Harabel Contemporary in collaboration with the University of Arts hosted a Talk with Professor Giovanni Granzotto regarding the theme: From the Illyrians and the Romans to the present day: A single story in the Mediterranean. The talk took place in the premises of the University of Arts on May 5, 2022.


Giovanni Granzotto started the Talk introducing a historical overview from the Illyrians and Romans to the present day, referring to the period of the development of the main centers. Granzotto added that the world’s culture was born in Europe and had a huge evolution in the end of the ‘800, with the development of the great Venetian decoration. Granzotto mentioned Gustav Klimt as a great representative of this culture, referring to his mosaics in the Basilica of San Marco and the Basilica of Ravenna.

Also, as a testimony of that long story, Granzotto examines Riccardo Licata, as one of the representing artists of the Byzantine culture. Riccardo’s beginnings originate from the lagoon of Venice, and then his knowledge of art deepened in all the places he moved to. He takes several completely different directions that bring out a special version of space. Also, in his paintings he shows parts of the Byzantine culture, among them, Illyrian as well. In the last twenty years the Byzantine influence with the overwhelming introduction of gold became fundamental in his paintings and his whole creativity was structured through Venetian, Byzantine and Greek references, in the construction of an individual language created from historical references.

Another topic that was discussed during the talk was related to the two great artistic influences: The Programmed Art and Nova Tendencija. The Programmed Art was a movement that had many of its most significant exponents in the northeast of Italy, between Padua, Venice and Friuli: Biasi, Massironi, Munari, Alviani, Costalonga etc. The greatest artists of this movement were Italian, French, Argentinean and all children of immigrants. Alberto Biasi stood out as one of the greatest artists of this movement. Meanwhile, Nova Tendencija was born in 1961 (a term borrowed from the Serbian critic Marko Meštrović) during the socialist realism with the realization of an artistic exhibition with an extraordinary combination of European, Balkan and Russian experiences, that had an approach to the use of technologic materials and industrial production with the aim of changing the social reality.


The Mediterranean, and especially the Adriatic Sea, was the true intersection center of the great European culture.

*Giovanni Granzotto was born on March 15, 1951 in Sacile (PN), where he still lives. After graduating in Law from the University of Padua, he pursued a Masters in Business Organization and a course in Art and Finance at the London School of Economics at CUOA. During the seventies he collaborated in the cultural section of Il Piccolo di Trieste and Messaggero di Udine. It was in those years that he founded Studio d’Arte GR, while in the eighties and nineties he ran some of the main Italian auction houses: Pitti-Finarte, Semenzato, and he collaborated with Sotheby’s America for Venetian art of the nineteenth century, etc. In the mid-90s and for about six years, he held an important column on the subject of forgeries in modern art, in the magazine ARTE IN. He won a competition, as the first outsider, to teach installations at the Fine Arts of Rome, but he does not practice the academic profession. Granzotto has been the chairman of the Historical Archive of Venetian Artists since its foundation. Also Granzotto has more than four hundred publications of critical texts related to public exhibitions organized by him, or in which he was part of the scientific committee.