Interview: Myriam Kühne-Rauner

by Artland Editors

After studying law in Germany and becoming an asset manager in the Milan branch of a German bank, Myriam Kühne-Rauner realised her dream of working in art and design. She is now the gallery owner of the design-focused gallery Angelo della Pergola 1, which also serves as the showroom of her brand m2kr and regularly hosts international artists and exhibitions.

How did you ended up opening your gallery, Angelo della Pergola 1?

I have always been passionate about art, design and architecture in my life. I worked for many years as a manager of a real estate fund in Milan, and it was only some years ago that I changed my life completely and dedicated myself to my passion. I decided to study interior design in Milan, and after university, I opened my own space where I could present my design works and where art and design could be shared with other artists and designers.

What made you decide to open your gallery in Isola?
I have been living in Isola for many years, and I find it to be one of the coolest areas of Milan. Hemmed in on two sides by Garibaldi station and the rail tracks, “Isola” really reflects its name. “Isola” means island in Italian and it is a unique place in Milan, a creative lab in the middle of an international city. Once I found this former car repair garage, it was immediately love at first sight. I decided to restore the entire place in a minimalistic way, and we have been here ever since.

How has the district changed since you moved there?
The district is in the middle of a profound transformation process. Over the last few years, many creatives and young expats have moved to this area, resulting in a vibrant neighbourhood full of energy. On one side you have gleaming Porta Nuova skyscrapers and on the other side, you have all this creativity, with more galleries opening each year, and more digital innovation companies moving in. When I walk into a cafe, I can hear languages from all over the world. It’s a very lively area. We have a creative and innovative atmosphere here in the Isola district.

How do you choose the artists that you exhibit at the gallery Angelo della Pergola 1?
For me, art that combines emotional experience with digital work is key. One of the main projects since the opening of my gallery is called the Wall Project. It’s a new exhibition started last autumn in collaboration with Federico Montagna, the young managing director of Artoday & art curator. We both share an interest in how the digital world and the real world could match, and it’s a new kind of exhibition where both worlds are balanced. The Wall Project involves a team of young ambitious digital curators and helps introduce emerging talent to the international art scene. They show a unique and unreleased work for one week that appears on the wall in the gallery, and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback.

I know that one of your guiding principles for your gallery is “functional aesthetics.” What does that term mean for you?
“Functional Aesthetics” is a vision of mine. As a German who has lived in Italy for over twenty years, I live between cultures in my daily life. For me, life is continuously changing and I’m inspired by this experience of metamorphosis. I’m interested in pieces that have an important functional aspect balanced by an aesthetic point of view. I enjoy discovering various uses for an object and integrating them. It has always been important to me, as a German, to pay attention to aesthetics, and it’s a mission that combines art with function. Pieces should have a monumental character on one hand, and also a modern touch on the other, which allows the user to access multiple functionalities.

Could you say more about your aesthetic influences? Are there any designers or artists you are particularly inspired by or galleries that you would like to model yourself after?
One of my influences is the Irish architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray, who was also a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. My concept of creative space is heavily influenced by the Bauhaus ideal of interdisciplinary creativity.

There’s a lot happening in the art world in Italy this month. Are there some things you are particularly excited for?
I’m excited about the contribution of young creative people who are showing up and doing innovative projects and video artists. For me, the connection between the digital world and analogue one is fascinating and it was one of my concepts for the exhibitions in my gallery.