For a critical reflection on the landscape

Oak Barrel Baroque, created and produced by Michael Beutler for Fondazione La Raia – arte cultura territorio, is the eighth site-specific project that Fondazione La Raia – arte cultura territorio has commissioned to Italian and international artists since its founding in 2013 by Giorgio Rossi Cairo and the art dealer Irene Crocco. Under the direction of Ilaria Bonacossa since January 2017, the Foundation’s steering committee is composed of Flavio Albanese, Marco Galateri di Genola, Vicente Todolì, Stefano Baia Curioni and James Bradburne.

The Foundation, honoured with the special mention “Fondazione d’impresa” of the Cultura + Impresa award, promotes a critical reflection on the landscape on a national level, through contributions that cover several fields of study.

Artists, philosophers, landscape painters, photographers and architects are invited to experience the landscape’s different elements through contributions and artworks that offer new knowledge opportunities and new identities. The Fondazione’s first initiative was the project Nel Paesaggio – conceived by Irene Crocco and curated by Matilde Marzotto Caotorta – that set the Fondazione’s guidelines.

Artist Remo Salvadori was the first to watch through art lenses this territory from an artist’s perspective, leading to three permanent works: Nel momento, a vertical installation made of sixteen tin elements placed on the manor’s Southern facade, Continuo infinito presente, a continuous ring made of steel cables created on the inauguration day, and Il sabato piantare il cipresso…, Salvadori’s fourth garden, made of marble, water and plants, on the path that connect the wine cellar to Locanda La Raia.

In September 2014 a new permanent work, OUSSSER, was unveiled: it’s an enamel wall painting created by Korean artist Koo Jeong A. at Borgo Merlassino, inside the estate.

In 2015 the Fondazione collaborated with the German artist Michael Beutler, sponsoring his work for the Venice Biennale of 2017 and welcoming Bales 2014/2017 a work consisting of colored plastic bales that can be seen from the Gavi road near Locanda La Raia

In 2018 Palazzo delle Api, a site-specific work in Luserna stone by Adrien Missika was presented.

In May 2019 Fondazione La Raia, in collaboration with the Piedmont Museum Center and Forte di Gavi, promoted and organized the exhibition Il Corsaro Nero e la vendetta del Gavi by Francesco Jodice. For one year the artist took pictures of the architecture, landscapes, monuments and wine cellars, going through the local stories told in dialect and the protagonists of the history of Gavi and Novi Ligure. This was a new and important step towards deeper knowledge of the landscape in its complexity, thanks to the ability of artists to formulate new visions and questions.

That same year Fondazione La Raia produced BIOMEGA Multiverso: an exhibition by Cosimo Veneziano, at Tenuta Cucco, a property of the Rossi Cairo family at Serralunga d’Alba. The project focused on the use of biotechnologies in the food sector, to reflect on the purchasing procedures of consumers, studied in relation to the principles of neuromarketing.

In 2021 Michael Beutler has returned to La Raia, creating Oak Barrel Baroque, a small shelter in the form of a votive temple built with wooden beams and staves from barriques at the end of their life cycle. The form of the work suggests the architecture of Palladio and the churches seen on the squares of Italian towns, reproportioned in a single building and placed in an unexpected context.

La Raia continues to be the a gathering place for discussions on the landscape, fostering a new perception of the territory in which we live.

The mission

Fondazione La Raia - arte cultura territorio was established with the aim to promote in Italy and abroad a critical reflection on the landscape through contributions that cover several fields of study.

Artists and artworks

The contributions of artists, coming from Italy and abroad, have enriched Gavi’s territory favoring a critical reflection on the landscape and nature.

Events

Over the years, Fondazione La Raia has promoted several events and public debates: food for thought on culture, the landscape and the territory through different art disciplines.

Publications

In the last years, the Fondazione has worked to promote and disseminate publications on the landscape, culture and biodiversity.