Tristano di Robilant


15 March - 13 April 2019

Curated by Nicola Brandt and Elisa Schaar


Tristan Hoare is pleased to announce Youth, the gallery’s first exhibition of works by Italo-American artist Tristano di Robilant.


Di Robilant (b.1964) lives and works in Rome and London. Best known for his sculptures in ceramic and glass, he works in a variety of media, including drawing, photography and writing.

This show presents a rare selection of photographs taken in his youth and recently exhibited at the Museo d’arte Moderna, dell’Informazione e della Fotografia (Musinf) in Senigallia (2018), a legendary place for photography in Italy. The black-and-white images of people, objects and scenes from everyday life give an intimate sense of both the artistic and familial context in which the artist’s work emerged and of his unique artistic sensibility in formation. Like his enigmatic glass pieces, which often bear literary titles and evoke symbolic meanings, the atmospheric photographs bring to the forefront their subjects’ emotive aspects.


Taken mostly in Italy, where di Robilant was coming of age amidst the artistic circles of his parents, Betty Stokes and Alvise di Robilant, which included artists Cy Twombly and Rory McEwen, and collectors, such as Giorgio Franchetti, the photographs take the viewer back to a fascinating historical moment in the Italian art scene and also into a particular phase of life, that of adolescence. Running through the photographs are themes of sexuality, manhood, privacy, the pastoral, inner life, and initial experiences of loss captured with di Robilant’s characteristic playful and poetic sensitivity.


The photographs not only offer an insight into a distinctive period of di Robilant’s life and formation as an artist, but also remind how youth has, since the romantic period and through the youth cultures of the 1960s and 1970s, been a state of subjectivity of value in its own right and one closely linked to the artistic process itself. In the exhibition, the photographs will be presented alongside selected glass pieces that exemplify the artist’s work with the material’s translucency, light, and reflection and that resonate with ideas of youth as a dynamic state of emotional transition, innocence, conflict and creativity.


Tristano di Robilant has recently had institutional solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California (2016), the Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice (2017) and Musinf, Senigallia, Italy (2018). His work is in private and public collections across Europe and the United States, including the Sol LeWitt Collection in Hartford, Connecticut, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, the MAXXI Museum in Rome, and the Museo del Vetro in Murano. A large-scale public sculpture was installed at Parco dell’Infanzia (with Louise Bourgeois and Giovanni Rizzoli) in Origgio, Milan, in 2016.