Alex Urso presents FIUTO Art Space

FIUTO Art Space, located in Ripatransone, in the charming province of Ascoli Piceno, is an innovative art gallery founded and directed by Alex Urso. This space is not just an exhibition venue, it represents an act of love for one’s work and a challenge for the territory that hosts it. With the aim of discovering what lies behind this valuable project, the interview explores FIUTO’s vision and commitment to the contemporary cultural scene, its long-term goals and involvement with the local community. It also delves into how the current exhibition – by Paola Tassetti – fits into the design of the space and how the organisation promotes interest in contemporary arts in the region.

Alex Urso, portrait, ph Patrycja Adela Głusiec, courtesy FIUTO Art Space

Antonella Buttazzo: What is the mission of FIUTO Art Space and how does it fit into the contemporary cultural landscape?
Alex Urso: FIUTO was born from a personal desire, namely that of opening a small exhibition space in my hometown, Ripatransone, where I grew up and left finfteen years ago. It also stems from the challenge thrown to the territory itself, called upon to actively participate in this cultural project. The aim is to host site-specific projects by mature artists with a defined language. Exhibitions alternate about every two months, keeping the space as alive as possible, especially during the cold months of the year. In fact, this is not a place for art that is open exclusively during the warm season, as it often happens in small towns: I am not interested in adapting to the “dictatorship” of tourism, which decides the pace of life in the city. Rather, I believe that more than ever it is necessary to take responsibility for resisting and doubling the stakes just when everything seems to be off. To put it more succinctly: FIUTO is a contemporary art space that was born in a fragile place, poorly prepared for the artistic languages of present times. It does not draw on public funds, nor does it enjoy any kind of external support. FIUTO is a great act of generosity by an individual who provides his experience and resources to offer something unique. It is a pure project at heart.

Paola Tassetti, “La coscienza dell’occhio venne chiamata due cuori”, exhibition view, FIUTO Art Space, Ripatransone, 2024. Courtesy FIUTO Art Space

What are the criteria used to select artists and exhibitions at FIUTO Art Space?
As director and curator of the space, I very simply invite artists I respect. Regardless of the language they use, I am interested in the fact that they have something to tell and that they do so with a certain purity. In ten years in the art world, both as an artist and as a critic and curator, I have had the good fortune to meet many talented people. When I have to choose an artist, I close my eyes, raise my antennae and dig into my past and present to intercept those who may be in line with the spirit of the gallery. They have to be a bit “crazy” artists, who want to play with me, who trust me, who follow me on this adventure. So far, my instincts have paid me off as each project has been extraordinary, both artistically and from a human and interpersonal point of view.

Paola Tassetti, “La coscienza dell’occhio venne chiamata due cuori”, exhibition view, FIUTO Art Space, Ripatransone, 2024. Courtesy FIUTO Art Space

Can you tell us about the long-term goals of FIUTO Art Space and the future initiatives you have planned?
Paola Tassetti’s current exhibition – entitled La coscienza dell’occhio venne chiamata due cuori (The Conscience of the Eye was Called Two Hearts, in English), open until 30th June – ideally closes FIUTO’s first year of activity. It has been an intense year, of projects marked with a regularity and an unheard care in a context such as the provinces. The projects that we will be hosting in the coming months aim to confirm this trend: July will see the inauguration of the first group show, with ten nationally renowned illustrators involved in an exhibition with charity purposes – among the artists are Virginia Mori, Fernando Cobelo, Elisa Menini, Antonio Pronostico, Giulia Neri and Andrea Ucini. The August exhibition will be dedicated to photographic languages, with Marta Blue, New York Times photographer and one of the most appreciated of her generation. 2024 will close with the first exhibition of a foreign artist: Radek Szlaga, one of the most important mid-career painters on the Polish scene; his exhibition will enjoy the participation of an illustrious institution: the Polish Institute of Rome.

Paola Tassetti, “La coscienza dell’occhio venne chiamata due cuori”, exhibition view, FIUTO Art Space, Ripatransone, 2024. Courtesy FIUTO Art Space

How does Paola Tassetti’s exhibition fit in with the project idea of FIUTO Art Space?
Paola is a decidedly versatile and multidisciplinary artist. Her research travels on parallel worlds, and her studio in Civitanova Marche is a large “wunderkammer” full of objects that come from different fields and disciplines, on which she intervenes, in a continuous game of mixing and translating. With this in mind, I strongly wanted the artist to exhibit with the idea of transforming the space into a small “holistic” laboratory for a few months: a frank space in which opposites coexist and interpenetrate. Working with her was interesting because of the pervasive and all-encompassing approach she exerts on the places where she intervenes. Her exhibition presents collages, diary pages, sketches, paintings on paper, drawings, silkscreens, taxonomic elements and sculptures with a classical tone. Site-specific works, some of which have never been exhibited before.

Paola Tassetti, “La coscienza dell’occhio venne chiamata due cuori”, exhibition view, FIUTO Art Space, Ripatransone, 2024. Courtesy FIUTO Art Space

How does FIUTO Art Space engage the local community and promote interest in contemporary arts in the region?
The space opened its doors last June with Pasquale Gadaleta’s solo exhibition, which was followed by Giacomo Giovannetti’s show in August. With Giacomo, we organised several events with and for the community: a workshop with young people, a finissage that transformed the gallery into a sort of pop-shop. Also with Paola Tassetti, the artist currently exhibiting, we will also organise a workshop during the summer as part of a small neighbourhood party. In just a few months, we have already hooked up with several large and small realities in the area, we have become a team, convinced that networking and supporting each other is the only way to create a solid common ground on which to cultivate. The collaboration with the Cantina dei Colli Ripani, an illustrious winery in the area, is the best example of this vision: the Cantina’s new store, in the heart of Ripatransone, hosts a “FIUTO Corner”, a small wall with works that connect to the current exhibition in the gallery. Also, with the same winery, we are organising FIUTO’s first collective exhibition: the project that combines art and charity and will feature ten illustrators of absolute value on a national scale.

Antonella Buttazzo


FIUTO Art Space
piazza Matteotti 13, 63065 Ripatransone (AP)


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