The spaces and the gallery


The Labs Gallery has been operating in the Bolognese territory since October 2014, when it presented itself to the city with an exhibition curated by Marco Meneguzo, an iron investigation of Italian analytical painting in the 1970s.

Since its inception, the space was born as a place dedicated to research and experimentation, always attentive to the dialogue between historicized art and contemporary art. As for the history of its space, a historical institution present in the territory for almost 700 years, so too the gallery makes history, in this case art, an essential element in the research and proposal of emerging talents. 

Located at 38 Via Santo Stefano, on the ground floor, it appears magnificent for its elegance and discretion. Passing the entrance hall, in fact, you are pleasantly fascinated by the singularity of the structure: a single exhibition hall with high walls that conceal a centuries-old history, dating back to the thirteenth century, when, instead of the current gallery, there was a small church, an aspect that can still be seen in the complex of the structure.

A small video room at the entrance and an administrative room (once a sacristy) complete the space. Although the gallery may appear young, passion and constant research have made it an essential pole on the Bolognese artistic scene.

The gallery avails itself of curators of national and international calibre, promotes a constant dialogue with the new developments in the territory through the collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna and supports the research through the publication of volumes related to the exhibitions organized.




Six centuries of history: from Church to Gallery


The hospitable of San Biagio, also known as the hospice of Santa Maria dei Servi was a building that stood in St. Stephen's, in front of the entrance to Via Cartoleria where it remained until July 28, 1798 when the company of the Servants who had created it ceased to exist. The complex was built around the year 1347, but from the archives of the company that governed it, it is deduced that the original nucleus was older:" "Hoc opus inceptum fuit year 1200 ad laudem et gloriam Dei omnipotentis, et Beata Mariae Virginis ac Divi Alexi".

Attached to the building of the hospitable San Biagio stood the Church of S. Maria della Ceriola or Castel de' Britti, the current Labs Gallery. The Hospitaller was in fact specialized in the care of the acute sick, that is to say those who were suddenly in danger of death, including those condemned to capital punishment, but also carried out the service of reception of pilgrims, among whom we remember the most famous, namely Francis Xavier who acquired here in the first half of the sixteenth century, the reputation as a preacher and consoler of the sick and prisoners.

The church of the hospital of San Biagio, or of Santa Maria dei Servi, was renovated in 1792, and embellished as much as its shape and situation could allow. 

The Company of the Servants therefore ceased to exist in 1798 and from 1816, conversions of use were made of all the adjacent suppressed religious buildings. 

In 1831 many buildings, such as the convent of s. Maria dei Servi, were transformed into private or military homes; it was so that in the building that had housed the hospital of San Biagio and the church of Santa Maria di Castel de Britti was set up from 1815 the Locanda della Pace where Leopardi lived in May 1827.

Umberto Traversari 1987-2018©