The exhibition devoted to Fortunato Depero (Fondo 1892 – Rovereto 1960), an ingenious creator of theorized futurist aesthetics in the Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe manifesto signed with Giacomo Balla, in 1915, opened to the public on September 7 2022, at Mantua’s Palazzo della Ragione contemporaneously with the Festival of Literature. The exhibition Depero’s automatic acrobatic brings about 80 important masterpieces of the early 1900s (1917-1938) to Mantua for the first time and will remain open to the public until February 26 2023.
The exhibition was designed exclusively for the spaces of the Palazzo della Ragione by Electa, in cooperation with the Mart, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto. The curation is handled by Nicoletta Boschiero, manager of Depero’s Futurist Art House.
In the course of his long artistic experience, Depero developed a complete art form, which included painting, theatre, scenic design, applied arts, publishing and advertising and which made him become one of the protagonists of the futurist movement. The collection accompanies visitors on a journey aimed to reveal such various creative spheres by recalling the three geographical areas that affected his artistic path.
One of the most creative seasons, which reached its ultimate peak between 1916 and 1918 and which is linked to the theatrical adventure experienced with his Swiss friend, Gilbert Clavel, starts with Capri through a series of drawings that belonged to Clavel himself. An important masterpiece, such as the Ballerina Mechanics (1917) and some beautiful ink drawings devoted to the novel Gothic Institute for suicides, or prelude to the birth of the robot in the theatrical show Flexible Dances, are also exhibited.
In 1919, after the war, it was in Rovereto that Depero gave life to his greatest dream, that of opening an art house specialised in the fields of adversing graphics, furniture and applied arts, and, in particular, in that of the cloth inlays that became very successful in Paris, in 1925, at the international Exhibition of modern decorative and industrial arts, which was “open to all industrials whose products were artistic by nature and clearly representative of a modern trend.”
Finally, in 1928, following the successes achieved at important national and international exhibitions, Depero and his wife, Rosetta, moved to New York, where they opened Depero’s Futurist House, a sort of American branch of their art house in Rovereto. Depero’s commitment to advertising became successful with the cooperation of leading brands, as he began to design numerous covers for American Printer, Vogue and Vanity Fair, in addition to the theatrical scenographies of New Babel. A last section of the exhibition is then devoted to the long-term cooperation with the Campari brand.
The exhibition’s catalogue will be published by Electa.