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TAKING SHAPE

View of “Margherita Stein: Rebel with a Cause,” 2017, Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, NY. Floor, from left: Giulio Paolini, Saffo, 1981; Alighiero Boetti, Mazzo di tubi (Bundle of Tubes), 1966. Wall: Alighiero Boetti, Clino, 1966. Photo: Marco Anelli.

IN COLD SPRING, New York, just a few stops before Dia:Beacon on Metro-North’s Hudson Line and across the river from Storm King Art Center, sits a new museum: Magazzino Italian Art. Its founders—Nancy Olnick, a New York City native, and Giorgio Spanu, from Sardinia by way of Paris—plainly envisioned the space as an additional destination along an already distinguished art corridor. Well before it opened its doors, Magazzino was expected to fill a pedagogical gap: the lack of a wide audience familiar with postwar and contemporary Italian art. Despite the relative prominence of Arte Povera as one of Italy’s chief aesthetic exports from the past century’s latter half—work by its exponents can be found in most of the world’s preeminent museums—its outlines remain vague even for a museum-going public.

Olnick and Spanu have amassed one of the world’s premier collections

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