In conversation:

Sergio Casoli

This week we have been thinking about individuals and spaces that break from convention. There are few people that embody this renegade spirit as much as gallerist and curator Sergio Casoli, who in 2022 relaunched his renowned gallery Studio Casoli in Filicudi’s fishing village Pecorini a Mare. It is a spectacle of sorts, finding itself both at odds and in complete harmony with its surroundings – a tiny volcanic island known for its turbulent elements, untamed nature and a back to basics lifestyle.

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Once a week two food vans arrive to Filicudi from Sicily, one for meat and one for vegetables. Their arrival sparks a frenzy across the island as residents descend on the vehicles before stock runs out. For the smallest and most wild of the Aeolian islands, daily life is about the essentials. There is a single pharmacy, no natural water source or ATM.

Studio Casoli

It is this distinct limited offering that makes Studio Casoli a space of bewildering curiosity. Nestled amongst Filicudi’s sparse terrain and jellyfish-infested rocky beaches, the gallery plays host to a canon of fine art and design heavyweights– from Peter Doig to Lucio Fontana to Barber Osgerby. The latter is the gallery’s current exhibition. ‘From Island to Island’ brings together pieces from Barber Osgerby’s archive alongside a new tapestry produced in collaboration with master-weaver Laura de Cesare. Spotlighting the breadth of construction techniques present across their extensive catalogue, this exhibition examines of the role of the handmade within industrial design.


La Sirena. Sergio’s hotel, restaurant and gallery located in the ancient seaside village of Pecorini a Mare
'From Island to Island', Barber Osgerby, Studio Casoli, Filicudi

It is a big offering for a small audience of approximately two hundred islanders, a significant shift for Studio Casoli that since the 1980s has been welcoming mass crowds throughout its tenures in Milan and Rome. For Sergio, this latest iteration is not about the business of art, rather proposing something additional to an island that holds a sentimental and personal significance. For everyone else, it allows art and design to be re-considered through a new lens – offering the opportunity to go someone you haven’t been before, if not in reality, at the very least in your mind.  


AM: The thing I most appreciate is your non-conforming attitude, particularly in light of the fact that as an industry we are increasingly funnelled into a singular vision – Studio Casoli feels very brave. What does the context of the island offer the works you exhibit?

SC: It offers the possibility of having a better dialogue between Nature and Art. 


AM: Seeing the precision of industrial design set against the backdrop of Filicudi creates windows into very different worlds. What do you think has been the biggest takeaway for the local residents? 

SC: Despite their different cultural experience the way objects are used is similar.


AM: Why is it important for exhibitions to exist in places less travelled? 


SC: Because they say Art has the power to save the World. 


AM: What is your dream for the gallery? 


SC: My biggest dream will be to open Lucio Fontana’s exhibition on the 29th of July in Filicudi. After all these years Fontana continues to be the most important inspiration of my life.



AM: What’s next for Studio Casoli?


SC: We want to keep a consistent line with our inconsistency. 



Scroll through Ambra’s photo diary from a week spent with Barber Osgerby. ‘From Island to Island’ ends June 23rd.

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