Calixto Ramírez / Guido van der Werve

A Monitor Gallery project for Antonello Colonna 
By Saverio Verini

Inauguration saturday novembrer 11 2017, 11.30 a.m.

Antonello Colonna Resort & Spa 
Via di Valle Fredda 52 00030 Labìco – Roma


From the left:

Sandra (artist), Paola Capata (Monitor Gallery), Antonello Colonna ( Chef and entrepreneur), Calixto Ramìrez (artist), Saverio Verini (artistic curator)


Continuing the dialogue that has seen them collaborate for more than two years, Antonello Colonna and Monitor Gallery launch a new project. Contemporary art is once again protagonists and the charming setting of the Labìco resort.


After the ShowOut series, which included Claudio Verna, Thomas Braida, Elisa Montessori, and Nicola Samorì between 2015 and 2016, the new format includes residences at the resort, with a number of artists invited to produce unpublished and linked productions to the context.

The first “guest” is Calixto Ramírez (Reynosa, Mexico, 1980), a Mexican artist active mainly in Italy. During the days spent at Antonello Colonna resort & spa, Ramírez – in line with his artistic practice – devoted himself to exploring the architecture of the Aniello / Tasca studio and the scenery that welcomes it. There have emerged performances – presented through a series of videos, photographs and sculptures – that show the artist’s interest in his body in relation to the context in which he is confronted; a relationship that is exalted by often paradoxical and at the same time poetic actions. Architecture and landscape thus meet in the resort’s spaces, creating an exchange between outdoor and interior, between natural and artificial, always mediated by the physicality of Ramírez.

Another feature of the new show series is the combination of emerging artists and others already present in the Monitor Gallery roster. Authors of different generations and origins are brought into contact with a criterion of affinity and sharing themes and interests. In this case, Calixto Ramírez’s work is alongside that of Guido van der Werve (Papendrecht, The Netherlands, 1977). An approach that arises from common sensitivity to the landscape – in the urban as well as the domestic dimension – of interest to one’s own body as a tool to explore and contrast with different environments and contexts and, ultimately, performative attitudes oriented to the concept of physical and psychological resistance.

The title of the project, One Potato, Two Potato, evokes a song by Crossfires, written in 1965: a simple suggestion that aims to highlight the pairing of a couple of artists and the “culinary” context. The exhibition will remain open until the end of 2017; the series will resume from spring 2018 and the artists will be announced later.

Antonello Colonna, the award-winning Chef and founder of three temples of Roman taste (ANTONELLO COLONNA Open at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, ANTONELLO COLONNA resort & spa in Labico and the recent ANTONELLO COLONNA Open Bistrò at Terminal 1 Gate B7 in Fiumicino) has always conjugated the taste for the tradition of the food of his own land and the experimentation that his estro inspired, creating unique dishes, rightly entered among international culinary excellence. “Because reception is a science and food, after all, it’s a political act,” as the Chef has recently stated.

Always attentive to design and archeology, he conceived the Labico Resort as an authentic encounter between arts, architecture and cuisine, a marriage that he likes to re-propose in all his spaces, exploiting the synergies of heis knowledge, to support young people artists, host internationals, propose new forms of art and projects of true “contemporary patronage”. In 2016, Antonello Colonna, in fact thought of leaving his estate and ‘fertilizing’ an adjacent land, moving as a patron, sponsoring with private funds a private initiative that brought back to the old splendor the Via Labicana, the ancient avenue connecting the capital with Beneventum’s bell city (late 5th century), revealing an unprecedented trait highlighted by the efforts of a team of researchers and archaeologists supported by it. Supported by the Commune of Valmontone, he was burdened with work and bureaucracy, inaugurating in a short time the retraced trajectory around the Roman find, ready to host small events and demonstrations that attract Roman and foreign visitors to two thousand years of history, Column’s intuition would have been buried forever.

“When dreams come true,” the Chef comments.

Bio artists:


Calixto Ramírez was born in 1980 in Reynosa, Mexico. He graduated from La Esmeralda Art School in Mexico City in 2008. Since 2013 he lives and works in Rome. All of his work is characterized by a media economy that, however, allows the artist to conceive of great visual impact. His works – installations, videos, performances and photographs – have been exhibited at numerous exhibition centers and galleries in Europe and Latin America, and in exhibition projects such as: straperetana (Pereto, 2017); smart pole for art (Rome, 2016); Museum of the Twentieth Century (Naples, 2016); MLZ Art Dep (Trieste, 2016); Memmo Foundation (Rome, 2015); Museo Carillo Gil and Palacio de Bellas Artes Museum (Mexico City, 2013-2014); Young Artist Biennial (Monterrey, 2012); Marcelino Botin Foundation (Santander, 2009).


Guido van der Werve was born in 1977 in Papendrecht, Netherlands. Lives and works in Berlin. Van der Werve studies conservatory but decides to devote himself to visual art since his young age. He studied Audio Visual Art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and in the same city he was a resident at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in 2006 & 2007. His video and photographic works have been acquired by internationally renowned museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Goetz Collection in Munich, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, The Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, The Boymans Museum in Rotterdam and the MWOODS Museum in Beijing. Van der Werve is visiting professor at numerous institutions such as the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Pratt and Parsons in New York and UCLA in Los Angeles. He actively collaborates with the Monitor gallery since 2005.