One hundred masterpieces of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from Fontana to De Chirico, from Morandi to Duchamp and Magritte exhibited in Brescia until June 4th.
There are the existential concerns of Giorgio De Chirico, transposed onto canvas in square and rational landscapes, where solitary statues lie at the centre of irrational perspectives. There is the radical choice of Lucio Fontana, cutting the canvas, seven times, as in his 1968 artwork: Attese. The real star, among many renowned ones, however, is “Still Life with Bull’s Head”. In this painting, the two distorted horns are placed among rectangular figures. It is the culmination of Cubism: a painting by Picasso never exhibited before.
There is no common thread in the exhibition opened on Saturday, January 20th at Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia, apart from the provenance of the paintings. All from private collections. All rarely exhibited thus far, some never exhibited before. All created by great artists, often auctioned for figures that are worth a fortune. The exhibition displays about one hundred artworks, all created in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For a very long time, some have been stored in bank vaults, others in private residences. The “Bull’s Head” has travelled on the yacht of a well-known telecommunications manager for years. For a few months, all these paintings will be available to anyone who wants to see them: the exhibition will end on June 4th.
As a sponsor of Brescia there is an undeniable curiosity surrounding the rarity and the value of the works of art on display: the artistic quality is, in fact, indisputable. Some examples? Among the metaphysicians, in addition to De Chirico (the centrepiece is Piazza Italia, 1930), there are Morandi‘s still lifes, accompanied by Alberto Savinio’s surrealism and his reinterpretation of the love between Othello and Desdemona. And then there are all the twentieth century avant-gardes: starting with two great Futurism artists: Giacomo Balla, with his «Bridge of Speed» echoing Marinetti’s work, and Fortunato Depero (painter from Rovereto whose production is the core of the Mart Museum, one of the most visited museums of contemporary art in Italy), with his celebration of aviator Fedele Azari. Moving on to the ‘50s, with the «Contemporary Vision» by Emilio Vedova, companion of Renato Guttuso, all the way through the ‘60s, with the most famous provocation of Italian art: one of the cans of «Artist’s Shit» boxed by Piero Manzoni.
The list of Italian artists, Lombard ones in particular, is substantial, especially among the nineteenth century names: lesser known artists, perhaps to be discovered for this very reason. Artists such as Cesare Bertolotti, a vedutista who painted pre-Alpine landscapes («Sunset on Lake Iseo» is on display at Palazzo Martinengo) and Angelo Inganni, who left us a snow-covered «View of Piazza della Loggia».
Brescia’s exhibition also puts a bet on the flood of interest in metaphysics and surrealism. After all, the exhibition dedicated to the “The Revolutionaries of the ‘900” held in Bologna has been particularly successful. Its biggest names? Duchamp, Magritte and Dalí. Housed at Palazzo Albergati, it will stay open for a few more days and then close on February 11th. It is a multifaceted exhibition, which has been able to bring together pictorial art, sculptures, installations and photography shows. Alongside famous paintings such as «The Castle of the Pyrenees» by Magritte, also on display are artworks by less famous artists which have nonetheless been able to conquer the public, like Man Ray’s «The Lips» (“Observatory Time – The Lovers”), now the symbol of the event.