Raffaella Cortese Gallery began its activity in Milan, Italy in 1995 with the purpose of promoting the most significant artists of our time.
In 1998 the gallery extended the exhibition space to a project room. In September 2003 it moved to a new and bigger space, more suitable for showing large installations of the artists represented as well as to present new artists that mostly used video or sculptures.
The direction of the gallery has taken shape over time through the precise choice of dedicating solo exhibitions to international artists who work with various media (from photography to sculpture, to video and installation), but at the same time share a common inclination to deeply investigate new and classical topics, through an aesthetic sensitivity, strongly influenced by the present. In December 2002, the first group exhibition entitled Perturbamento (Disturbance) was organized as a synthesis of the choices undertaken by the gallery throughout the past years. On the occasion the gallery also printed the book Contemporanee (Contemporary Women Artists, postmediabooks edition).
The gallery has dedicated solo exhibitions to artist photographers (James Welling, Jitka Hanzlová, Annelies Strba) and focuses on American woman artists such as Roni Horn, Kiki Smith, Jessica Stockholder and Zoe Leonard. Acclaimed protagonists of the international scene, some are involved in the exploration of feminine issues such as their experience as an artist, no longer from the perspective of a social claim, but as a way of enlarging the overall investigation of the human dimension.
The gallery also represents the work of european artists, with special attention to those coming from Eastern countries: Miroslaw Balka, Jitka Hanzlová, Jana Sterbak, Annelies Strba. Their work, centered on everyday aspects of human existence, as well as on social issues, is crossed by the common topic of cultural identity. This idea is also shared by artists of different latitudes such as australian Destiny Deacon, korean Kimsooja or italian Marcello Maloberti.
Another recurring aspect of the visual language represented by the gallery consists of the juxtaposition or contraposition of image and text, this is evident in the case of Roni Horn, Zoe Leonard, Kiki Smith and TJ Wilcox.
The gallery has collaborated also with important public institutions (Castello di Rivoli, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, GAM of Torino, Museion of Bolzano, Inverleith House of Edimburgh) and promoted particular projects as the projection of Kimsooja at Teatro La Fenice in Venice.
It’ always important and basilar for the gallery to promote in the national and international background the represented artists.