exhibitions

The exhibition “Depero’s automatic acrobatic,” conceived by Electa, opens in Mantua

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.

Marc Chagall: Painting and Poetry

An exhibition dedicated to Marc Chagall, the painter that alongside Picasso and Robert Delaunay inspired so many of the 20th-century’s poets, writers and art critics, opens in Mantua.

The exhibition features 130 pieces in total, including the complete cycle of seven canvases painted by Chagall in 1920 for the auditorium of the Jewish Theatre in Moscow; superb pieces of art that represent the most revolutionary and least nostalgic moment of his artistic career. The canvases represent an exceptional loan from the Tretjakov State Gallery in Moscow and are rarely seen in Italy: they were exhibited in Milan in 1994 and in Rome in 1999 after the 1992 exhibitions at the Guggenheim in New York and at the Art Institute in Chicago in 1993. The exhibition will endeavour to use the seven paintings to recreate the original interior of the auditorium of the Jewish Theatre, a space of 40 square feet for which Chagall created, apart from the paintings, the ceiling decorations, the curtain, the costumes and the sets for three plays.

A selection of signature paintings and watercolours by Marc Chagall from the years 1910-1918 will accompany the immersive setting of the auditorium of the Jewish Theatre, together with a series of etchings made between 1923 and 1939, including the illustrations for Gogol’sDead Souls, for Lafontaine’s Fables and for the Bible.

Marc Chagall come nella Pittura, così nella Poesia (Marc Chagall: Painting and Poetry) will be hosted in the Palazzo della Ragione, a medieval gem decorated with a marvellous cycles of frescoes in the heart of the city, which for centuries was the seat of Mantua’s government.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Electa which explores the artistic and cultural influences that Chagall absorbed by living in Vitebsk, Saint Petersburg, Paris and Moscow and narrates the attraction the Russian painter exerted on poets, artists and writers in the early 20th century through specially-commissioned translations of essays and pieces written by contemporary critics, intellectuals and poets.

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.

Toulouse-Lautrec: the exhibition in Milan

From 17 October 2017 to 18 February 2018, Palazzo Reale in Milan celebrates Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) in a major exhibition detailing the whole of his artistic career and his extraordinary modernity.

The exhibition, curated by Danièle Devynck (director of the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi) and Claudia Zevi, is promoted and presented by the Cultural Department of the Milan Municipal Council, Palazzo Reale, Giunti Arte Mostre Musei and Electa, together with the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi and the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) in Paris.

Organised in themed sections, the exhibition helps visitors grasp the full extent of Lautrec’s vision and his role in the history of art as, despite never belonging to any school, he constructed a new, and extremely provocative, realism, a superlative synthesis of colour, shape and movement.

Despite his aristocratic background, Lautrec chronicled the slums and brothels of Paris and here the evolution of his style is traced in each and every phase of his development, in his paintings and his sketches, with a particular emphasis on his profound knowledge of Japanese prints and his passion for photography.

The exhibition comprises over 250 works by Toulouse-Lautrec, with 35 paintings on display, in addition to lithographs, etchings and his complete series of 22 posters, from the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi, other major museums and international collections and a number of private collections.

Divine loves at the MANN

From 7 June until 16 October 2017 at the National Archeological Museum of Naples (MANN)

Opening on 7 June 2017, the Amori Divini (Divine loves) exhibition is curated by Anna Anguissola and Carmela Capaldi, with Luigi Gallo and Valeria Sampaolo. It is promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and by the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, organised by Electa.
The exhibition offers a journey into the world of Greek myth and into the changing fortunes of stories with two narrative ingredients: seduction and transformation.
It includes more than 20 paintings and sculptures, with a particular focus on those from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Artists such as Baccio Bandinelli, Bartolomeo Ammannati, Nicolas Poussin, Giambattista Tiepolo and many others allow us to follow the fortunes of Greek legends through to much more recent times, but also to understand the role played by ancient images and literary sources in this tradition.

With the Amori Divini exhibition, on the initiative of Paolo Giulierini, the National Archaeological Museum is continuing an exhibition programme, promoted together with the Archaeological Site of Pompeii, that examines the relations and trade between Pompeii, the Roman world, and the ancient Mediterranean. Until 27 November 2017 it will be possible to visit the Pompei e i greci (Pompeii and the Greeks) exhibition in the Large Palaestra in Pompeii.
Amori Divini is accompanied by a catalogue that retraces and examines the key issues of the exhibition, with both theoretical essays on the function and significance of the myths of love and transformation in the Graeco-Roman world, and analyses of the individual mythological subjects and settings the works on display come from. The items of show are examined in detailed entries drafted by experts in the field.

New York New York. Italian art: rediscovering America

Running from April 13 to September 17, 2017, the exhibition NEW YORK NEW YORK. Italian Art: Rediscovering America is curated by Francesco Tedeschi with Francesca Pola and Federica Boragina, sponsored by the City of Milan – Culture, Museo del Novecento and Intesa Sanpaolo – Gallerie d’Italia, in partnership with the publishing house Electa.

The exhibition unfolds between the two museums and presents, through more than 150 works, the stories of Italian artists who traveled, stayed, worked and exhibited in the United States, particularly New York, or just imagined the New World, all seeking a freer spirit and different models from old Europe.

The Museo del Novecento presents the American imagination and above all the intense relationship with the city of New York, as it was perceived by Italian artists, with works by Afro, Paolo Baratella, Corrado Cagli, Pietro Consagra, Giorgio De Chirico, Fortunato Depero, Tano Festa, Lucio Fontana, Emilio Isgrò, Sergio Lombardo, Titina Maselli, Costantino Nivola, Gastone Novelli, Vinicio Paladini, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Mimmo Rotella, Alberto Savinio, Toti Scialoja, Tancredi, Giulio Turcato. A separate section is devoted to Ugo Mulas’s photographs of New York and American artists.

The Gallerie d’Italia in Piazza Scala, Intesa Sanpaolo’s museum premises in Milan, will present a broad reconstruction of relations with American institutions, galleries and collectors, who have enhanced the Italian artistic presence in the United States.

Starting from the exhibition Twentieth-Century Italian Art, presented in 1949 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Gallerie d’Italia is featuring masterpieces by Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Carlo Carrà, Giorgio Morandi, Massimo Campigli, Marino Marini, Virgilio Guidi, Renato Guttuso, Fausto Pirandello, Armando Pizzinato, Alberto Viani, and continues with works by artists of the fifties and sixties such as Carla Accardi, Afro, Gianfranco Baruchello, Enrico Baj, Alberto Burri, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Alik Cavaliere, Ettore Colla, Pietro Consagra, Piero Dorazio, Domenico Gnoli, Lucio Fontana, Pino Pascali, Achille Perilli, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Mimmo Rotella, Giuseppe Santomaso, Mario Schifano, Francesco Somaini, Toti Scialoja and Emilio Vedova.

 

The recovered masterpieces by Van Gogh exclusively at Capodimonte

Stolen from the Van Gogh Musem in Amsterdam in 2002, recovered in Italy from a camorra hideout in September 2016 thanks to the work of the Financial Police and the Prosecutor of Naples, the two paintings by Vincent Van Gogh will be exhibited exclusively at the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples for only 20 days before their return to the Netherlands.

From Tuesday, 7th until Sunday 26th of February The Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church at Nuenen (1884-85) and Seascape at Scheveningen before a Storm (1882) – are key works for understanding the artist’s early development – will be exhibited on the second floor of the museum, next to the Caravaggio Room.

Seascape at Scheveningen before a Storm is one of only two seascapes of Scheveningen painted by the artist at that time, the other being kept at the Minnesota Marine Art Musem. The Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church of Nuenen is a work of sorrowful and intimate memory and family affection. It depicts the church of Nuenen village, where Van Gogh’s father was the pastor.

The exhibition is promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Assets, Activities and Tourism, the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, and financed by the Campania Region. The project is implemented by Scabec Spa. Organization and catalogue by Electa.

Three exhibitions of contemporary art to be seen in and around Rome

Opened on December 8th in the double seat of the National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome and Giacomo Manzù Museum in Ardea (Rome), the exhibition Manzu. Dialogues on spirituality, with Lucio Fontana retraces, in the aftermath of the Jubilee of Mercy, the parallel experiences of the two sculptors with the liturgical commission in the 50s and 60s. The exhibition documents the common desire of the two artists – Giacomo Manzù (Bergamo, 1908 – Rome, 1991) to work for the Vatican, Lucio Fontana (Rosario, 1899 – Comabbio, 1968) for the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano – to renew the traditional iconography in contemporary terms and the fertile relationship that came to be created in this way with their respective stylistics developments.

Open until 5 March 2017, the exhibition is organized by the Museum Pole of Lazio under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Culture and in collaboration with the municipality of Ardea and the Fondazione Giacomo Manzù. They have also collaborated Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Architecture and Design and the CSAC – Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione of Parma. The catalog is published by Electa.

Again in the capital – even for a few days (until 15 January 2017) – do not miss the exhibition Jean Arp, dedicated, fifty years after his death, to one of the major protagonists in contemporary art.

Staged in the Great Halls of the Baths of Diocletian, the large retrospective of French master is promoted by the Superintendence for the Colosseum and the central archaeological area of Rome and the Roman National Museum in collaboration with Electa: about 80 works, including sculptures, reliefs, tapestries and papier collés giving an overview of Arp’s wide-ranging experimentalism, from the first wooden reliefs of 1915 to the sculptures made from 1930 to 1966.

About two hundred photographs are at the core of Picasso Images. Works, Artist, Character. The exhibition outlines in new ways not only the path of an exceptional artist, but also the most intimate portrait of a man who has built its worldwide fame. The rich selection of images is accompanied by a significant selection of graphic works, sculptures and paintings from the Musée National Picasso -Paris that frame his artistic evolution.

The exhibition, promoted by Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Crescita culturale – Sovrintentenza capitolina ai beni culturali, it is designed by Electa in collaboration with the Musée National Picasso – Paris and is organized with Zètema Progetto Cultura.

The exhibition is hosted at the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome until 19 February 2017.

The exhibition BOOM 60! at the Museo del Novecento

The Museo del Novecento with Electa presents BOOM 60! That was Modern Art, an exhibition sponsored by the City of Milan – Culture, and dedicated to art from the early fifties to the early sixties and its reflection in the popular mass media.

The exhibition at the Museo del Novecento will run from October 18, 2016–March 12, 2017, curated by Mariella Milan and Desdemona Ventroni with Maria Grazia Messina and Antonello Negri. It inaugurates the new exhibition spaces with a complex layout between the Arengario and Piazzetta Reale with an exhibit design by Atelier Mendini.

The exhibition, thanks to the extension of the museum layout into the new galleries assigned to the museum, seeks to explore the themes of Italian art in the 20th century while enriching the permanent museum layout. In the conception and choice of artworks, as well as loans from museums and public and private collections, it proved possible to draw on the rich collection of the Museo del Novecento: paintings and sculptures of the city’s heritage from the Boschi di Stefano collection, which is not on permanent display, and so makes a fascinating discovery.

BOOM 60! explores modern art as it was recounted from the early fifties to early sixties in the weekly and monthly illustrated press, the popular newsmagazines. 

These were the boom years, when not only the economy and consumption were soaring, but also the sales of illustrated weeklies and monthlies: Epoca, Tempo, Le Ore, Oggi, Gente, L’Europeo, Abc, Oggi, L’Espresso, Vie Nuove, La Domenica del Corriere, La Tribuna Illustrata, Successo, Panorama, L’Illustrazione Italiana, Settimana Incom Illustrata, Lo Specchio, Settimo Giorno. Their readership peaked in this period, with a circulation far greater than that of the newspapers, making them an important means of entertainment, as well as a faithful mirror of the collective outlook and aspirations. 

What emerges from the pages of these popular magazines is an alternative picture of modern art and its protagonists, contrasting with the evaluations of cultivated critics. Artistic innovations clashed with the expectations of the general public, who were highly suspicious of them. The magazines often fomented their readers’ prejudices, and at others sought to “educate” them by relating the art world to the forms of mass culture.

The exhibition, with a spectacular exhibit design by the Atelier Mendini, reflects these varied aspects of Italian visual culture in its decisive phase, drawing widely on the Milanese context, as the center of the major commercial publishing houses and much of the most advanced artistic research.

Some 140 works of painting, sculpture and graphic design – chosen in relation to their particular success in the mass media – create a dialogue in four sections: “Major Exhibitions and Controversies”, “Artists in the Magazines”, “Artists and Celebrities”, “The Market and Collecting”,  with the most popular photographic and TV illustrations of artworks and artists. A rich documentary section, like a great ‘’newsstand’’ from the past organized in  the Sala Archivi of the Museo, presents the public with the magazines and their different ways of recounting modern art, from the covers to feature articles, from criticism to advertising columns, from illustration to photojournalistic images, together with a selection of eight works from which the Dino Buzzati’s Piazza Duomo di Milano.