8 settembre 2011

The Bel Paese of Art


The Bel Paese of Art: the Ethics and Aesthetics of the Nation
via San Tomaso, 53
September 28, 2011 - February 19, 2012
Opening: Wednesday September 28, 2011

ARTISTS: Giorgio de Chirico and Alberto Savinio, Tano Festa and Francesco Lo Savio, Gianni and Joe Colombo, Alessandro and Francesco Mendini, Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, Paola and Rita Levi Montalcini, Giacomo Trecourt, Enzo Cucchi, Maurizio Cattelan, Alighiero Boetti, Mona Hatoum, Claudio Parmiggiani, Flavio Favelli, Alice Guareschi, Luciano Fabro, Claudia Losi, Salvo, Gino De Dominicis, Vettor Pisani, Piccio, Alberto Garutti, Aleksandra Mir, Nan Goldin, Kiki Smith, Antonio Riello, Vanessa Beecroft, Mario Cresci, Claire Fontaine, Alterazioni Video, Tobias Zielony, Mimmo Jodice, Giuseppe Bartolini, Giuseppe De Nittis, Giovanni Migliara, Giovanni Iudice, Mario Gozzi, Ippolito Caffi, Francesco Guardi, Pietro Roccasalva, Maurizio Cattelan, Enzo Umbaca, Paola Di Bello, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Salvo, Gang Song Ryong, Andrea Mastrovito, Matteo Rubbi, Marco Colombaioni, Gianni Di Rosa, Tobias Rehberger, Cesare Viel, Luca Vitone, Gabriele Di Matteo, Patrick Tuttofuoco, Elisabetta Benassi, Enzo Bassotto, Sislej Xhafa, Gino De Dominicis, Steven Claydon, Rossella Biscotti, Letizia Battaglia, Alfredo Jaar, Tullio Pericoli, Yan Pei-Ming, Giuseppe Luigi Poli, Giuseppe Diotti, Giuseppe Gaudenzi, Antonio D’Este, Mario Dondero, Democrito Gandolfi, Frédéric Xavier Liwer, Gianfranco Ferroni, Giacomo Manzù, Francesco Messina, Mimmo Paladino, Piccio, Enrico Scuri, Loredana Di Lillo, Renato Guttuso, Armin Linke, Marco Cingolani, Antonella Mazzoni, Francesco Arena, Elmgreen&Dragset, Emilio Isgrò, Teofilo Patini, Cesare Tallone

Curated by Giacinto Di Pietrantonio and Maria Cristina Rodeschini, the exhibition will showcase the image of Italy around the world, in the multiplicity of its visual expressions from cinema to art, literature, design, and both the elite and pop culture, as viewed through 200 works by Italian and international artists. There will also be “things and events” from the 19th century to our own era, such as the writings of Rita Levi Montalcini that earned her a Nobel Prize.

The exhibition, being staged to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, will demonstrate the decisive influence of artistic creation on the practical organization of the country’s social life, above all in the past century and a half of history. The Bel Paese of Art will thus offer significant historical examples, such as the portraits of approximately 200 Garibaldians from the Bergamo area who took part in the Expedition of the Thousand, or a series of caricatures of members of the Italian Parliament, sketched by Senator Tecchio on parliamentary letterhead in the late 19th century. In these works, memory captured by art is reflected as the convergence of past and present in ethics and aesthetics, in related fields such as architecture and design as well as very different ones such as the local landscape, religion and politics.

Each room will also showcase objects – votive offerings, sports trophies or books become icons of the Italian identity. Indeed, their presence will establish a comparison between the pure ideal of avant-garde art and the testimony of spontaneous, popular or industrial creativity.

The exhibition will also investigate the idea of country or nation and the cultural, social and aesthetic processes that have characterized its formation. As opposed to other European nations, in Italy the main unifying culture element has been art or, rather, the arts. Hence the exhibition title The Bel Paese of Art, as Italy is a place of excellence for its continuity and unique aesthetic touch.

(...) Italy: For Grace Received will present works drawn from religious iconography, in which the language of contemporary art meets the tradition, history and culture of popular festivals. The leading figure is that of the Virgin, often a source of inspiration for artists such as Gino De Dominicis, Vettor Pisani, Piccio, Alberto Garutti, Aleksandra Mir, Nan Goldin, Kiki Smith, Antonio Riello and Vanessa Beecroft, in a dialogue with a series of votive offerings.

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