Spring–Summer 2023
Program review, Mahler & LeWitt Studios


The Spring Session hosted our first comprehensive education program. Working closely with the Liceo Artistico di Spoleto, we developed a sculpture module for forty 16–17 year olds, inspired by the work of Anna Mahler. Having become familiar with the work of Anna Mahler and the ways she incorporates both figurative and abstract motifs, the students created their own work engaging with portraiture and landscape. In particular the students made use of our ceramic facilities, which are not available to them at the liceo.

The students’ work was presented in an exhibition at the Sol LeWitt Studio during the Festival dei Due Mondi. The tiled, relief portraits on display are a collaborative work by the students referencing the largest sculpture Anna Mahler made, The Tower of Masks.

We also hosted students from the academy of fine arts in Perugia. As well as visiting the studios of Anna Mahler and Sol Lewitt, they attended studio visits with our residents. To read more about the education program, click here. We are now planning a module with the liceo for the 2023/4 academic year inspired by the work of Sol LeWitt, and we will be continuing our association with the academy in Perugia.




Our partnership with the Festival dei Due Mondi and its Artistic Director, Monique Veaute, grows stronger and more productive each year. As a result, we now frequently refer to the Summer Session as the Festival Session. You’ll read here how our program integrates with the festival. Indeed, three of our Festival Session residents were highlights of the official festival program: Silvia Costa, Lonnie Holley and Mary Manning.

Mahler & LeWitt Studios directors Eva LeWitt and Guy Robertson with Festival dei Due Mondi Artistic Director Monique Veaute and our Festival Session residents Nisha Ramayya, Mengting Zhuo, Maïté Oucéni, Cecilia Ceccherini, Mosie Romney, Lonnie Holley, Matt Arnett, Virginia Prescott, and Davis Hart (also pictured, actress Laetitia Casta and pianist Isil Bengi).


Silvia Costa

Artist in Residence in partnership
with the Festival dei Due Mondi

Scenographer and director Silvia Costa was artist in residence as she developed and presented her new stage interpretation (pictured above) of Messiaen’s Harawi, Canto d’amore e di morte, commissioned by the Festival dei Due Mondi. During the festival, Costa also shared new 2d work – related ‘night drawings’, sketches and design notes made during the production – at a series of events held in her Piazza della Genga studio space. Here she talks to the national broadcaster TGR about her work at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios during the festival:


Lonnie Holley

Artist in Residence in partnership with
Edel Assanti and the Festival dei Due Mondi

Artist, musician and educator Lonnie Holley’s (b. Birmingham, AL, 1950) practice of improvisational creativity spans painting, sculpture, filmmaking and music. Adapting found materials, his works relay histories that are both autobiographical and collective. His oeuvre tackles universal topics such as humanity’s precarious relationships to the natural world and technology, alongside specifically American and personal histories, encompassing the residual effects of the Jim Crow era, the triumphs of the Civil Rights movement, and the ongoing struggles with false narratives around class mobility and race.

In Spoleto he produced a new body of work including 16 paintings on canvas, more than 20 sculptures, and dozens of works on paper (some works are picture in the carousel below – works Holley made in Spoleto will be exhibited at Künsthalle Zurich in November, and in his solo exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre London next year). Holley also performed at the Festival dei Due Mondi (pictured above), accompanied by drums and trombone duo Nelson Patton, and at our Open Studios, accompanied by harpist Mary Lattimore. Whilst in Spoleto, Holley told his extraordinary life story to the BBC World Service’s Andrea Kennedy.

Listen here>>


Mary Manning: In Excelsis

In partnership with the Festival
dei Due Mondi and Canada, New York

Our solo exhibition of new work by New York based photographer Mary Manning, titled In Excelsis, was the principal visual art exhibition hosted by the Festival dei Due Mondi. Manning’s new body of work was shot in Spoleto during a six week residency in 2022. Carefully arranged juxtapositions of 35mm analog prints and objet trouvé depict people, nature, the street, and the festival itself. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue with a new text by writer and filmmaker Felix Bazalgette, also a former resident.

Read more>>

Mary Manning: In Excelsis, San Niccolò, Spoleto © Andrea Veroni


UMRU: Natural Dyeing Workshop

Maïté Ouceni and Cecilia Ceccherini

French textile designer and natural dyeing expert Maïté Oucèni, who was resident at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in 2022 in partnership with the Ethical Fashion Initiative and the Carla Fendi Foundation, lead a natural dyeing workshop during the Festival dei Due Mondi 2023 in collaboration with Cecilia Ceccherini and as part of our ongoing Materia program. Combining traditional and contemporary eco-sustainable techniques, participants in the workshop learnt about natural dyeing methods using plants and minerals. Working with Indigo they dyed their own clothes as well as a quantity of wool which will be used by Ceccherini to weave a large scale tapestry for her project with geographer Dr. Alberto Valz Gris UMRU: Fragments from the Hydrosocial Cycle of the Valle Umbra, to be presented at the Festival dei Due Mondi 2024.


Sol LeWitt’s Studio Drawings
in the Vecchia Torre

Rye Dag Holmboe & Joschi Herczeg
The MIT Press

We launched Sol LeWitt’s Studio Drawings in the Vecchia Torre (The MIT Press), the first study of a little-known group of experimental wall drawings made by LeWitt in the early 70s, when he used the Torre Bonomo as a studio. The book comprises a preface by Guy Robertson, an essay by writer and psychoanalyst Rye Dag Holmboe and photographs by artist Joschi Herczeg. It is the result of our first collaboration with the current owner of the tower, Valentina Bonomo. Dag Holmboe and Herczeg were among our first residents in the Torre Bonomo.

The MIT Press website>>


Torre Bonomo

Abbas Zahedi, Nisha Ramayya and Mengting Zhuo

Abbas Zahedi, Nisha Ramayya and Mengting Zhuo were residents in the Torre Bonomo during our Festival Session. The group was formed because of their common interest in experimental sonics – whether through music, sound installations, poetry or performance. They were invited to Spoleto as independent artists, however, in the spirit of the Mahler & LeWitt Studios’ discursive research and development residencies, the new work they made is supple at the edges, each one showing the others’ impression. Having presented new work, developed in the tower, at an Open Studios event during the Festival dei Due Mondi, the group reconvened for a collaborative event inside Zahedi’s solo exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary in the UK.

Read more>>


Also in residence during our Festival Session were New York based painter Mosie Romney (pictured below), Irish filmmaker Grace Weir, and British sound artist Flora Yin Wong (in partnership with the vibrant Fuori Festival program). Follow the links to learn more about their work.



Our Fall Session welcomes 10 writers, curators and artists to Spoleto. Our most expansive residency to date, half of the residents are mid-career or established practitioners, whilst the other half are recent graduates. This inter-generational, cross-disciplinary method of programming – during a residency session with a research focus,  rather than being outcome led – yields, in our experience, a dynamic and inspiring experience for all involved. To learn more about the residents click on the images below.



Thank you for reading. Spring-Summer 2023 has seen us diversify the Mahler & LeWitt Studios program extensively: introducing an education program and contributing high profile projects to Spoleto’s famous Festival dei Due Mondi, whilst continuing to host impactful research and development residencies. We are thrilled with the results and we are extremely grateful for your support, without which these initiatives would not be possible. We look forward to updating you on the Fall Session in due course.

Our best wishes and gratitude,

Eva LeWitt and Guy Robertson