Columbus Continuum, the Italian metallurgy firm specializing in the production and shaping of metal tubing presents irs third exhibition: Traguardo Volante. Columbus e Cinelli tra arte e bicicletta (Flying Finish Line. Columbus and Cinelli: art and bicycles), curated by Luca Beatrice.
For the edition she explored the Columbus-Cinelli archives in search of curiosities, documents, artists’ bicycles, surprising objects. Fascinating and unique materials were inserted in the exhibit design created by Franco Raggi. In particular, after the theatrical display on the ground floor, amidst frames, works made for the occasion and memorabilia, three special sections on the lower level retraced key moments to better understand these intersections that are only apparently outlandish.
The formidable 1980s, with protagonists – among others – like Alchimia, Occhiomagico and Alessandro Mendini. The Italian artists who have accompanied the story of Antonio Colombo and his gallery, amidst love stories, passions and betrayals (hence Marco Cingolani, Massimo Giacon, Alessandro Pessoli). And finally America, the West Coast in particular, i.e. the line that prevails in the gallery’s research today (including Ryan Heska, Taxali, Coolrain, Mike Giant…).
In the dictionary of cycling, traguardo volante means an intermediate passage along the route of a race; the first rider to cross it will not necessarily win the race, but will obtain bonus seconds, a particular prize and perhaps, as in the past, some typical local foods.
With this forceful and in some ways light-hearted image, the final stage of the route is reached, on the way to the definitive finish line. A race on two wheels and two legs to celebrate the centenary of a legend of Italian industry, Columbus, and the unique style and contemporary taste of Cinelli in the world of cycling.
In particular, the history of these two brands is connected to that of art, a bit like the split personality of Antonio Colombo, so to speak, an innovative entrepreneur with a focus on language, experimentation and aesthetics applied to functional quality, a collector and gallerist, a talent scout with one eye on his own country and the other trained on America, its dreams, music, streets, landscape and myriad of images.
The relationship between art and bicycles has distant roots, definitely extending back to the 1800s. A vehicle that does not consume energy but produces it, a synonym of lightness and freedom; it appealed greatly to the Futurists, and it accompanied the adventures of the neo-avant-gardes, from the Situationists to the Provos. The bicycle has also become a vehicle of style, starting in the 1980s, donning ultra-pop colors and guises, all the way to summing up the rebel spirit of new environmentalist activism. The bicycle as an extension of one’s own body.