Dubai-based entrepreneur showcases collection of art by rediscovered Italian genius

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23 August 2010

Pordenone Montanari is 73 years old. He studied Philosophy at University and trained in sculpture at Brera Fine Arts Academy, Milan, and had a sell-out exhibition in 1986, when paintings were bought by the Credit Commerciale Bank, Société Générale, and Banca Rosenberg. However after this, he retired from public life and sought to focus on his art. For eighteen years he has been living as a recluse, making paintings and sculptures. Virtually his only contacts with the outside world have been mediated by his wife, who has been supplying him with food and materials over all this time. Inside his 19th century villa in Piedmont, Italy, he accumulated hundreds of landscapes, figure paintings and still life compositions, which remained a secret even to the people living in the same village.

But about three years ago, he was discovered by the world of art. It happened when Montanari and his wife decided to sell the four-floor villa which had become too large for them. A local resident, Cinzia Albertini, discovered stacks of the artist’s finished canvases when she enquired about a ‘for sale’ sign in front of the artist’s villa. Since then, having bought the house, she has built up a friendship with Montanari and his wife which, over time, has led to an introduction to DAR Capital Group, through Indian businessman, Raja Khara, who lived in the area. Khara was amazed by all the artworks that covered the walls, in the form of canvases, frescoes, works on paper and board, and – in the garden – a mass of sculpture in wood and stone. Khara bought the house, and also purchased the rights to the artist’s work.

As a result, Montanari’s work will be on show at the Istituto di Cultura Italiana in London, from September 21 to October 6, 2010....

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