Galleria Raffaella Cortese

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Galleria Raffaella Cortese is a contemporary art gallery founded by Raffaella Cortese in 1995, in Milan. The gallery has three exhibition spaces in via A. Stradella 7, 1, and 4, in Città Studi district[1].


The gallery represents an international group of artists working across disciplines including photography, painting, drawing, watercolor, video art, sculpture, installation,performance.

  • Nazgol Ansarinia
  • Francesco Arena
  • Silvia Bächli
  • Mirosław Bałka
  • Yael Bartana
  • Karla Black
  • Barbara Bloom (artist)
  • Monica Bonvicini
  • Alejandro Cesarco
  • Keren Cytter
  • Michael Fliri
  • Simone Forti
  • Jitka Hanzlová
  • Roni Horn
  • Joan Jonas
  • William E. Jones
  • Kimsooja
  • Luisa Lambri
  • Zoe Leonard
  • Anna Maria Maiolino
  • Marcello Maloberti
  • Ana Mendieta
  • Helen Mirra
  • Mathilde Rosier
  • Martha Rosler
  • Kiki Smith
  • Jessica Stockholder
  • Allyson Strafella
  • Franco Vimercati
  • T.J. Wilcox


Founded in 1995, the gallery was first established in via Farneti. Galleria Raffaella Cortese opened to the public in May 1995 with an exhibition by conceptual Italian artist Franco Vimercati. The participation in the ongoing debate surrounding conceptual photography’s validation as a media of contemporary art was a key aspect of the gallery’s exhibition program in its early years, during which it only presented solo shows.[2][3]

Galleria Raffaella Cortese was the first Italian gallery to organize exhibitions of renowned American women artists such as Roni Horn (in 1997)[4] and Barbara Bloom (artist)|Barbara Bloom (in 1998)[5]. In 1998 the gallery expanded to include a project room in same building it occupied at the time; this space featured regular programming parallel to that of the main gallery, including special projects such as sound installations and more experimental artworks. [6]

The 2000s opened with new collaborations that confirmed the attention for female art, with the first solo shows by Jitka Hanzlová[7] (in 2000), Kiki Smith[8] and Zoe Leonard[9] (in 2001), and Kimsooja (in 2004)[10]. Although Raffaella Cortese’s propensity towards the work of female artists has always been spontaneous – today the gallery represents 30 artists, 22 of which are women – she has always claimed to choose the work and not the genre. Solid and lasting collaborations, for instance with Marcello Maloberti and Miroslaw Balka, started from the first years of activity.  

In 2003 Galleria Raffaella Cortese moved to its current headquarters, a large basement space on via Stradella 7 where also the offices and an adjacent warehouse take place. The other exhibition venues, two storefronts that look out onto the same street through wide glass windows, opened in 2012 and 2014 at number 1 and 4.

Since the mid-2000s the gallery program has expanded to include a number of artists who produce works across time-based media such as video and performance. In these years the gallery started working with artists such as T. J. Wilcox (since 2005)[11], Michael Fliri[12] and Yael Bartana (since 2008)[13], Mathilde Rosier (since 2009)[14], Anna Maria Maiolino (since 2010)[15], William E. Jones[16] and Joan Jonas (since 2010)[17], Martha Rosler[18] and Keren Cytter (since 2011)[19], and Ana Mendieta (since 2013)[20].

In 2010 the gallery began a series of duo shows in which two artists chose one another to address key aspects of their individual practices in dialogue, such as Miroslaw Balka and Roni Horn’s duo show (in 2012)[21] and Helen Mirra and Allyson Strafella's duo show (in 2016)[22].

The program built over time is transversal, trans-generational and international, but has always included Italian artists, many of them with a consolidated presence abroad: collaborations born in recent years are, for example, with Francesco Arena (since 2015)[23] and Monica Bonvicini (since 2017)[24], Simone Forti (since 2018)[25] and Luisa Lambri (since 2019, her first gallery exhibition in 2021).

In 2020 Galleria Raffaella Cortese presented its new visual identity designed by LeftLoft. Together with the introduction of the new logo and the “grc” emblem, Galleria Raffaella Cortese also introduced a tagline, “still a place”, which emphasizes the importance of the gallery as a place for artistic experimentation, a space to visit and experience. In addition, the gallery consolidated its online presence with the opening of the Viewing Room, a new permanent section of its website that offers digital tours of the artists' current exhibitions, both at the gallery and institutional, and focuses on their practices presenting videos and images, critical texts, quotes and interviews.


Since 1996, the second year of activity, Galleria Raffaella Cortese has consistently participated in a selection of contemporary art fairs, first national (Artefiera), then European and American (Frieze, ArtGenève). Since 2019 Raffaella Cortese is a member of the selection committee of Artissima.

Institutional and editorial collaborations

Institutional Collaborations

Collaborations with national and international museums have always been frequent and constant, including: Roni Horn's solo show at Castello di Rivoli, Turin (Roni Horn, 2000) Marcello Maloberti’s solo show at MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (Blitz, 2012); the acquisition of the Anna Maria Maiolino's photographic work Entrevidas (Between Lives) from Photopoemaction series (1981/2000) by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid in 2012; the acquisition of Michael Fliri's video work The Unseen Looks Like Something You Have Never Seen (2011) by Museion, Bolzano, in 2012; Joan Jonas' solo show at HangarBicocca Foundation, Milan (Light Time Tales, 2014); the acquisition of Ana Mendieta's photographic work Untitled (Burial Pyramid) (1974-2010) by the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome in 2014; the donation of Silvia Bächli's gouache Rhomb (N. 1) (2015) from the Friends of the Center Pompidou, International Circle, to the Center Georges Pompidou in 2017; the acquisition of the Joan Jonas’ work Mirror Pieces Installation II (1969/2015) by the Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, in 2017; the acquisition of Monica Bovicini's painting Moore Oklahoma 2013 (2017) by the BPS22 Museum of Charleroi in 2018; the Miroslaw Balka's solo show at the HangarBicocca Foundation, Milan (CROSSOVER / S, 2017); Franco Vimercati's solo show at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Madrid (Franco Vimercati: photography, life. A dialogue with Giorgio Morandi, 2019); the acquisition of Kimsooja's video work A Needle Woman-Kitakyushu (1999) by the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts in Lausanne in 2018; the acquisition of Martha Rosler's photographic work Off the Shelf: Art, Education, Activism (2018) by the ZKM Center for ZKM - Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe in 2018; Anna Maria Maiolino's solo exhibition at the PAC - Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea  (O AMOR SE FAZ REVOLUCIONÁRIO, 2019) and at the Whitechapel in London (Making Love Revolutionary, 2019); Monica Bonvicini's solo exhibition at the OGR - Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Turin (As Walls Keep Shifting, 2019); Yael Bartana's solo exhibition at FMAV - Modena Visual Arts Foundation (Cast Off, 2019); Simone Forti's solo exhibition at the ICA Milan Foundation (Vicino al Cuore / Close to the Heart, 2019); the donation of Simone Forti's video installation Bottom (1973) by the Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art CRT to the Turin Civic Gallery of Modern and Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Turin in 2019; Monica Bonvicini's solo exhibition at the Kunst Museum Winterthur (NOT FOR YOU, 2021) and Anna Maria Maiolino's solo exhibition at Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (In the sky I am one and many and as a human I am everything and nothing, 2021).

Editorial Collaborations

The gallery has developed several projects with publishing houses for the publication of artist's books, catalogs and monographs, including: Roni Horn, Catalogs, artist's books and monographs, 2004, published by Edizioni Periferia, A + M Bookstore Edizioni, Christophe Daviet-Thery and Galleria Raffaella Cortese; Kiki Smith's artist book, Diary, 2005, published by the Querini Stampalia Foundation and Galleria Raffaella Cortese; Martha Rosler, Service, A Trilogy on Colonization, 2014, a limited edition published by Postmedia Books, Milan, in collaboration with Galleria Raffaella Cortese; The bear in the mirror by Simone Forti, published by Kunstverein Publishing, Milan and Vleeshal, Middleburg with the support of the ICA Foundation, Milan and Galleria Raffaella Cortese and Franco Vimercati. A minute of photography, 2020, published by Archivio Franco Vimercati and Galleria Raffaella Cortese with Quodiblet.

Gallery's Program

The gallery's program has always offered talks and lectures such as the conversation between Francesco Arena and the philosopher Marco Senaldi during the finissage of the artist's first exhibition at the gallery (in 2015) and the presentation of the book Artisti di carta. Territori di confine tra arte e letteratura (Postmedia Books, Milan, 2016) by its author, art historian Roberto Pinto in conversation with writer and curator Gianluigi Ricuperati (in 2017). The relationship with students and teachers is also important: Laura Cherubini invited Joan Jonas to the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Milan) in 2010, and two years later Michael Fliri was in conversation with Asta Groenig,  as well as Marco Scotini's invitation to Barbara Casavecchia and William E . Jones at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts, Milan) in 2018.


From 2001 to 2005 Raffaella Cortese was Vice President of Angamc – National Association of Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries. The gallery is among the members of the Milano Art Community, an online platform and paper map that informs citizens and tourists of Milan about the program of its most significant contemporary art places, in addition, it is also part of Italics, an online platform that tells about Italy through the voices of its gallerist.


  1. "About the Gallery." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  2. "Exhibtions. Jan Groover." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  3. "Exhibitions. Franco Vimercati." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  4. "Exhibitions. Roni Horn." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  5. "Exhibitions. Barbara Bloom." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, . Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  6. "Exhibitions. Project Room: Monica Carocci." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  7. "Exhibitions. Jitka Hanzlová." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  8. "Exhibitions. Kiki Smith." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  9. "Exhibitions. Zoe Leonard." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  10. "Exhibitions. Kimsooja." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  11. "Exhibitions. T. J. Wilcox." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  12. "Exhibitions. Michael Fliri. Getting Too Old to Die Young." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  13. "Exhibitions. Yael Bartana. Mary Koszmary." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  14. "Exhibitions. Mathilde Rosier. Support et Sentiments." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020
  15. "Exhibitions. Anna Maria Maiolino. videos and photographs from the '70-'80s." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  16. "Exhibitions. William E. Jones. Alternative Version." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  17. "Exhibitions. Joan Jonas. Reading Dante IV." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  18. "Exhibitions. Martha Rosler. In Public." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  19. "Exhibitions. Keren Cytter. Avalanche." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  20. "Exhibitions. Ana Mendieta." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  21. "Exhibitions. Miroslaw Balka & Roni Horn. Gespräche Über Persönliche Themen." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed. 22 Dec. 2020.
  22. "Exhibitions. Helen Mirra & Allyson Strafella. Fieno Fieno Fieno." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  23. "Exhibitions. Francesco Arena. Sette, Uno, Quattro." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  24. "Exhibitions. Monica Bonvicini. Our House." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
  25. "Exhibitions. Simone Forti. On an Iron Post." Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.

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