Nagla. Here There Now Then, Palazzo Coluccia, Specchia

Donna Bianca reopens and inaugurates five solo exhibitions by the artists Elisa Filomena, Lorenzo Galuppo, Valeria Puzzovio, Carlo Alberto Rastelli, Agnese Skujina in the evocative and the full of history halls of the charming noble residence of Palazzo Coluccia in Specchia.

From 28th July until 29th September, the premises of Palazzo Coluccia in Specchia host the third edition of Nagla, an exhibition dedicated to young Italian contemporary art and more, organised and curated by Donna Bianca, with the support of the Department of Culture & Tourism of the Municipality of Specchia and with the consolidated collaboration of Circoloquadro contemporary art in Milan.

Here There Now Then can be considered the subtitle of this edition, in which, through the solo exhibitions of the five artists on show, the themes of the memory, return and identity strongly emerge. An edition clearly focused on painting, with a digression on photography and digital collage. Nagla, a Latvian word meaning nail, is a reference to the hundreds of nails that stud the vaults of the former centenary tobacco factory and that are reminiscent of the ancient and never faded gesture of hanging the artworks on them.

The five artists on show are the Latvian painter, resident of Specchia, Agnese Skujina, which exhibits her Teoria del ritorno (Theory of return) through landscapes and naturalistic references she is fond of. The Turin-based Elisa Filomena unravels her essential and evocative painting, only apparently extemporaneous, to juxtapose temporal fragments in which the brushstrokes are instants that give life to Un foglio grande come un lenzuolo (A paper sheet as large as a bed sheet). Carlo Alberto Rastelli, from Parma, recounts vivid and disturbing stories and characters in The Body Snatchers. Last but not least, two artists from the historical region of Salento: Valeria Puzzovio, illustrator and collagist from Maglie, presents an unusual family album in Tracce (Traces), while the youngest artist on show, Lorenzo Galuppo from Lecce, leads us through familiar, repeating and elusive landscapes within the Mimesis artwork.

Photographic images mainly from the 50s and 60s and white backgrounds are the starting point of Elisa Filomena’s painting: an essential, delicate but incisive painting like few others precisely because the essential thing is not the means but the end. From being hidden, invisible to the eyes, Elisa makes it visible, necessary. The human being’s existence in its rising, shining and fading, a succession of small common gestures, dazzling everyday life, a extraordinary habit that seeks its harmony with the world.

The exhibition is an authentic homage to painting, its manifold shapes and its inexhaustible capacity for renewal. A fixed appointment of the Apulian summer which, with a cyclic frequency, is once again proposed by bringing noteworthy pictorial research to the lower Salento. Five are the proposals of this year’s edition, heterogeneous in results but united by a non premeditated fil rouge, that of the re-enactment of figures and experiences.

Remembrance, memory and return are at the center of this third edition of Nagla almost by chance. Whether it is about a physical return or a return to affections, one’s own memory or of someone else’s, a remembrance of a daily gesture or a story, the five artists unravel and weave threads that are both personal and universal, thin wires that must be held firmly in order not to get lost and find the way back, once again. A condition of timelessness, or rather, of comings and goings on the timeline also highlighted by this year’s subtitle.


The exhibition slides between past and present, memory and experience, activating mnesic paths through blurred, undefined and surreal images. Rather than a group exhibition, as usual, this review is structured as a tight succession of personal interventions in each of its exhibitive environments.

Elisa Filomena interprets painting by carving. The canvas is a large white sheet from which only a few strokes of colour, drawn and never saturated, bring out countenances and figures taken from images of the 50s and 60s. An evanescent painting for an authentically memorial figuration, embodied by photographic cuts and reasoned chromatic agreements, capable of emotionally involving the viewer by leading him on the path of remembrance, of an evoked collective memory that can only become specific in the confidentiality of individual thoughts.


Curated by Donato Viglione in collaboration with Circoloquadro contemporary art, Milan:

From 28th July until 29th September 2019

Opening times: from Wednesday to Sunday 6.30 pm – 11.30 pm. Monday, Tuesday and every morning on request

Vernissage on Sunday, 28th July at 7 pm

Palazzo Coluccia

41, Via Giacomo Matteotti, Specchia (LE)

Phone: +39 3273817220

A project by Donna Bianca


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