Electa

“Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. Inventing Life” exhibition opens in Rome

From 26 October to 12 February 2023, the exhibition “Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. Inventing Life” will be at the National Roman Museum in Rome.

For the first time in Italy, Palazzo Altemps presents an exhibition celebrating the spirit of Bloomsbury, the London district where new forms of life and thought, which transformed the Victorian principles and strong patriarchal spirit with which the twentieth century was still imbued, were developed. After the death of their widowed father in 1904, Virginia Stephen, later Woolf, and her siblings Vanessa, Thoby and Adrian moved from the affluent district of Kensington to the more bohemian Bloomsbury. Starting in 1905, a large group of young men and women would meet in the house in 46 Gordon Square to invent a new, free life.

Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. Inventing Life is a project of the National Roman Museum and the Electa publishing house, developed in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery of London. The exhibition highlights the original soul of Palazzo Altemps, an aristocratic mansion in the heart of Rome.

Conceived and curated by Nadia Fusini – a connoisseur of the British author who edited the two volumes in the Meridiani series – in cooperation with Luca Scarlini – writer, playwright, storyteller, performance artist – the exhibition examines the complex intellectual friendships of the Bloomsbury group through books, words, paintings, photographs and the possessions of the protagonists of this adventure in art and thought.

The story of the members of the Bloomsbury circle unfolds in five rooms of Palazzo Altemps. The young intellectuals who met in the home of the Stephen sisters shared artistic predilections, romantic relationships, innovative creative experiences, social thinking. Individuals with strong personalities, they would become left-wing economists, historians, writers, thinkers and painters, and, often, very famous. They dreamed, like Leonard Woolf, of a classless society or, like Virginia, of a world without ivory towers for its artists; John Maynard Keynes revolutionised economic thought and laid the foundation for the welfare state, and for state support of the arts; Lytton Strachey invented a new form of biographical writing, while critic and painter Roger Fry established a different way of looking at and creating works of art. In addition to the undisputed value of equality, economic equality first and foremost, another essential principle for the group was the recognition of the singularity of each individual.

It is no coincidence that the exhibition is housed in Palazzo Altemps, previously home to a prestigious library – built up between the end of the XVI and the XVII centuries by Cardinal Marco Sittico Altemps and his nephew Giovanni Angelo, and later merged with the Vatican Apostolic Library – and, in the nineteenth century, to distinguished literary salons. It was here, in the Church of St. Aniceto, built within the fabric of the palazzo, that in 1883 Gabriele D’Annunzio married Maria Hardouin di Gallese, a daughter of the last family to live in Palazzo Altemps.

Edited by Nadia Fusini and Luca Scarlini, the exhibition catalogue published by Electa is organised as a personal dairy, a collection of notes and memories, a visual story including essays by distinguished authors, which examines the key themes of the exhibition: the protagonists, their houses, their romantic relationships, their literature, their relations with the arts and publishing, to build up a portrait of one of the most important cultural groups of the twentieth century.

The National Roman Museum with the Electa publishing house and the support of the Italian Virginia Woolf Society have organised a wide-ranging program of events linked to the themes examined by “Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. Inventing Life” will be at the National Roman Museum in Rome. Nadia Fusini and Luca Scarlini will meet the public on a series of occasions to talk in depth about and celebrate the fascinating story of the Bloomsbury group.

The exhibition will be open until 12 February 2023. For information about times and tickets:

museonazionaleromano.beniculturali.it/palazzo-altemps

The “Pisanello. The World’s Tumult” exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua

The “Pisanello. The World’s Tumult” exhibition opens in Mantua.  An exhibition created to mark the 50th anniversary of the exhibition curated by Giovanni Paccagnini, where one of the most important acquisitions in the field of art history in the twentieth century was presented: the discovery in the rooms of the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua of the Arthurian cycle painted using mixed techniques around 1430-1433 by Antonio Pisano, known as Pisanello.

The exhibition, produced and promoted by the Mantua Palazzo Ducale, is part of a wide-ranging, long-term programme to promote the work and the Sala dedicated to the artist, together with the adjacent Sala dei Papi. In fact, the layout of the entire room (9.50 × 17.50 m [31.16 × 57.41 ft]; 3 walls out of 4 have also revealed the frescoed sinopie; 100 square metres between the frescoes and sinopie) was permanently remodelled to make better use of an exceptional discovery for Italian artistic heritage.

Thanks to a new lighting system, the project completely restores clarity to the paintings, which were pulled out and relocated over fifty years ago. Instead of the natural diffused lighting from before, warm lighting is now aimed at Pisanello’s wall paintings, bringing out the reflections of the golden inserts and the painting’s magnificent details. In addition, a raised platform allows the visitor to appreciate the paintings at the correct distance calculated by the artist as, until now, the guided tour path was 110 cm [43,30 inch] lower due to subsequent changes to the room.

So, there is now a “new” tour path, enhanced by additional equipment, which allows the public to rediscover the richly-detailed work from the “correct” point of view, as described by Pisanello, as well as its curving lines and the artist’s extraordinary meticulous touch.

The permanent work in the Sala del Pisanello is supported by the work of the Politecnico di Milano, the regional campus of Mantua, under the supervision of Eduardo Souto de Moura; the temporary part of the exhibition is designed by Archiplan Studio which has also been in charge of providing all the artworks.

Pisanello. The World’s Tumult”, curated by Stefano L’Occaso, is an exhibition that involves two large adjacent, connecting rooms on the main floor, the Sala del Pisanello and the adjacent Sala dei Papi, in addition to the rooms on the ground floor, set up to exhibit an overview of Late Gothic culture in Mantua, displaying an excellent selection of paintings, sculptures and miniatures.

The Sala del Pisanello is dedicated to the cycle of paintings linked to the preparatory drawings, the wall paintings and the sinopie exhibited. The Sala dei Papi is permanently set up with historical photos, the material traces of a special removal operation, some currently unexposed sinopie and everything that can describe the technique in Pisanello’s paintings, their discovery, the aforementioned exhibition in 1972 and the restoration work from the 1960s to today.

An interactive multimedia system completes the exhibition. It’s possible to view all the details of the Arthurian cycle at a magnification never seen before via a touchscreen monitor, and navigate an accurate three-dimensional reconstruction of the Sala del Pisanello created by the 3D designer Matteo Morelli when it was still called the Sala dei Principi, or at a point in time prior to the work that led to the discovery of the cycle.

Finally, in the rooms of the Appartamento di Santa Croce on the ground floor, suitably shielded from outside light, there are works from about the year 1400 to the middle of the 15th century that show and give an overview of the panorama of contemporary artistic culture in Mantua. These include the Dalle Masegne statues that now decorate the cathedral; the works of Stefano da Verona, another leading figure in the age of Pisanello; the illuminated manuscripts that show the development of the Gonzaga family’s tastes, a development that leads to the example of the missal of Barbara di Brandenburgo, started by Belbello da Pavia and finished by Girolamo da Cremona, in a richly Renaissance style.

Works by Pisanello that are not directly linked to the Arthurian cycle also find a home in this room.

The exhibition includes about 30 works, including international loans such as Pisanello’s masterpieces like the Virgin and Child with Saint Anthony and Saint George from the National Gallery of London, in Italy for the first time since its “departure” in 1862, and the paintings in the Louvre Museum in Paris. There’s also the Adoration of the Magi by Stefano da Verona from the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan and, last but not least, the precious Madonna of the Quail, one of Pisanello’s juvenilia, considered to be one of the symbolic works of the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona, also available by virtue of an existing promotion agreement between the two Museums based on the artistic relations between Verona and Mantua.

Among the contributors supporting both the exhibition being undertaken and continued, we must highlight the Banca Agricola Mantovana Foundation. For many years it has offered its support to the initiatives promoted by the Palazzo Ducale, contributing to the promotion of the national artistic heritage and the dissemination of art and culture in the Mantuan community.

The exhibition comes with a brochure published by Electa and will be open until 8 January 2023.

“Rubens in Genoa”: the grand exhibition opens in the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa

From 6 October 2022 to 22 January 2023 the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa presents the grand exhibition “Rubens in Genoa” dedicated to Pietro Paolo Rubens (1577–1640) and his relationship with the city. The exhibition was produced by the City of Genoa with the Palazzo Ducale Cultural Foundation and our publishing house, Electa, and thanks to the support and participation of the sole sponsor, Rimorchiatori Riuniti S.p.A.

The curator is Nils Büttner, professor at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart as well as Chairman of the Centrum Rubenianum in Antwerp, and Anna Orlando, a Genoese independent scholar and co-curator of the exhibition “The Age of Rubens” held at the Palazzo Ducale in 2004.

Sixteen sections of the exhibition are set up in the rooms of the Sale dell’Appartamento of the Palazzo Ducale on the main floor of the building. Paintings, drawings, tapestries, furnishings, precious accessories and antique books are also exhibited together. There are over a hundred works, demonstrating the greatness of an artistic capital visited by one of the greatest artists of all time. It’s a selection that affirms the name of Superba that was given to Genoa, where Rubens stayed several times between 1600 and 1607. It’s also a selection that allows us to retrace and, in many cases, to reconstruct the relationship with the Genoese patrician, one which continued even after the master’s return to Antwerp.

Thirty works attributed to the Rubensian oeuvre: eighteen autograph works, together with paintings that definitely left the painter’s workshop under his supervision and with direct work by him, in addition to two priceless accounts of lost works known through subsequent works. It’s a significant collection, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in Genoa — a city that still houses works by Rubens in churches, museums and private collections to this day — since the eighteenth century. In addition, an extraordinary selection of 80 works rounds out the story of the cultural and artistic context of the Ligurian city in its heyday. During his trip to Italy (1600–1608), Rubens definitely saw and studied Tintoretto and Luca Cambiaso. During his stay, and specifically in Genoa, he met Sofonisba Anguissola, Giovanni Battista Paggi and Bernardo Castello; and collaborated with Jan Wildens and Frans Snyders. All these artists are exhibited.

Fifteen never before exhibited Rubensian works appear in Genoa and ten for the first time in Italy. Two examples of the latter. The first, a self-portrait from 1604–1605, from a private collection. Recently rediscovered, it is an oil study in preparation for a self-portrait that Rubens included in a now lost Mantuan altarpiece. The second, Saint Sebastian Healed by Angels, circa 1615, from a private collection, is now traced to the commission by the famous condottiero, Ambrogio Spinola, thanks to a recent and important documentary discovery. Never exhibited fully, The Resurrected Christ Appearing to His Mother (with a figure from an underlying composition), circa 1612–1616. This painting, from a private collection, depicts the risen Christ standing in front of two kneeling women. Both female figures represent the Mother of Jesus. A recent X-ray revealed the presence of a second female image beneath the painting’s surface, which is compositionally similar, but iconographically different. Both figures are now visible. At this event the studies and comparisons with the well-known Rubensian iconography will be exhibited. Among the new additions are two splendid portraits: Violante Maria Spinola Serra, circa 1607, from Buscot Park (Oxfordshire-The Faringdon Trust) and Geronima Spinola with her granddaughter Maria Giovanna Serra, circa 1605–1606, from Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie. These absolute masterpieces of European Baroque portraiture are both exhibited for the first time with their identities rediscovered.

Museums in Italy and abroad, as well as private collectors, have granted special loans in recognition of a project based on long years of studies and scientific research by the curators, and motivated by the support of a prestigious international honorary scientific committee, composed of the top experts in the field. It’s not only thanks to the research to prepare the exhibition, but also due to the rediscovery of a painting by Rubens that had been lost for two centuries, and which was definitely present in Genoa in the seventeenth century. At this event it is submitted to the scrutiny of international scholars who have never seen it before to prove its attribution. The work itself is a study for the altarpiece, The Miracles of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, still in the Chiesa del Gesù church in Genoa.

These and many other new additions are presented to the public in an exhibition on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the book, Palazzi di Genova, by Pietro Paolo Rubens, printed in Antwerp in 1622. It is an anniversary celebrated in the first room, where two original copies are exhibited, including a rare copy of the first edition, without subsequent additions.

Three books have been published by Electa on the occasion of the exhibition, curated by Anna Orlando: the brochure, also curated by Nils Büttner, presents all the new additions that have come about due to the new research and important updates that resulted from preparing the exhibition; the guide to the exhibition, an easy tool to follow the guided tour; the guide, In Genoa with Rubens, that accompanies the Rubensian tour to discover the masterpieces in the Genoese palaces and in the churches that Rubens definitely visited. For the occasion, Abscondita has published Palazzi di Genova, edited by Anna Orlando. The book contains tables, plans and sections of the buildings selected by Rubens. There’s abundant material to account for not only the complexity, but also the features and comforts of Genoese homes.

The Palazzo Ducale exhibition event has enabled a great project to be created: “Genova per Rubens. A Network“, imagined and curated by Anna Orlando. Indeed, it’s the most important cultural network ever initiated in Genoa centring on a single artist. More than sixty public and private companies are involved in this project dedicated to Rubens and his special relationship with the city. It is an extensive network of collaborations that has made it possible to create introductory talks, cultural events, special openings, side events and further exhibition projects.

“Rubens in Genoa” will be open until 22 January 2023. For information and tickets: palazzoducale.genova.it and www.ticketone.it.

The first retrospective in Italy on Max Ernst at the Palazzo Reale in Milan

The first retrospective in Italy dedicated to Max Ernst (1891–1976), the German – later American and French – painter, sculptor, poet and art theorist, opens in Milan on 4 October 2022. The exhibition, promoted and produced by the City of Milan – Culture and by Palazzo Reale with Electa, in collaboration with Madeinart, is curated by Martina Mazzotta and Jürgen Pech.

There are over 400 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages, photographs, jewellery and illustrated books from museums, foundations and private collections, in Italy and abroad. These include the GAM in Turin, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Museum of Ca’ Pesaro in Venice, the Tate Gallery in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Cantini Museum in Marseille, the State Museums and the Arp Foundation in Berlin, the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum in Madrid.

The long period of study and research carried out by the curators has made it possible to include among the loans about eighty paintings, works and documents that had not been exhibited to the public for several decades. 

The breadth of themes and experiments in Ernst’s work spans over seventy years of 20th century history, between Europe and the United States, constantly eluding any definition. Pictor doctus, profound connoisseur and visionary interpreter of the history of art, philosophy, science and alchemy, Max Ernst is presented through this project as a humanist in the neo-Renaissance sense of the word. If André Chastel claimed to find in Ernst a sort of “reincarnation of those Rhenish authors of Bosch-type devilishness”, Marcel Duchamp found “a comprehensive inventory of the different eras of Surrealism”.

On the main floor of the Palazzo Reale visitors can immerse themselves in a fascinating tour that traces the artist’s adventurous creative path, marked by the great historical events of the twentieth century and filled with great loves, as well as illustrious friendships. The tour recounts events from Ernst’s life, grouping them into 4 main periods, in turn divided into 9 themed rooms that reveal interdisciplinary approaches to his art.

It’s a large, idealised library, that of the artist’s, composed of illustrated books, study manuals, photographs, objects and documents, winding through the entire tour of the exhibition, inviting visitors to engage in games to find the references and similarities between the sources of inspiration and the works themselves.

Like a great cabinet of curiosities, and analogous to Max Ernst’s universe, the exhibition and the companion book challenge visitors to discover fascinating games of perception that are at times marvellous, others astonishing, where logic and formal harmony are combined with unfathomable mysteries, where works, techniques and constellations of symbols lead us beyond painting.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a brochure published by Electa, a guide and a new edition, also by Electa, of two fundamental works by Paola Dècina Lombardi on the surrealist movement: Surrealism 1919–1969. Rebellion and Imagination and Women, Freedom, Love. A Surrealism Anthology.

“Max Ernst” will be open from 4/10/2022 until 26/02/2023. For information and tickets: www.maxernstmilano.it, www.electa.it and www.palazzorealemilano.it

Triennale Milano & Electa are devoting a long-awaited exhibition to Saul Steinberg

Saul Steinberg - Milano New York

Triennale Milano & Electa are devoting a long-awaited exhibition to Saul Steinberg (1914-1999), curated by Italo Lupi and Marco Belpoliti in collaboration with Francesca Pellicciari. The exhibition is a tribute that Milan owes to this great artist, who dedicated so many of his sharply intelligent works to the city in which he resided during his formative years.

The installation on the first floor of the Triennale in the great “Curva”, a vantage point in the Palazzo dell’Arte, was designed by Italo Lupi, Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto in a sensitive dialogue with its architecture.

The exhibition is filled with drawings in pencil, pen, crayon; with works made using rubber stamps and watercolour, paper masks, objects/sculptures, fabrics and collages, documenting Steinberg’s intense and versatile artistic output. These works are complemented with documenting material and photographs which provide a closer understanding of the artist’s life. In ad- dition the set up shows a meticulous selection of original mag- azines and books including some of Steinberg’s most signifi- cant contributions, for instance the famous covers for ‘’The New Yorker’’. 350 works circa, come from important institutions, such as the Saul Steinberg Foundation, the Jewish Museum and the Hedda Sterne Foundation, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as well as collectors and friends of Steinberg, both in Italy and abroad.

On this occasion, there will be the opportunity to preview a selection of part of the important donation of works by the artist that the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense recently received from the Saul Steinberg Foundation.

The exhibition is part of a journey that Triennale Milano is currently embarking, which involves several protagonists of twentieth century culture who, starting from Milan have created an aes- thetical vision that was able to spread its influence all over the world. A series of monographic exhibitions that restore greatness to complex characters, outlining new ways of interpretation that go beyond superficial labels and pigeonholing.

Steinberg never forgot the years spent in Milan (from 1933 to 1941), where he gained a degree at the faculty of Architecture in the Royal Polytechnic, besides making important friendships with several leading figures in the lively cultural world of the city, starting with his brotherly friend Aldo Buzzi.

Milan is also the place where his artistic career starts, thanks to his first contributions to satirical magazines such as Il Bertoldo and Settebello, in the 1930s, through which he gained his preco- cious fame as a cartoonist.

Saul Steinberg Milan New York at Triennale Milano takes its inspiration from these very beginnings to provide the first evidence for his connection with Italy in general, and with Milan in particular, but without neglecting other cities – whether real, like Venice or Carpi, or imaginary, the product of extraordinary pastiches of cityscapes composed of Roman cupolas and ar- chitectural fantasies, not related to any particular city but with a completely Italian flavour.

Due to racism, Steinberg was expelled from Italy in 1941 and through great difficulty, he reached the United States in 1942. From there, having joined the allied armed forces, he left in order to provide an eye-witness account of the events in that global conflict, reaching theatres of war in China, India, North Africa and even Italy.

From his war experiences would come important works, two of which – previously exhibited in the MoMA during the exhibition Fourteen Americans in 1946, will be in the Triennale.

The nucleus of the exhibition is a work that Steinberg made specifically for Milan: four preparatory drawings, each com- posed of a strip of paper, folded like a concertina, 10 metres long; after being enlarged photographically, these were en- graved, using the technique of “sgraffito”, onto the curved walls of the Labirinto dei ragazzi (The Children’s Labyrinth) intended by BBPR (a studio for architecture), for the 10th Triennale di Milano in 1954. These four leporelli (strips of paper folded into a concertina shape), part of the gift made to the Biblioteca Braidense, contain many of the artistic motifs and signs that Steinberg was aiming to develop throughout his long career. First and foremost is the motif of the line, the simplicity of which in Steinberg’s hands and mind, takes on inexhaustible forms in a continuous experimental narrative.

In order to provide a comprehensive representation of the Labyrinth, besides the documentation of the architectural proj- ect by the BBPR, from the Triennale archives, in this exhibition there is a Mobile by Alexander Calder, from the GAM (Gallery of Modern Art) in Turin, as a reminder of the one that stood in the centre of the maze.

It is no accident that Steinberg and Calder are side by side in that project: besides being very close friends (later, Steinberg would write a moving obituary for Calder) these two artists had already been working alongside each other as they were both commis sioned to prepare works for the Terrace Plaza Hotel being built in Cincinnati, in the late 1940s.

In the 1970s, Steinberg dedicates to Milan other supremely intelligent drawings, depicting the city as prompted by his memo- ries. We can see the forbidding twentieth century architecture of the Regime, still deep in grotesque scenarios of daily life under the Fascists, the places near the Polytechnic where he was living in Milan, and other postcards from his past: “At that time, the air in Milan was perfect, and the light was absolutely beautiful, and I witnessed something that I had seen before: the calm and silent awakening of a city: people walking, people on bicycles, trams, workers”.

Alongside this there is room for the longest synopsis possible of everything forming Steinberg’s varied and surprising universe: a glimpse of a world that accepts, interprets and reworks motifs and subjects of every kind, in a style and with a vision that are immediately recognizable.

The book: Steinberg A-Z

To accompany the exhibition there is a book published by Electa, with the title Steinberg A-Z, arranged like an “encyclopaedia” of that time: a volume edited by Marco Belpoliti, that analyses Saul Steinberg’s œuvre in its multiple aspects, from architecture to drawing, from his connection with Milan to his relationship with New York, his maps, his correspondence with Aldo Buzzi, the artists who were his friends and companions, such as Costantino Nivola and Alexander Calder, but also Alberto Giacometti and Le Corbusier. This book includes contributions by Stefano Boeri, Marco Sammicheli, Claudio Bartocci, Stefano Bartezzaghi, Francesco Cataluccio, Gabriele Gimmelli, Nunzio La Fauci, Francesca Pellicciari, Mario Tedeschini Lalli, Stefano Salis and others who were allocated the lemmata of the encyclope- dia, about one hundred entries providing a vision of Steinberg’s universe.

The installation at Triennale Milano

The space in which the great Steinberg exhibition is housed is imposing, due to its position in the vast and certainly symbol- ic glass-covered semicircle named “Curva” on the first floor of Triennale Milano. While highly significant in the architectural geometry of the palace, its completely glazed and extremely well-lit curved surfaces have required complex solutions in exhibiting the works, especially in respect of the very intense light.

“In tackling this new adventure, together with Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto, resolute travelling companions and often conduc- tors, we decided that the main constraint on the project was an installation that would respect the noble architecture of Giovanni Muzio, who designed the Palazzo dell’Arte” Italo Lupi points out. Filtered by an initial area that is extremely dynamic, due to its diagonal edges and the wealth of photographs and literary works on its walls, the actual exhibition hall is broken up by a series of luminous cases and horizontal tables, but above all by the huge bookcase that closely follows the curve of the semi-circle, hous- ing as well as revealing the works on display.

This huge bookcase has been considered as a powerful diorama, with the capacity to provide an accurate account of the complex nature of Steinberg’s works.
The requirement to regulate the lighting, which for many works has to follow extremely rigorous standards, has meant that all the glass surfaces needed to be blacked out completely. A panorama that emphasizes the spatial conception of the architecture with- out cancelling it out. Also, through a chink left open deliberately, one’s glance runs towards the green area of Parco Sempione (Sempione Park), in which the Labyrinth, the historical monument of the BBPR/Steinberg, had stood during the Tenth Triennale.

A school of writing and publishing for high school students in Mantua

A school of writing and publishing for high school students in Mantua

In October 2021 an initiative for young people will get under way in Mantua: a School of writing and publishing entitled Il libro dalla A alla Z (“The Book from A to Z”), promoted by the City of Mantua (Office for Culture and Tourism and Councillorship for Education, in partnership with Teresiana Library), conceived and implemented by publisher Electa in partnership with Fondazione Arnoldo e Alberto Mondadori, to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Arnoldo Mondadori’s death.

With the goal of fuelling the love of reading and writing among the young people of generation Z, as part of the schools’ Life Skills and Orientation programme (PCTO or Percorsi per le Competenze Trasversali e per l’Orientamento), the project involves one year of training with lessons guiding and directing students toward various careers in publishing. Twenty lessons for 110 students in Mantua’s secondary schools will be held over 9 months (October 2021 through June 2022) at the Teresiana Library, presented by well-known professionals in the field such as Edoardo Brugnatelli, Lucia Tilde Ingrosso and Michela Tilli.

Before the school programme begins, two special lessons will be held, open to the general public, in Atrio degli Arcieri at the Palazzo Ducale on September 8 and 9, during Festivaletteratura: philosopher Ilaria Gaspari and sociolinguist Vera Gheno will invite the kids and everyone in the audience to “catch their wishes by the tail”, to paraphrase Picasso. A call for free exploration and expression of oneself and one’s thoughts, through the power of language.

In June 2022 the kids’ studies throughout the school year, from the city’s deepest historical and artistic roots to major issues of our times, will come together in the creation of a new Sentimental Guide to Mantua, featuring text, photographs and cover art by participants in the programme.

Mantua, a city with a great literary tradition, is also the place of origin of Arnoldo Mondadori (1889 – 1971), who passed away fifty years ago this year. The initiative also offers an opportunity to discuss and celebrate Mondadori’s publishing career: from his success in school textbooks to his experimentation with new editorial genres and formats. The heritage he left behind for the city will also be celebrated, such as the modern art collection featuring the paintings of Federico Zandomeneghi and Armando Spadini donated by the Mondadori family in the ‘70s and permanently displayed at the top floor of Palazzo Te since 1983.

Information on the events

An atlas of desires with Ilaria Gaspari

Wednesday, September 8, at 11:30 Mantua,
Mantua, Palazzo Ducale, Atrio degli Arcieri

Living comfortably in language: considerations about a universal right with Vera Gheno
Thursday, September 9, at 11:30
Mantua, Palazzo Ducale, Atrio degli Arcieri

Free admission, reservations required

The new Electa social feature #puntoeacapo

Electa is pleased to present #puntoeacapo, a collection of short digital stories –for the moment “filmed” from home – by writers, curators, creatives, editors and those working with the publisher, all sharing their different perspectives and activities. They will talk about books, exhibitions and the languages of art, from publishing to architecture, passing via museum bookshops.

The #puntoeacapo social feature of stories and accounts continuesthe Art and illustrated publishing experience through the faces and voices of curators, museum directors, archaeologists, art critics, artists, architects and designers. Born during the “lockdown” weeks, #puntoeacapo starts with Electa pondering its journey as a publisher and its role flanking museums. As we mark 75 years in publishing, we have started thinking about the Electa of today and of the future with many questions and some constants (old and new).

The first series of videos responds to a desire to revisit the#patrimonioitalia and rethink our cultural identity and past by conducting a Grand Tour through books, exhibitions, memories and emotions as we look to the future.

Vatican Chapels

In sort of triptych that includes the previous experiences at the Art Biennales of 2013 and 2015, the Holy See takes part for the first time this year in the Venice Architecture Biennale, through the creation of the Vatican Chapels Pavilion curated by Francesco Dal Co.

The project takes its cue from a precise model, the Woodland Chapel built in 1920 by the renowned architect Gunnar Asplund at the Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm, a work featured in an initial exhibition space, illustrated with original drawings of the project.

The theme of the chapel as a place of orientation, encounter, mediation and salutation – as Asplund put it – was suggested to ten architects who were invited to design and build ten chapels in a wooded area at one end of the Venetian island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Therefore this will be a composite, distributed pavilion, visited in stages along an itinerary that is also a spiritual pilgrimage. The chapels created by the architects, thanks to the indispensable support of important contractors and contributors, will be arranged in “an utterly abstract natural setting, marked only by its presence on the lagoon, its openness to the water,” as Dal Co explains, emphasizing the unique, original character of the initiative that has granted the architects complete freedom to design “without any reference to commonly recognized canons.” Inside the chapels, the shared fulcrum and identifying, unifying feature is represented by the presence of the altar and the lectern.

The choice of the invited architects was based on the decision to focus on designers capable of applying different expressive languages, all strong characters from the standpoint of constructive experimentation, belonging to different generations and hailing from Europe, Australia, Japan, the United States and South America, in order to reflect the universal – indeed  “catholic” – nature of the Church.

The architects who have designed the ten chapels and the exhibition space of Vatican chapels are: Andrew Berman (USA), Francesco Cellini (Italy), Javier Corvalàn (Paraguay), Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores (Spain), Norman Foster (UK), Terunobu Fujimori (Japan), Sean Godsell (Australia), Carla Juaçaba (Brazil), Smiljan Radic (Chile), Eduardo Souto de Moura (Portugal), while Francesco Magnani and Traudy Pelzel are the designers of the pavilion that will contain the exhibition of the drawings of Gunnar Asplund for the “Skogskapellet,” the “Woodland Chapel” in Stockholm.

The opening of the Pavilion, with the presence of Cardinal Ravasi, will be on Friday 25 May in the gardens of the Island of San Giorgio in Venice. The Pavilion will remain open to the public from 26 May to 25 November 2018.

The catalogue edited by Francesco Dal Co, with essays by Gianfranco Ravasi, Francesco Dal Co and Elisabetta Molteni, published by Electaarchitettura, will be available from 23 May.

Millennial Editor: the publishing houses of the Mondadori Group are looking for the editors of the future

A project aimed at young talents with a passion for books

The publishing houses of the Mondadori Group are launching the Millennial Editor project for talented under 30s who dream of becoming  book editors.
An innovative and unprecedented programme, aimed at graduates in the humanities and economics, through which the Mondadori Group offers millennials with a consuming passion for books and reading a unique opportunity to enter the publishing world.

Einaudi, Electa, Mondadori, Piemme, Rizzoli, Sperling & Kupfer, Mondadori Education and Rizzoli Education, through a selection process in various stages, will identify eight young talents who will be guaranteed a period of two years of work and training as an editor with an apprenticeship contract.

The candidates selected will pursue a path during which they will be required to measure themselves against the activities of the various publishing areas and participate in training sessions with highly experienced professionals of the Group’s various publishing houses.
An all-round opportunity to learn the profession of editor, not only the specific aspects of publishing, but also the institutional, technical and managerial sides, interacting and collaborating with all of the protagonists involved in the book chain, starting from authors and senior editors. Each participant will develop the key skills necessary to face the challenges of a continuously evolving market.

The Millennial Editor project is developed in collaboration with Monster Italia, a highly specialised company in personnel research, and the technical partner in the recruitment phase.
You can submit your application from today, to this link.
After an initial selection based on qualifications and experience, in the second half of March suitable candidates will take part in an Edithon, a one-day event at Palazzo Mondadori during which they will meet the leading figures involved in the  project and, after being divided into work groups, will have the opportunity to put themselves to the test.
By the end of April, the eight young talents selected will be allocated, according to their characteristics and inclinations, to one of the areas, i.e. non-fiction, miscellaneous, fiction or educational of the publishing houses involved: Einaudi, Electa, Mondadori, Piemme, Rizzoli, Sperling & Kupfer, Mondadori Education and Rizzoli Education.

The Mondadori Group launches Rizzoli Electa and expands its illustrated publications business internationally

Mondadori Electa is set to launch its new Rizzoli Electa brand in the USA and worldwide in January 2018. The brand will specialise in the publication of art catalogues in English and the organisation of international exhibitions.

Following the buyout of Rizzoli Libri by Mondadori Group, headed by CEO Ernesto Mauri, in April 2016, Rizzoli’s international illustrated department is now to be integrated with Mondadori Electa, headed by CEO Antonio Porro.

With this new line up the Mondadori Group is ready to expand its illustrated books market internationally. The new organisation sees Mondadori Electa align with Rizzoli Illustrati Italia and well-known Rizzoli International Publications, including the Rizzoli New York brand, an off-shoot of Rizzoli’s iconic New York bookstore.

Stefano Peccatori is to head production for Mondadori Electa and Rizzoli publications aimed at the Italian and international markets, while Marco Ausenda will be in charge of publications for Rizzoli International and coordinating the Group’s expansion in the illustrated section towards emerging markets.

Rosanna Cappelli will continue to head the department dedicated to organising events and exhibitions, producing catalogues and museum services’ management in Italy, with the department also scheduled to spearhead new initiatives for developing exhibitions and catalogues for the international market.