Magazzino Italian Art Space Comes to the Hudson Valley

The vibrant Hudson Valley art scene, home to Storm King Art Center, and Dia:Beacon, just got a brilliant new addition. Be prepared to be amazed by post-war Italian art. And you need not go far: Magazzino Italian Art (“Warehouse for Italian Art”) has opened its doors in Cold Spring. 

Off a verdant stretch of Route 9, Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu have created Magazzino Italian Art, a bold exhibition space that houses a remarkable collection of post-war and contemporary Italian art. It is breathtaking to note that Magazzino’s Arte Povera collection is likely the largest outside of Italy.

Both Olnick and Spanu have been long-term collectors of Arte Povera – an avant-garde conceptual art movement that took root in 1960s Turin, Italy. A defiant response to commercialization and industrialization - strong, provocative artworks created from “throw-away,” industrial materials and typically large in scale - defines the movement. 

The inaugural exhibition at Magazzino puts a tantalizing spotlight on Arte Povera, showing 70 works that span four decades. Olnick and Spanu are activating the dream of Italian art visionary and Arte Povera collector Margherita “Christian” Stein. In their words, “Magazzino salutes Margherita 'Christian' Stein for her steadfast vision and commitment to her artists and for her courage to embark on an adventure that would last a lifetime. Her dream was to create a home for her artists in the United States. We hope Magazzino will fulfill her dream.”

The work of numerous artists Stein passionately encouraged and exhibited at the legendary Galleria Christian Stein in Turin are displayed here in Cold Spring. 

At Magazzino, you will view the works of Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gilberto Zorio, Marco Bagnoli, Domenico Bianchi, and Remo Salvadori. For a number of the artists, you can see works that span several decades.

The sleek warehouse space designed by Spanish artist and architect Miguel Quismondo, offers a light-filled backdrop for these towering and dramatic works. The white concrete warehouse space is an exciting example of adaptive reuse. (Before this reinvention, the buildings housed the Cyberchron computer factory. And before that, the land on which the building sits was a dairy farm.)

Quismondo choose to work with the existing structures rather than tear down. With a new configuration, the two dramatic buildings, sharing an expansive courtyard, stretch over 20,000 square feet. The sparse, elegant space, created in the “rationalist style” is modern and meditative at the same time. The outside setting is lush and retains an ancient orchard.

Admission is free, but an appointment has to be made prior to visiting. Magazzino will mirror the schedule at Dia:Beacon – open Thursday to Monday from April to December, and Friday to Monday from January to March. 

Be prepared to spend an afternoon at Magazzino. The compelling works exhibited have detailed descriptions in a very informative booklet that provides a roadmap as you travel through the exhibit space.

You will see the fantastical igloo created by Mario Merz - built from sheets of slate - and Giulio Paolini’s “Mimesi” - a towering sculpture of a double “classical” Hermes that represents one of Paolini's most iconic pieces. The mirrored plate of Luciano Fabro will mesmerize you. Each glorious piece evokes response and awe from the viewer.    

In September, Magazzino will open a research library comprising over 5,000 volumes. It will be accessible to scholars and those interested in delving more deeply into the world of Arte Povera and Italian contemporary art.

Under the directorship of Vittorio Calabrese (a brand-new Beacon resident), Magazzino will also look to foster collaborations with neighboring institutions and the surrounding communities.

For further information on visiting, go to or call (845) 666-7202.  Magazzino is located at 2700 Route 9 in Cold Spring, New York.