Henry Martin with Gianfranco Baruchello photo by Berty Skuber




Opening 18 November, 8pm

Exhibition design by Martino Gamper

Curated by Emanuele Guidi

After arriving in Italy in 1965, Afro American author, critic, translator and curator Henry Martin (Philadelphia, 1942 – Aicha di Fiè 2022) moved to Aicha di Fiè in South Tyrol in 1971. He continued to reside in this alpine hamlet after his marriage to artist Berty Skuber, whilst also staying in cities like Venice, Rome, New York, Nice and Philadelphia, and inhabiting a geography consisting of his personal and professional relationships with many artists and critics of his time. “Outside of the metropolis my thoughts get the opportunity and the time to shape”, he stated to Lea Vergine during an interview for Vogue Italia in 1988.

This exhibition represents an opportunity to study and pay homage to Henry Martin who, from his “rural refuge”, became a privileged interlocutor of many US and Italian artists for over fifty years, namely the most relevant figures from the Fluxus, Mail Art, Arte Povera and Conceptual Art movements.

As stated in the preface to How To Imagine – A narrative on Art, Agriculture and Creativity (1984, written for and with Gianfranco Baruchello) “The story as presented here is thus an encounter between an active voice and an active ear – a voice that said as much as it found it possible to say, and an ear that took it with all the clarity it could muster”, defining his position as the active listener, interlocutor and facilitator needed in any storytelling. This attitude characterised his role both within and outside of the arts and culture worlds and led him to become the co-author of artists’ books, an author and curator of important monographs, and a translator, but also an exhibition curator, a performer and a producer.

The exhibition project comprises a part of this story through a selection of artists’ books, artworks, letters and life traces that testify to Martin’s extensive correspondence with artists such as Ray Johnson, Gianfranco Barruchello, Geoffrey Hendricks, George Brecht, Alighiero Boetti, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Arturo Schwarz, Lea Vergine, Anna Maria Ortense and his life partner Berty Skubert, among others.

The exhibition design by Martino Gamper was conceived in accordance with these personal traces, creating a background for the exhibited materials whilst preserving Henry Martin’s interventions.

A heartfelt thanks to Henry Martin’s wife, artist Berty Skuber, and his son John-Daniel Martin.

Special thanks to:
Archiv Marzona, Dresden
Fondazione Museion. Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea, Bolzano
Carla Subrizi
Luca Cerizza
Alpi Wood
Tischlerei Mairhofer
Will Shannon

With the kind support of:
Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano, Ripartizione Cultura
Comune di Bolzano, Ripartizione Cultura
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, South Tyrol