Villa Clea – your new artist residency in Milan challenging traditional norms

Matteo and Allina Corbellini open the doors of Villa Clea and showcase Relic – New York artist Andrea Smith’s solo show

Beautifully serving as an informal gathering place for artists and art enthusiasts alike, step inside Villa Clea – an architectural and interior project, a private home, a contemporary place-to-stay as well as a cultural association dedicated to art by Matteo Corbellini and Allina (Alessandra Pelizzari Corbellini). 

Presenting a dynamic soothing setting for human connections and harmoniously weaving together sensory atmospheric experiences – it’s a house that opens to the community, a residence and art space built in a former workshop.

Villa Clea
Villa Clea

The story of Villa Clea began when Matteo Corbellini imagined an area divided into three independent but connectable parts – a fluid house seamlessly designed to accommodate different people and uses, as well as transform into an exhibition space. 

Through the combination of profit and non-profit activities, the home transforms from time to time as a place for living, working, sharing and culture.  

Private and public dimensions alternate and merge in a logic of programmatic fluidity allowed by the area and furnishings. 

Villa Clea
Villa Clea

This new eclectic but one-of-a-kind architecture effortlessly fits into the layout of a former workshop on the ground floor of a curtain of Milanese buildings in the Scalo Romana neighborhood. 

Matteo conceived and built it as a single-material body embodying a blend of clay and concrete – a monolithic block hollowed out to absorb light from large vertical openings and zenithal light points with satin curtains additionally dividing the spaces as needed. 

“I designed Luna – an aluminum furniture collection – to embrace the differences in lives and artistic practices that Villa Clea accommodates. 

From the architecture to the furnishings and the spatial arrangement – it all aims to reflect the desire for a certain fluidity that, with its essentiality, actively seeks to tolerate the heterogeneity of artistic and human forms that the house hosts” shares Allina.

Villa Clea
Villa Clea

Matteo and Allina further offer short residencies to international and multidisciplinary artists as an opportunity to collaborate on the staging of an exhibition or private showing – the alluring areas of Villa Clea offer themselves as a domestic environment hybridized by an exhibition space.

On the occasion of the first opening, they invited New York-based artist Andrea Smith to bring a part of her intimacy to Villa Clea

Bridging fine art, design and creative direction with a distinct visual language – one laced with intuitive symbolism and soft surrealism – she chose to collect some personal relics and display them in transparent cases, in a path that allowed visitors to discover all the spaces of the residence.

Each and every relic took one on a journey through the artist’s individuality and made them question their own, accompanying them to reflect on the meaning of the symbols, memories and rituals assumed in the contemporary community. 

Villa Clea
Villa Clea

Two large textiles from the floor rose upward and depicted two moments that the artist associated with the concept of ascension. 

In the background, through a sound composition, replaying echoes of the artist’s footsteps guided visitors to the second room, traversing different towns, villages and cobblestone streets with a multitude of cultural references celebrating an infinity of genetic entanglements.

Villa Clea
Villa Clea

Entering the last room – a glimpse of which can be seen from the entrance, through the row of mirrored doors – one encountered the artist’s most intimate space with their bed and objects of their affection from notes to collected books and a small inherited image. 

Her room felt familiar and at the same time foreign, reminiscent of childhood rooms and past lives, those of ancestors and of generations to come. Each with its own, intimate, collective relics – “it’s about finding that universal thread that connects us all” Smith concludes. 


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