Promo 3 notti

Lasciati catturare dall'atmosfera avvolgente della nostra Masseria: concediti un soggiorno di minimo 3 notti e ti accoglieremo con una cena di benvenuto (bevande escluse) per raccontarti i sapori antichi e autentici di questo luogo speciale, immerso nella natura, dove ogni momento è magico. Avrai la possibilità di perderti  tra le meraviglie della tradizione e di una storia che ti racconteremo anche con i nostri ambienti.

Scopri di più
Prenota ora

Matera Artist Residency

18 Giugno 2019

The Matera Artist Residency is a collaboration between Masseria Fontana di Vite and the gallerist Carl Kostyal. The residency was founded to provide an inviting space and home for visual artists from around the world to create art while experiencing Italian life. The residency offers these artists the crucial time and place to retreat from the routines and pressures of everyday life within a unique geographical and cultural context with the added flair of southern Italian hospitality.

Masseria Fontana di Vite is a luxury boutique hotel and resort located on a country estate close to the ancient city of Matera in the Basilicata region of southern Italy. The original Masseria structure, which is a fortified farmhouse typical of the area, dates back to the 18th century. An expansion in 1816 by its original owners, the aristocratic Gattini family, saw the construction of a noble house residency, a warehouse with barrel vaults used to store wheat, and several rooms around the courtyard used as wine cellars as well as small storage depots. More buildings were added under the subsequent ownership of Giovanni Lorusso including a chapel, an outdoor oven, two large warehouses to store tobacco leaves, and “Lamielle”, which is a farmhouse characterized by small barrel vaults.

The artist’s studio is a spacious warehouse originally used to dry tobacco and stands as a truly incredible building. The many historic structures on the estate serve as an inspiration for the artists. In fact, the chapel was used by the first artist-in-residence Austin Lee in July 2018 for a ceiling fresco titled “I fiori del cielo”. This contemporary site-specific work is a tribute to the spiritual architecture of the church and stunning nature surrounding the Masseria.

The artist residency aims to create a sculpture park surrounding the property and to become a destination site for the international art world in the hidden gem of Matera, the third most ancient city in the world, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as the European Capital of Culture in 2019.

In 2018, the summer residency hosted Austin Lee and Gina Beavers during the month of July, while the autumn residency hosted Violet Dennison in September.

In 2019, the program hosted two month-long sessions, one in spring with Peter Schuyff and daniele Milvio and the other one in summer, with Canyon Castator, Sara Cwynars and Benjamin Spiers.

The 2020 program will host three different sessions, spring, summer and autumn and the following artists: Austyn Weiner, Alex Gardner, Chloe WIse, Oli Epp and Cyntia Talmadge.

Summer Session 2018: Gina Beavers and Austin Lee
Autumn Session 2018: Violet Dennison
Spring Session 2019: Peter Schuyff and Daniele Milvio
Summer Session 2019: Canyon Castator, Sara Cwynar and Benjamin Spiers

Stay tuned!  

The Studio Space

Works Produced at the Residency Summer 2018

Gina Beavers Testimony

I found the residency in Matera at the Masseria Fontana de Vite truly life-changing! The first couple weeks were a non-stop party, a bunch of artists came out for the draw jam and we went to Puglia to hang out and draw with them. It was incredibly fun, swimming, hanging out at the beach and drawing in the garden during the day.

It sort of hit me about halfway through my time in Matera, after the Draw Jam, that I really only had two weeks to make my own work, but I was able to work about 5 hrs a day at that point, a couple hrs betweenbreakfast and lunch and a couple when everyone was siesta-ing in the late afternoon. Dinner was usually not until 10, so the days felt amazingly long.

The studio was maybe not the most optimal, in terms of light and facilities like tables etc, and Austin and I kind of had to scrounge around for furniture in the barn to get set-up. And if you have definite materials you will need I would definitely work that out ahead of time, they do get Amazon deliveries there. Also, they are talking about renovating the studios, so maybe it will be a little more finished by next year. Having said that of course, the building we worked in, a giant old warehouse for drying tobacco, was a really incredible, gorgeous building in an of itself, so it was pretty magical to get to work in it, in any case!

The best part for me was getting to know Italy and oh my God, the cheese !! No but really, Fausta and her brother are really cool and beyond generous. She’s 33, he’s 30 and they are well-travelled, and cosmopolitan, so there’s a very new world/old world vibe happening there. She runs the hotel side, he runs the farm...

The area and the Masseria itself are beautiful. I was kind of curious driving in from the airport because this region is dotted with old factories and appears kind of run down and economically abandoned at first glance. But then Fausta would take us to the nearby towns and you realize Southern Italy has all of these ‘jewels’ in the form of beautiful, historic towns. Matera, Altamura, Taranto are so amazing and special ! Taranto has a really insane Archeological museum (MarTA) with TONS of amazing things, the town used to be part of Greece so there’s a lot of interesting overlapping history and fascinating objects there.

Also the beaches! We went to several beautiful ones on the Adriatic and the Ionian side!!! And the food and the coffee!! We had these long lunches and late dinners of the most amazing food !!! Most of all the people, they were so generous and adventurous and relaxed, really wonderful !

I think you would find a ton there to inspire you! And if not the pool is really lovely :) I swam everyday! It was a really special time, I feel incredibly centered and peaceful after it, and I was already thinking how jealous I am going to be looking at other resident’s photos in the future !

Austin Lee’s work on the Chapel's ceiling, “I fiori del cielo” 2018

Austin Lee’s Portraits

Violet Dennison’s “Journal Entry #3: Italian Disco”, 2018

Violet Dennison’s testimony

In many ways the residency is more about learning a way of life than relocating one’s art practice. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Time slowed down for me. I was mesmerized by the strange landscape where snails grew on tall grass, the soil seemed volcanic, and ancient history embedded itself in the rock. Fausta, her family and friends were so incredibly open and generous. I loved getting to know all of them. I toured many different farms and nearby towns. I learned how to weave bamboo from a local man when I stopped by his home one day. The things I experienced and learned in Italy have influenced my work greatly. I will remember that time very fondly and of course the food is incredible.

“Journal Entry #3: Italian Disco”

Excerpt of Journal Entry constructed of pvc coated brass woven into knotted binary code translated from English and Lounge Chair. I have been working on developing a series of work which translates my memoir into a binary knot code. One of the initial inspirations of this is ancient knot systems, like the Inca Quipu. Some scholars believe that Quipu was one of the first forms of binary code, which is a two symbol system used by most computers. Others have described it as one of the first versions of artificial memory. While those types of knot systems create a language to be shared, in this work the information is structural and inaccessible. The weaving here was developed and influenced by Inca, Mexican, and then Italian weaving which I learned in a nearby town during my stay.

This particular sculpture is a translation of a journal entry I wrote at the Masseria and the lounge chair is also an ode to the location. It was woven together with Italian clothing lines.


Peter Schuyff


Benjamin Spiers Testimony

“I made the slightly crazy decision to drive to Matera from London. I set off from London 20 hours after crawling home, elated, but exhausted, from the opening of my solo show at Carl Kostyal gallery.

I had been working in a fever the weeks leading up to the opening and wasn’t entirely in my right mind. As the miles ticked away and I wiggled over the passes of the Alps, Northern Europe began to disappear and the roads were flanked by flowering Oleander bushes and Cyprus trees. The browner and hotter it got, the further I felt from the red-eyed midnights in my London studio.

The masseria itself is one of those buildings that owns the landscape. It sits on the edge of a plateau and the landscape drops and waves away to the horizon in a series of dramatic swoops.

The light is extraordinary. During the day it can be almost painfully bright, with a whitish haze, but as the evening comes on it takes on a crystalline clarity and a surprising warmth.

The enormous warehouse/studio is a really atmospheric place to work. It damps the heat and light to manageable levels and the muffled sounds of people swimming in the pool is great background music.

I found it a really easy place to slip into my work and the hours flew. I managed to finish the underpainting on 6 pictures, produce numerous drawings and even do some writing. My time there felt charmed, and work flowed out in an effortless way.

Fausta and her brother Gia-Lo are the most astonishing hosts. Within hours it felt as if we’d been friends for life, and after the month I knew that they are people to whom I will always feel close. They are generous, creative, funny and loving; as warm as the landscape in which they live.

The long evenings of talking, talking, more talking, card games, occasional dancing, drinking of ‘papa Joseph’ and one post midnight 5k run through the fields were some of the most pleasurable of my life.

Anyone lucky enough to spend time on this magical residency will have something wonderful to look back on, but more importantly, they’ll have friends for life in one of the most beautiful places in Europe”.

Sara Cwynar Testimony

“The matera residency was a totally unique experience in my life, I will always remember it. At its heart, it is about being in Fausta’s world at her Masseria. Fausta is someone who cares about and invests in artists unconditionally, and whose support felt really life altering and special. This part continues to resonate, I think she will be in my life for a long time. During my month in Matera I spent a lot of time thinking, reading and editing, and talking to Fausta, to her family and friends, and to the other wonderful artists on the residency.

It was a time to get some space from the production cycles of making work (though I did make some videos in the beautiful Italian countryside!), to think about things as a larger picture, and to experience another culture in a way I would never have been able to in another context. The residency also began with a week of parties and beach time when a larger group of artists and friends visited the residency which was really fun. I am so grateful for this experience, it was just so beautiful, I still can’t believe I got to be there, and I’m still thinking about everything I saw and learned there.”

Canyon Castator Testimony

“Time is one one the most valuable resources that can be afforded to an artist. Time to think, experiment, make mistakes, watch a 32 year old Italian farmer chase flies with an eclectic death paddle... Time is a precious resource, but it isn’t finite, it can be made from nothing by removing something. During my month long stay in Matera, I was given time, for the first time in a long time.

Finding ways in which to fill the long summer days seemed to be impossible. I’d toil around in my studio in the morning, working on small passages of a painting or burning through drawings in my sketchbook. I’d wander out to peak over Ben Spiers’ shoulder in an attempt to understand his methodically masterful approach to underpainting. I’d find myself sitting poolside with Sara Cwyar, helping her squeeze lemons over her increasingly blonde hair before we went to the dinning hall to put back multiple servings of cavatelli. I’d listen to Peter Schyuff riffle off romanticized stories about underdog life in a gritty 80’s New York, interjected with startlingly informed questions from an ever studious Gina Beavers. All this, and it’s just barely 4pm, a time marked daily by the first round of drinks, brought out by our incredibly generous host and the owner of the masseria, Fausta.

She made this time for us by removing the commutes, the chores, and the stress filled inconveniences of normal life. I can’t thank her enough for that. I plan to make this masseria, and these people, a reoccurring part of my life (as long as I keep LETTING Fausta beat me at cards I don’t think it will be a problem).

Also, thank you Carl Kostyál, the ambidextrous marionette master who put us all in this puppet show”.