This article is part of a series of spotlights on upstart gallerists at Mexico City's 2016 Material Art Fair.
After looking around his hometown of Naples and seeing that while there were some museums and two big international galleries (Lia Rumma and AlfonsoArtiaco) there were no alternative spaces, the onetime artist Corrado Folinea decided to do something about it.
So, in 2011, he set up a wooden shed in his garden and called it the Museo Apparente. Operating it as part experimental space, part residency, Folinea invited artists like Sara Clendening and the German-French collective International Surplus to stay in his house and put on a show. People started to pay attention, and last year he decided to branch out and pair this space with a new white-cube gallery in the city, lavishly floored with antique Neapolitan tile.
Bearing a striking resemblance to a mustachioed Roman Polanski, Folinea has dedicated these spaces to the search for a “new language” of contemporary art. He named the gallery Acappella to reflect his belief that the pure voice, unembellished by distracting accompaniment, is the “strongest proof of an artist.” His roster, meanwhile, is drawn mainly from Italy, Berlin, and Los Angeles, where he spent some time and attended fellow Neapolitan Piero Golia and Eric Wesley’s Mountain School of the Arts in Chinatown.
For his Material booth, Folinea brought a set of works by Clendening (which may inspire a case of happy déjà vu among those who saw a similar display at last month' Paramount Ranch) as well as a large canvas by Katharina Fengler and a few fetching beer paintings by Oliver Rafferty. Naples, while not your most obvious art city, seems to have a potent allure for these artists. “It’s a city that is not as established as Milan or Berlin, but Naples has very good light,” the dealer notes. “There’s an old tradition of artists coming from elsewhere in Europe to work in the city and use the light. So there’s a history there.”