Jacopo Benassi


Exhibition view, 2022

After years of recognition both in Italy and abroad, this is the homecoming of Jacopo Benassi, and perhaps his most ambitious and intimate project to date.

The entire exhibition, curated by Antonio Grulli, focuses on the artist’s past and his relationship with the city of La Spezia, a place of growth and life, and how it influenced his artistic journey. The title of the exhibition, MATRICE, was designed to encompass all this: the city is in fact a sort of ‘mother figure’ from which the life and journey of Jacopo Benassi began, and at the same time an essential hub of creativity today, a metaphorical studio from which he can draw ideas, images, and sights. The works on display will therefore concentrate on this relationship with a city that goes from a geographical and gathering point to an intimate one, intertwined with the most personal aspects of the artist’s life.

Detail, 2022

The project will be divided into two distinct moments. In the weeks leading up to the inauguration, a plasterboard structure with a particular triangular ‘uterine’ shape will be built in the main hall of the exhibition spaces area of the Fondazione which will become the artist’s area of creativity and work, and the focal point of the exhibition. The works that are brought to life here offer an insight into the artist’s evolving journey with photography, and indeed the photographs will be exhibited alongside paintings and sculptures inspired by the important La Spezia painter Agostino Fossati, whom the artist loved and saw as an inspiration from which to start to better understand himself, his professional career, and his own relationship with the city.

Once the works have been completed, actual portions of the plasterboard walls of the work space, of the MATRICE, will be cut out and removed. These “slices”, will be exhibited in the other rooms of the Fondazione and will become a fundamental part of the display on which the exhibited works will be set up: a sort of large-scale installation art that will move across the whole exhibition area.

Exhibition view, 2022 Photo: Andrea Rossetti

MATRICE will therefore be an exhibition in which painting, photography and sculpture will bring about some strange hybrids, some hangings that will be presented simply suspended from fixtures of the MATRICE walls constructed within the Fondazione, or placed on tailor-made wobbly tables, making it seem as if they had been saved from destruction.

Most of the material on display will be original and new, designed and created specifically for the project through an ongoing creation process that will continue right up until a few days beforeof the opening of the exhibition. Jacopo Benassi will be handling every single aspect of the project, from the artwork up to the guiding image of communication, which he conceived and designed as a work of art in its own right.

Detail, 2022

During the opening phase of the exhibition, a series of public meetings will also be held with individuals who played an important part in the artist’s growth. Jacopo Benassi is in fact a self-taught artist who has crossed paths with people (musicians, fellow artists, gallery owners, writers, critics …) over the years who have left an essential mark on his soul: they became his school and his teachers. His meetings with some of them will further enlighten us while offering a partial reconstruction of his human and professional path.


Jacopo Benassi
Fondazione Carispezia
April 10 – July 31, 2022
Curated by Antonio Grulli

Images credits: the artist