At the heart of the hilltop town of Spoleto in Umbria, on peaceful backstreets close to the vitality of the Piazza Mercato, are the former studios of Anna Mahler (1904–1988), sculptor daughter of Gustav and Alma, and conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928–2007). Since 2010 their studios, in adjacent medieval buildings, have provided a unique and inspiring environment for a program of international residencies and projects for writers, curators and artists of all disciplines. In 2016 the Torre Bonomo, a medieval tower once used as a residency and exhibition space by the gallerist Marilena Bonomo (1928–2014), who was intimately connected with LeWitt’s Italian experience, became an important part of the program.
The artist Anni Albers wrote, “Beginnings are usually more interesting than elaborations and endings. Beginning means exploration, selection, development, a potent vitality not yet limited, not circumscribed by the tried and traditional.” It is with this thinking in mind that the program at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios encourages artists, writers and curators to develop new and experimental ways of working, in dialogue with peers and the unique cultural heritage of the region.
From 2022, the three Ivan Juritz Prize winners are invited annually for a two-week residency at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios, with travel expenses paid. There is no agenda or desired outcome from the residencies. The three artists are given the time to immerse themselves in their work and consider possible collaborations with each other.