For the 'Back from the Future' section at Artissima 2023, Richard Saltoun is delighted to present the work of Franca Maranò (Bari, Italy, 1920–2015), a key figure of the Southern Italian artistic movements of the 1960s and 70s. Deeply anti-conformist, Maranò chose to remain in Southern Italy to develop her work instead of travelling to bigger cities, playing a fundamental role in nurturing its artistic scene and challenging its patriarchal structures. In 1970, she founded the first avant-garde gallery in Bari, Galleria Centrosei, to support local artists and peers like Tomaso Binga and Maria Lai.
Throughout her career, Maranò abandoned the conventions of traditional painting, feeling the need “to work outside the codes of the already done”. In doing so, she turned to new mediums such as textiles and ceramics (at the time ceramics were limited to male artists like Fausto Melotti and Lucio Fontana), out of the need for a creative freedom that would express what otherwise would be lost.
Our stand will focus on the artist's important ceramic works from the 60s – including two large-scale wall-mounted panels echoing the artist’s vast commissions for public institutions –, which will be presented alongside textiles from the 70s made with medieval canvas and a selection of early oil paintings.