From October 13th 2012 to January 13th 2013 – Palazzo dei Diamanti
Boldini, Previati e De Pisis. Due secoli di grande arte a Ferrara reunites about eighty works including paintings, sculptures and works on paper that span over one hundred and fifty years of artistic production. The show opens with works from the first half of the 1800s: from paintings by Giovanni Antonio Baruffaldi and Giovanni Pagliarini inspired by the Purismo movement with literary or religious themes to the romantic fervour of those by Girolamo Domenichini, Massimiliano Lodi and Gaetano Turchi that commemorate the grandeur of the Estense heritage or give form to the hopes of the Risorgimento. From the middle of the century, the success of genres such as portrait, panoramic views or landscapes was often linked to artists active outside Ferrara, and above all, to Giovanni Boldini. He was prominent in the renewal of Italian and international painting in the second half of the century, first among the “Macchiaioli” in Florence and then in the Paris of the Impressionists. A wide selection of Boldini’s masterpieces shows his role as an undisputed protagonist in the Belle Époque, as does the establishment in 1935 of the museum dedicated to him. Included are portraits like Portrait of Young Subercaseaux, Firework, Walking in the Bois de Boulogne and Lady in Rose, interior paintings of his atelier, still lifes and panoramic views.
From July 7 to August 8, 2012 – A plus A – Centro Espositivo Sloveno
After the New Museum in New York and the Mumok Museum in Vienna, Bosnian artist Mladen Miljanovic comes to Venice for his first Italian solo exhibition Good Night – State of Body at A plus A Slovenian Exhibition Centre. The exhibition will be presented next autumn in Regensburg and New York.
Mladen Miljanovic is one of the most interesting contemporary artists in the East European art scene. He was in fact chosen by Massimiliano Gioni for his triennial Younger than Jesus held at the New Museum in New York in 2009.
After Ibro Hasanovic’s exhibition in November 2011, A plus A continues its exploration of Balkan art with Good Night – State of Body which features two works by Mladen Miljanovic: the film Do You Intend to Lie to Me? and the photographic work Show By Your Hand Where do You Feel Pain. During the opening, the artist will do the performance At the Edge of Margin, in which he will hang his body outside the gallery.
The powerful visual impact of Miljanovic’s work goes beyond the cliché of post-war Balkan art and it has had wide international appreciation. The artist takes as a starting point of reflection the reality that surrounds him. He creates original works that can simultaneously be disturbing and touching for their capacity to unravel truths in a very direct, almost brutal, way.
Mladen Miljanovic was born in 1981 in Zenica, an industrial city in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 70 km north from Sarajevo, and graduated from the Academy of Art in Banja Luka. In 2007 he receives the ZVONO price for best Bosnian young artist. Numerous international participations will follow, such as the Busan Biennal in South Korea in 2008, a show at Palazzo Forti in Verona, Italy, in 2009, the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK) in Wien in 2010 and the 53rd Belgrade October Salon in 2011.
From May 8 to November 4, 2012 – Galleria dell’Accademia – Firenze
The exhibition Art Returns to art, curated by Bruno Corà, Franca Falletti and Daria Filardo, will see the installation in the rooms of the Galleria dell’Accademia of works by: Francis Bacon, Louise Bourgeois, Alberto Burri, Antonio Catelani, Martin Creed, Gino de Dominicis, Rineke Dijkstra, Marcel Duchamp, Luciano Fabro, Hans Peter Feldmann, Luigi Ghirri, Antony Gormley, Yves Klein, Jannis Kounellis, Ketty La Rocca, Leoncillo, Sol LeWitt, Eliseo Mattiacci, Olaf Nicolai, Luigi Ontani, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Giuseppe Penone, Pablo Picasso, Alfredo Pirri, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Renato Ranaldi, Alberto Savinio, Thomas Struth, Fiona Tan, Bill Viola, Andy Warhol.
Louise Bourgeois’s Arch of Hysteria, hung with all its charge of “life’s emotional frenzy” in front of Pontormo’s Venus and not far from Michelangelo’s David,will offer definitive proof of how the naked form of the human body can be used to express concepts and stir sensations that are vastly different. And the effort to bring form out of brute matter, something which obsessed Michelangelo all his life, seems to still weigh heavily today on the shoulders of Giuseppe Penone in his arduous hollowing out of massive tree trunks, just as it is echoed in the forms carved out of concrete by Antony Gormley.
Giulio Paolini’s L’altra Figura will be located almost opposite Bill Viola’s video Surrender: two contemporary ways of reappraising and interpreting the theme of mirroring and reproducibility that lead, in the left arm of the Tribuna, to the 19th-century Salone dei Gessi, filled with plaster casts that were created so lely to be reproduced.
The theme of reflection is also explored in Alfredo Pirri’s floor of fractured mirrors, in Olaf Nicolai’s work Portrait of the Artist as a Weeping Narcissus, whose tears ripple the surface and alter the reflected image, and in Michelangelo Pistoletto’s mirror picture Sacra conversazione, which includes us in a conversation of the present day.
Metaphorically, mirroring becomes a merging with the gaze of the visitor, who is conceptually made part o f the creative process in Rineke Dijkstra’s video installation that tells of a slow observation and reproduction of one of Picasso’s pictures, in Thomas Struth’s photo in front of Dürer’s self-portrait and in Martin Creed’s performance with athletes running swiftly through the spaces of the gallery.
The reproduction, repetition and circulation of images in the history of art is tackled from a critical perspective in the works of Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Luigi Ghirri, Hans Peter Feldmann and Ketty La Rocca, which refer directly to icons familiar to everyone. In his Untitled, Jannis Kounellis will recall the iconography and sense of tragedy of the Crucifixion, a theme tackled in a different way in Alberto Burri’s work and in Renato Ranaldi’s Triumphans, while the gold or ultramarine monochromes of Yves Klein can be related to the gold grounds of the 14th-century altarpieces.
The casts of the David’s eyes in Claudio Parmiggiani’s work po se the problem of the fragment, while Leoncillo and Luigi Ontani’s images of Saint Sebastian present different visions of that sacred iconography. The gaze at the past will appear emblematic and mysterious in Alberto Savinio’s Nettuno Pescatore as well as in Gino de Dominicis’s Urvasi e Gilgamesh. Interesting reflections on the work of the past will also be provided by Francis Bacon’s Figure sitting (the Cardinal), Pablo Picasso’s Arlequín con espejo and Sol LeWitt’s drawings of Piero della Francesca’s frescoes, as well as by the ovoid volumes of Luciano Fabro’s Il giudizio di Paride or Eliseo Mattiacci’s large iron sculpture Carro solare del Montefeltro. Memory as recognition of origins will be the focus of Fiona Tan’s film Provenance, and the classical elements of museum architecture are the form out of which Antonio Catelani develops his Klettersteig. (©Art of the Day)
From April 14 to July 15,2012 – MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts
Kaarina Kaikkonen, one of Finland’s leading artists, is known internationally for her environmental projects and for her large-scale installations realised with simple materials such as clothing or paper that reference the great Scandinavian tradition in which the relationship between art and environment is one of the most successful examples of 20th Century research.
The materials she will use in the site-specific installation conceived for MAXXI are children’s clothes of various colours and types that will be collected as part of a major educational project among the families of the area. In this way, every person who donates a garment, with all its baggage of memory associated with children’s clothes, will ideally form part of the work. Like a great sail, the work will move with the wind, connecting one of the voids that characterise MAXXI’s external profile and modifying Zaha Hadid’s building. The pastel colours and the softness of the children’s clothes will establish a dialogue with and test the hardness of the concrete tracing the lines of the museum.
On the occasion of the presentation of the work, on Saturday 14th of April, a great party is being organized in the MAXXI piazza that will see families involved in a workshop in which the artist will share her project with the public.
The work realised for MAXXI is part of a project that has involved the realisation of a large site-specific installation by the artist, Are We Still Going On?, conceived for the former Max Mara clothing factory, now the home of the Collezione Maramotti (Reggio Emilia, 26 February – 28 October 2012) and which follows and accompanies the compositional structure of the building.
Until June 17, 2012 – Palazzo dei Diamanti – Ferrara
This spring, Palazzo dei Diamanti is proud to present for the first time in Italy the works of Joaquín Sorolla (1863–1923), one of the most remarkable interpreters of modern Spanish painting.
A protagonist of La Belle Époque and as renowned as Sargent and Boldini as a portrait artist, today Sorolla is considered one of the most fascinating Spanish artists during this crucial period from the late Nineteenth to the early Twentieth centuries, a period notable for the spread of Impressionism and Symbolism.
Ferrara Arte pays homage to Sorolla with an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Patronato de la Alhambra y El Generalife in Granada, the Museo Sorolla, and the Fundación Museo Sorolla in Madrid Curated by Tomàs Llorens, Blanca Pons-Sorolla, María López Fernández and Boye Llorens, the show will travel to Granada and Madrid after Ferrara.
Focusing on a pivotal period in the creative path of the painter, the exhibition presents works from the years of his full maturity and in particular, paintings stemming from his fascination with the theme of the garden and his time in Andalusia. Already successful, Sorolla continued to reflect on his art. In this period he develops a unique voice characterized by a poetic of silence and intimacy, crafting a sophisticated language that resonates astonishingly with contemporary Symbolist and Modernist movements. This introspective process and quest for simplicity is investigated here for the first time, throwing new light on Sorolla’s artistic persona. Similarities between the Spanish painter’s works and those of Giovanni Boldini will also be explored.
An outstanding series of portraits painted from 1906-07 of the painter’s family set in the garden with its fountains opens the exhibition. In paintings such as María dressed as a Valencian peasant, Skipping the rope or Watching fishes, the figures blend into sparkling backgrounds created with brushstrokes of pure colour or trace sinuous shapes on sparkling water. This play between subject and landscape prefigures the modernity seen in Sorolla’s later works.
Fundamental to Sorolla’s development as an artist was his discovery of Andalusia where he stayed regularly between 1908 and 1918. This markedly affected the style of his late maturity, and we perceive a gradual transition from naturalism towards one rich with Symbolist resonances. The exhibition traces his response to this land and its ancient culture, from the magnificent landscapes of the Sierra Nevada which provided material for dreamlike crystalline visions, to his studies of Andalusian subjects such as Joaquína the gypsy, interpreting them with an originality that was far from stereotypical.
What inspired Sorolla most of all in Andalusia were the Moorish gardens and patios of the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcázar in Seville, as can be seen in the extraordinary series of paintings that he dedicated to this theme over the course of a decade. Here, he captures the secluded and solemn charm of the places that profoundly influenced music and poetry in Spain at the time. The vegetation, the marbles, ceramics, fountains, light and colours create a rich sensory counterpoint that resonates through these compositions from which all human presence has been banished. The artist’s brushstrokes linger over the reflections on the water, on the light that seems to dissolve into geometric patterns and on the colourful mosaics of the garden, making them the protagonists in a painting which speaks a language that is ever more pure and refined.
Andalusia profoundly changed Sorolla’s work, leading to a style that culminated in the paintings inspired by the garden of his new house in Madrid. The elderly painter spent a lot of energy creating his garden, with a passion that is reminiscent of Monet and his lily pond. He took his inspiration from the verdant corners of Seville and Grenada, bringing from Andalusia fountains, tiles, columns, statues, fruit trees and ornamental plants. And like Monet at Giverny, Sorolla found in his garden an inexhaustible source of inspiration, transferring to the canvas the lessons of simplicity and lyricism he had acquired in Andalusia.
This enthralling narrative unfolds in the rooms of the Palazzo dei Diamanti, interwoven with Sorolla’s life experiences and contemporary culture, through a selection of about 60 paintings and a small selection of drawings and documents, coming from public and private collections, foremost the Museo Sorolla.
From March 3 to July 15, 2012 – Palazzo Strozzi
In 2012, exactly 500 years since the death of Amerigo Vespucci, Florence will be marking this event with an exhibition designed to celebrate the strong ties linking the Old World and the New, and the cosmopolitan ambiance that bound the city to the New World for ever, transmitting European culture and sophistication to America.
The exhibition explores the American impressionists’ relationship with Italy, and with Florence in particular, in the decades spanning the close of the 19th and dawn of the 20th centuries. There was a marked upswing in the number of American artists travelling to Europe after the Civil War ended in 1865, and the trend continued on into the early 20th century. Hundreds of painters came to Paris and other parts of France while others studied in Germany, with England, Holland and Spain being other favourite locations. Italy, however, was an inescapable pole of attraction for most of them. Florence, Venice and Rome had been at the heart of the Grand tour for centuries and had become legendary for all those eager to study the art of the past, quite apart from their appeal in terms of the climate, the countryside, the people, and the overall atmosphere prevailing in them.
For the first time since recent exhibitions in France and England explored these American artists’ relationship with those two countries, this exhibition will be hosting the work of American painters who embraced the artistic vocabulary of Impressionism and spent time in Italy.
The exhibition will contain works by painters who, while not explicitly subscribing to the new style, were nevertheless crucial masters for the younger generations: men such as Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, John La Farge and Thomas Eakins.
These will be followed by the great forerunners, artists such as John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, who could boast of strong cosmopolitan leanings.
The main part of the exhibition will comprise works by artists of remarkable quality who spent time in Florence and who deserve to be better known. Their number includes members of the American impressionist group known as the Ten American Painters: William Merrit Chase, John Henry Twachman and Frederick Childe Hassam. Franck Duveneck also played an important role in fostering relations between American and local artists by putting together the “Duveneck boys“, a group that included his wife Elisabeth Boott and the painter Joseph Rodefer De Camp.