Ozzola

Luca Pancrazzi
Bruno Peinado
Michelangelo Pistoletto
Arcangelo Sassolino
Nedko Solakov
Sun Yuan & Peng Yu
Pascale Marthine Tayou
Nari Ward
Sophie Whettnall
Sislej Xhafa
Yan Lei