Ria Lussi

Who is Afraid of Pink?

Ria Lussi,

Ria Lussi, "La Rosa giocosa", 2021, mixed media on canvas

Maja Arte Contemporanea is delighted to announce the opening of Ria Lussi's personal exhibit, "Chi ha paura del Rosa?" — Who is Afraid of Pink? — on Thursday September 30, 2021.

On display is a collection of ironic and playful self-portraits; it was inspired by Daina Maja Titonel's invitation to close a two-year cycle of exhibitions dedicated to female artists. Lussi responds by challenging the current gender disparity through permutations of her "Rose". Completed in acrylic paint on a round-shaped canvas, each portrait attributes an adjective to its "Rose"; in turn, this becomes an interpretive lens colouring the candid and metamorphic figure that emerges. Lussi's sophisticated research into chromatic variations renders each of her roses unique.

The exhibition is completed by a bust of Leonardo da Vinci in Murano Crystal (2016); three Rosaries (2016) in blown glass by Maestro vetraio Silvano Signoretto, and the excruciating "face" of Irene (2014), the only empress to have ruled in the fifteen-century history of the Roman Empire.

The reflection that emerges is a shared and striking concern with the gender gap. This is compounded by the gallerist's own research: she used her expertise as a mathematician to develop a comparative statistical analysis of the state of the gender gap in the visual arts.

To cite only some recent data:

- Between 2008 and the first few months of 2019 over $196,6 billions were invested in art. Only 2% of this sum was designated to works produced by female artists ($4 billion for close to 6000 artists). In the same timeframe, Pablo Picasso's works alone were auctioned for $4.8 billion, a staggering contrast.

- The record auction sale for the work of a female artist (the painting "Propped" by Jenny Saville) is $12.4 billion (Sotheby's, October 2018) compared to the $ 91,1 billion spent for "Rabbit" by Jeff Koons (Christie's, May 2019).

Responding to a pressing desire to take action and make a contribution towards a change, the Gallery's new website will include a section dedicated to the topic. Its name is inspired by this exhibition.

The exhibit is corroborated by a catalogue including critical essays by Umberto Palestini, Gloria Fossi and by a botanical note on roses by Roberto Valenti.


Ria Lussi was born in Milan. She currently lives and works in Rome; she has lived in Palermo, Napoli, Parigi, Urbino, Trieste. She studied visual arts in Paris, lyrical translation in Trieste and visual design in Urbino.

Among Lussi's recent solo show:

2020, "Allegoria", Mucciaccia Contemporary Art Gallery, Rome. Catalogue edited by Cambi Editore.
2018, "Io sono Giordano Bruno", Recidence, MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome.
2017, "Fragile", Mucciaccia Contemporary Art Gallery, Rome. Catalogue edited by Cambi Editore.
2016, "Mitochondria", curated by Umberto Palestini, Casa natale di Raffaello and Giardino botanico, Urbino (Italy). Catalogue edited by Baskerville.
2015, "Lussi di Penelope", Biblioteca del Daverio, Milan. Critical essay by Philippe Daverio, catalogue edited by Giunti.
2015, "Matrix, Mater, Mother", curated by Gianluca Marziani, Palazzo Collicola, Spoleto (Italy).
2015, "Close Up" - "Primo piano sulla pittura italiana", curated by Gianluca Marziani, Palazzo Collicola, Spoleto (Italy).
2014, "Imperatori di luce", curated by Gianluca Marziani. Various locations: Genoa, Villa del Principe; Spoleto, Palazzo Collicola; Rome, Galleria Doria Pamphilj; Milan, Villa Necchi Campiglio. Critical essays by Gianluca Marziani and Adriano Berengo.
2012, "Guerrieri di Luce", Galleria Blanchaert, Milan. Critical essay by Jean Blanchaert.
2012, "Excesses of an estuary", Mel Sembler Gallery, American Ambassy, Rome.
2010, "Have a dream", Galleria L'Affiche, Milan. Critical essays by Umberto Palestini and Massimiliano Floridi.