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Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano to Present a Major Exhibition of Works from the Renowned UBS Art Collection, Curated By Francesco Bonami

“Don’t Shoot The Painter. Paintings from the UBS Art Collection” Will Explore the Role of Painting Today, Featuring More Than 100 Works

On view 17 June through 4 October, 2015 during Expo Milano 2015

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Milan, 31 March, 2015 – Timed to coincide with Expo Milano, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan, GAM and the City of Milan together with UBS will present the second exhibition curated by Francesco Bonami featuring significant works from the UBS Art Collection, one of the largest and most recognized corporate collections of contemporary art in the world. On view from 17 June through 4 October, 2015, Don’t Shoot the Painter. Paintings from the UBS Art Collection will explore the role of painting in contemporary art today and celebrate the medium as a reference point for both artists and the public throughout history. The exhibition will feature 110 works by 92 international artists from the 1960s to today, including John Armleder, John Baldessari, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Michaël Borremans, Alice Channer, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Günther Förg, Gilbert & George, Katharina Grosse, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Bharti Kher, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Mark Tansey and Christopher Wool. Don’t Shoot the Painter is one of the largest exhibitions of the UBS Art Collection ever organized to date and will mark the first occasion in which most of the pieces will be on display in Italy.

The exhibition is one of the main initiatives within a three-year partnership among UBS, GAM and the city of Milan, initiated in 2013 on the common ground of art collection and to help reposition one of central Milan’s most distinguished cultural institutions. As part of the partnership, UBS sponsored the development and restoration of exhibition space and artwork from GAM’s permanent collection. In 2014, GAM presented YEAR AFTER YEAR. Opere su carta dalla UBS Art Collection (Works on paper from the UBS Art Collection), also curated by Francesco Bonami, which examined artistic production on paper and featured 50 works.

“We are proud of our multi-year partnership with Galleria d’Arte Moderna and the City of Milan, which allows us to work together within the framework of culture and art to help reinvigorate an important piece of Milan’s cultural heritage. Our relationship also enables us to share works from our renowned collection with residents and visitors alike, while providing opportunities to deepen existing client relationships,” stated Fabio Innocenzi, CEO of UBS (Italia). “This exhibition highlights the depth and strength of the UBS Art Collection, which is at the heart of our longstanding, global support of contemporary art, and furthers our belief that the art of today inspires and challenges, while also encouraging innovative thinking.”

“The Museum will host the works of the UBS Art Collection on its ground floor, recreating a special experience for visitors, who will have the feeling of entering a seventeenth-century picture gallery. The display will reflect the historical legacy of the museum, where the paintings impart a special meaning when placed in dialogue with other paintings. While respecting the individual nature of each work, the exhibition has been conceived as a musical composition in which the paintings are kind of notes.” explained Francesco Bonami, the exhibition’s guest curator. “To present a painting exhibition during Expo Milano 2015 means to highlight the very idea of the word ‘expo’ and to show that there is no better way to exhibit something than through the ‘window of knowledge’ that any painting becomes once it’s hung on a wall.”

The exhibition’s title, Don’t Shoot the Painter, is an ironic reference to classic western movies, in which the painter is compared to a saloon pianist, whose music would bring peace to the chaos of the room. Throughout the years, painting has remained a recognizable medium to diminish possible misunderstandings and communicate through a classical and reassuring technique that can be understood by all audiences. Set within GAM’s historic, eighteenth-century building, the presentation also aims to challenge the idea of space for contemporary art, seeking to create a harmonic dialogue between the works and the architectural style of the Villa through the recreation of a classical picture gallery which pays tribute to the way collectors once displayed art.

The UBS Art Collection consists of more than 30,000 objects and includes thousands of contemporary works (paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, video art and sculptures) by artists ranging from emerging talents to some of the most important artistic figures of the last fifty years. Works from the UBS Art Collection are installed in roughly 700 building in more than 50 countries around the world. UBS also regularly loans individual works to international museums, making the collection available for the enjoyment of the general public.

Don’t Shoot the Painter will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue.


International curator and critic Francesco Bonami studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. After a period as an artist, he began collaborating with Flash Art and later moved to the United States. In 1995 he became Artistic Director of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. From 1999 to 2009 he was Senior Curator of the Museum of Contemporar y Art (MCA) in Chicago, where he oversaw the retrospectives of Rudolf Stingel and Jeff Koons. In 2003 he directed the 50th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Bonami is Artistic Director of the project ENEL Contemporanea, launched in 2007. In 2008, at Palazzo Grassi in Venice, he curated Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, a controversial exhibition on Italian contemporary art of the last four decades. In 2010, he was the first Italian to curate the Whitney Biennial of American Art and in the same year he received the honor of Chevalier dans l’Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur of the French Republic. From 1997 to 2012 he was Artistic Director of Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery in Florence.

Bonami oversaw the Qatar Museum Authority’s Yan Pei Ming: Painting the History exhibition in 2012, and in the fall of 2013 he curated a major retrospective of Damien Hirst in Doha. In 2013 he ser ved as co-curator, alongside Peter Brant, for Andy Warhol at Palazzo Reale in Milan. Recently he oversaw The End of God: Maurizio Cattelan and Lucio Fontana at the Gagosian Gallery in London. He lives in New York and Milan. A full description of Francesco Bonami’s exhibitions, publications, and collaborations is available upon request.


UBS’s long and substantial record of patronage in contemporary art actively enables clients and audiences to participate in the international conversation about art and the global art market through the firm’s contemporary art platform. UBS’s extensive roster of contemporary art initiatives and programs include: the UBS Art Collection, one of the world’s largest and most important corporate collections of contemporary art; the firm’s long-term global support for the premier international Art Basel shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong, for which UBS ser ves as global Lead Partner; and a collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation on the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. These activities are complemented by a number of regional partnerships with fine art institutions including the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the Louisiana Museum in Denmark and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. UBS also provides its clients with insight into the contemporary art world through the new and free iPad app Planet Art, the UBS Art Competence Center and the UBS Arts Forum. For more information about UBS’s commitment to contemporary art, visit:


Galleria d’Arte Moderna is a municipal institution that protects, presents and promotes not only the paintings and sculptures exhibited but also the architecture of the Villa Reale of Milan. The Villa was built between 1790 and 1796 by Leopold Pollack (Giuseppe Piermarini’s pupil) for Count Ludovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso. At the beginning of 19th centur y, due to political changes, the Villa became the residence of the Viceroy Eugenio di Beauharnais, Napoleon’s son. Since 1921, Villa Reale has held the municipal art collections of Milan from the nineteenth centur y. On the first floor are paintings and sculptures dated between 1770 and 1850, with galleries dedicated to the masters of Neoclassicism, Andrea Appiani and Antonio Canova. Additional galleries include works from the 1850’s to the beginning of the 20th centur y, and two monographic galleries dedicated to Gaetano Previati and Giovanni Segantini. The last gallery within the museum is dedicated to the symbolist production of the latter and of Pellizza da Volpedo. Galleria d’Arte Moderna also holds two private collections, which were donated to the city of Milan: the Grassi collection, with works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Boldini, De Nittis, Fattori, Balla and Boccioni and the Vismara collection, with works by Picasso, Modigliani, Sironi, Morandi. The mission of the Gallery is to protect, promote and develop its precious artistic heritage in order to preserve and foster curiosity about the past, while providing its visitors with tools to better understand the present.

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