The Mahler and LeWitt Studios is established around the former studios of Anna Mahler and Sol LeWitt in Spoleto, Italy. The residency program provides a focussed and stimulating environment for artists, curators and writers to develop new ways of working in dialogue with peers and the unique cultural heritage of the region.
Our residency program began in 2010 when Marina Mahler founded the Anna Mahler Association, celebrating her mother’s legacy, and invited David Gothard to Spoleto. As Artistic Director David produced Dance at Riverside Studios in the 80s (a collaboration between Sol LeWitt, Lucinda Childs and Philip Glass). While in Spoleto he found Sol LeWitt’s studio next door to Anna Mahler’s. He reconnected with the family and subsequently Guy Robertson was given an Anna Mahler award to spend time researching in Sol LeWitt’s studio. Between 2010 and 2014 fifteen artists, curators and writers visited Spoleto with the Anna Mahler Association. In 2015 we relaunched the residencies under the title of Mahler and LeWitt Studios, combining resources and formalising a relationship which has existed since our first year. Over the years Sol LeWitt would offer his studio in Spoleto for fellow artists to use. Our residency program aptly continues this tradition. The Anna Mahler Association, meanwhile, continues to explore and research the work of Anna Mahler, to support projects with its affiliated artists and is a key supporter of the residency program.
Our 12 week program in Spoleto is currently hand-picked with the intention of carefully suiting individuals to the unique environment and resources we can offer. We do accept proposals and endeavour to reply to each personally: email@example.com.
Who we are…
Honorary President: Marina Mahler
Artistic Advisor: David Gothard (biog.)
Director: Eva LeWitt
Director & Curator: Guy Robertson (biog.)
Curatorial Assistant: Tommaso Faraci
Key supporter: Valentina Bonomo
Doran Family Foundation
Richard and Ronay Menschel
The Marignoli di Montecorona Foundation
Gabriella De Ferrari
Goldstone Family Foundation
Bréon George Rydell
Bree Jeppson and James Bassett
Matthew Stephenson and Roman Aristarkhov
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Image: Anna Mahler at work in the courtyard of Casa Mahler, Spoleto.
Anna Mahler (1904 – 1988), daughter of Gustav and Alma, began her career as a painter tutored by Giorgio de Chirico in Rome. Under the encouragement of Fritz Wotruba, a great friend, she found her medium sculpting stone, abstract imaginations of the human figure. Her practice also included using clay to sensitively mould the personalities of bust portraits, often reputed composers or writers from the Viennese avant-garde circles. Quoting the artist herself Ernst Gombrich wrote how the value of her art “is not determined by superficial characteristics but by the ability to reach and touch our innermost feelings”. She first arrived in Spoleto in 1968 inspired to buy a home in Italy by a trip she made to Cortona a year earlier with her daughter Marina, who had suggested Italy rather than the English countryside as a place to live and work.
Image: Detail of Wall Drawing 301 in the Torre Bonomo, Spoleto.
Throughout his career Sol LeWitt (1928 – 2007) had a significant professional and personal relationship with Italy and in particular Spoleto in Umbria. His Italian gallerist, Marilena Bonomo, had a summerhouse on Monteluco overlooking Spoleto. She would invite the artists who she was representing to stay. Sol visited so frequently that Marilena suggested he buy his own house and in 1972 he bought a solitary cubic tower looking out from Monteluco. The walk from the house on Monteluco to the town of Spoleto is documented in his photo-grid book From Monteluco to Spoleto (1976). After marrying, he and Carol lived there almost continuously, throughout the 80s, and both their daughters, Sofia and Eva, were born in the town. It was around this time that he also started working from a studio in the old town.
Image: the Ponte delle Torri, a medieval aqueduct spanning from the old town of Spoleto to Monteluco.
As well as the Anna Mahler and Sol LeWitt studios, which have a special and inspiring atmosphere of their own, Spoleto boasts an impressive 20th Century art history thanks to the famous Festival Dei Due Mondi. The Spoletosfera, a geodesic dome built by Buckminster Fuller in 1967, stands near the gates of the old town and at the train station Alexander Calder built his largest stabile Teodelapio. Josef Beuys, Jasper Johns, Willem De Kooning, Lynn Chadwick, Henry Moore, Isamo Noguchi, David Smith, Cy Twombly were all in their own time absorbed by Spoleto.
The Duomo boasts frescoes by Filippo Lippi and Pinturicchio. As well as museums there are several important art history libraries and a rich array of architecture, especially Longobard and Roman. The formidable Ponte delle Torri, a vast aqueduct, was marvelled at by Goethe and painted by Turner. Within a short drive are Piero della Francesca frescoes in Arezzo and those of Giotto in Assisi. Two of the most important centres of Italian ceramics, Deruta and Gubbio, are close by as are the key historical centres of the Etruscans and the Umbrii, Orvieto and Perugia respectively.