From Friday 8 November 2019 to Sunday 1 March 2020, the MAN in Nuoro will be presenting the first museum retrospective of Anna Marongiu (Cagliari 1907 – Ostia 1941), curated by Luigi Fassi.
The exhibition represents an important landmark in the MAN’s research into twentieth-century Sardinian and Italian art.
The exhibition revolves around three cycles of illustrations dedicated to literary masterpieces and created by Marongiu between 1926 and 1930: the complete series of plates illustrating A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (1930), the illustrations to The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni (1926) and the plates for The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1929). This latter cycle, made up of 262 line-and-wash plates, forms the bulk of the retrospective. The cycle has been loaned to the MAN by the Charles Dickens Museum in London and can now be seen on display in a museum for the first time, ninety years after it was created.
Anna Marongiu, who died before her time in a plane crash in Ostia, is one of the most original and yet forgotten figures of the early twentieth-century Sardinian art scene. After studying in Rome and attending the English Academy in the capital, Marongiu embarked upon an artistic path that saw her experiment skilfully with numerous different techniques such as drawing, pen and ink, etching, oils and burin engraving. Her linguistic register, characterised by highly expressive lines, fluctuates between humour and drama, comedy and mythology, finding originality and strength in all the techniques she used. The exhibition devoted to her at the Galleria Palladino in Cagliari in 1938 was one of the first solo shows of a female artist in Sardinia, helping to establish her even further on the national scene, so much so that she took part in the Mostra dell’incisione italiana moderna in Rome in 1940.
The exhibition includes a short film on the artist, made by MAN and Film Commission Sardegna in partnership with the Charles Dickens Museum, and directed by Gemma Lynch.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Marsilio Editore.