THE GALLERYGALERA SAN SODA is a new contemporary art gallery based in Milan, Italy.Its core exhibition space consists of three large windows opening onto the salmon pink and blue tile foyer of Palazzo INA, designed in 1957 by the visionary rationalist architect Piero Bottoni at the height of the Italian postwar economic boom.The gallery takes its name from the Italian word galera which translates as jail or prison and is derived from the historic Genoese Galea or the Venetian Garea: a ship or boat propelled solely or chiefly by oars in use in the Mediterranean Sea from the ancient Greeks to as late as the 19th century. The rowers who propelled the boat forward were typically sentenced to undertake this task, effectively prisoners and sailors.
THE BUILDINGPalazzo INA: an 18 floor, 180 apartment unit wide monolith was constructed at the height of the progressive architectural thinking of the Italian postwar economic boom. Its architect, Piero Bottoni, envisioned a fair and self-sustainable high rise with shops and workshops on the ground floor and in the basement units, as well as a large open-air communal recreational area on the 19th floor roof terrace. Palazzo Ina shines candid against the fog and pollution of the Bassa - the industrious flatlands of Lombardy. At a fair 64 meters above ground, and stretching 14 meters in width, Palazzo Ina outdoes Gio Ponti’s Rai Italian National Radio & Television headquarters and broadcasting tower in MilanThe struggle of these two neighbouring buildings, is the tale of two rival architects – Ponti, as the established Bernini, and Bottoni, as the upstart Borromini who quips his rival by towering a good ten floors above the neighbouring national propaganda headquarters. Just as the notorious Baroque architects would have competed over Papal commissions in Rome, the two modernists did so on the war-torn Milanese rubble, reconstructing a progressive spirit in post war Italy.
The gallery was founded by Steno Branca di Romanico in 2018 as a last resort bunker for the promotion of art in a country plagued by an economic and cultural recession.Entrenched in this monument to a bygone progressive Italy, the gallery officially debuts on March 29th, seizing the opportunity to turn the end of the European participation of the United Kingdom into the beginning of a project for a counter reformation of Italian and European art.