Tommaso Calabro with John Baldessari’s Kind (2005).

Photo: Riccardo Gasperoni

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The Milan-based dealer is part of the Showcase section. Launched in 2008, it is dedicated to emerging dealerships of between three and 10 years old from across the international market and hosts 10 exhibitors this year.

Calabro visited the last three editions and tells ATG: “The fair never failed to amaze me for the outstanding quality of participating galleries and works on view.”

He is dedicating his stand to a trio of Italian Surrealists: Leonor Fini (1907-96), Stanislao Lepri (1905-80) and Fabrizio Clerici (1913-93), who were friends as well as artistically sympathetic to one another.


Portrait de Ljuba Rosa Rizzoli, 1950-1960, by Leonor Fini (1907-96), oil on canvas, 2ft 8in x 21in (81 x 54cm), offered at TEFAF by Tommaso Calabro.

“They were polymaths moving from painting and illustration to theatre and costume design,” Calabro says. “And they explored the modern themes of sexuality, death, metaphysics, anxiety, the unconscious and mythology with a pictorial style inspired by the Old Masters, in particular the Italian Primitives and Northern Renaissance painters.”

It is this sympathy with historic painting traditions he hopes will appeal to collectors at the fair.

He adds: “I hope to intercept high-profile collectors who, although they may be mostly interested in the Old Masters, are willing to expand their horizon on Modern art.”

Fair veteran

Calabro is no stranger to major fairs. In the past he has exhibited at Frieze Masters in London, Independent 20th Century in New York and Miart in Milan. At TEFAF, Calabro hopes to forge new connections with the museum visitors the event is known to attract.

As well as UK dealer Flavio Gianassi (see 5 Questions) the Showcase hosts Cavagnis Lacerenza Fine Art (Italy); Thomas Deprez Fine Arts (Belgium); Dürst Britt & Mayhew (Netherlands); Galerie Louis & Sack (France); Olszewski | Ciacek (Poland); Pelgrims de Bigard (Belgium); Reve Art (Italy) and Edouard Simoens Gallery (Belgium).