MAN_Museo d'Arte Provincia di Nuoro

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'50 '60

The collections of Rome National Gallery of Modern Art

11.03  -  29.05.2005

The MAN presents a unique and extraordinary event: an exhibition featuring forty masterpieces drawn from the collections of Rome National Gallery of Modern Art. These works, usually on display in the museum's section devoted to the art of the second half of the 20th century, provide an ample evidence of the art movements characterising Italian art scene in the 1950s and 1960s. In those days, with the conflict between figuration/realism and abstraction/cubo-expressionism already solved in the name of a new abstraction, the figurative poetics embodied the desire to create a new language, totally disengaged from tradition, one that could freely express the reality of the sign, gesture, and matter. Even if critics apply the term 'informal' to define almost all of the artists presented here, this definition is appropriate only to some of them.

Indeed, it rather expresses the distance that separates these artists, even the older ones,from the traditional art form. Theirs is a new concept of art form including space, line, colour, and the definition of personal, individual languages where the deepest spiritual and intellectual needs find a more immediate means of expression in new or newly conceived materials. Fontana's holes and cuts come from here, as well as Burri's burlap bags, iron sheets and plastic, Colla's metallic assemblage sculptures, Capogrossi's cuneiform-like mark, Vedova's action painting, to quote some of the most important names.

They are the outcome of an age of great ferment, rich of experiences and critical debates whose protagonists are not only the artists presented here, but also some passionate critics such as Lionello Venturi, Nello Ponente, Emilio Villa, Giovanni Testori, and others. Italian art, driven by the need to break with the past, looks for a new and varied representational universe, thus giving life to one of the most important and less provincial periods of the art culture of the second half of the 20th century. This event, made possible thanks to the extraordinary circumstance that this year the National Gallery houses Rome XIV Quadrennial, is more than a simple exhibition: it is a public museum lending part of its treasures to another public museum. A cultural operation of great relevance to the National Gallery that, in this way, is able to show parts of its public patrimony of artworks it preserves and manages, "outside its walls".

This exhibition, curated by Mariastella Margozzi and Maura Picciau, has been made possible thanks to the enthusiasm of Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli, superintendent of the National Gallery. The catalogue includes introductory essays by the two curators about the historical period, the movements, the artists' history and that of their works in connection with that of the National Gallery.

The artists: Carla Accardi, Afro, Alberto Burri, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Ettore Colla, Pietro Consagra, Piero Dorazio, Lucio Fontana, Gastone Novelli, Achille Perilli, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Antonio Sanfilippo, Toti Scialoja, Tancredi (Parmeggiani), Giulio Turcato, Cy Twombly, Emilio Vedova.

Curated by Mariastella Margozzi con Maura Picciau

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