Anni 30 - "The Thirties" - Exhibition in Florence
Casa Howard in Florence city centre, close to Santa Maria Novella Dome, offers luxury rooms with free Wi-Fi internet connection. Recommended by many city guides, it boasts a unique genuine Florentine atmosphere. Casa Howard is at just about 120 meters from the Santa Maria Novella Florence rail station and at only 500 meters walk from the Cathedral. You will receive the building’s keys and have access to your room all day. The extraordinary position of Casa Howard is the reason why in these days this guest house is the favourite accomodation for all those who want to stay in Florence and visit the Thirties in Florence Palazzo Strozzi exhibition.
In 1930s Italy, during the Fascist era, a very vigorous artistic battle was waged, involving every style and trend, from Classicism to Futurism, from Expressionism to Abstraction, and from monumental art to salon painting. The scene was enriched and complicated by the emergence of design and mass communication—posters, wireless, films—which espoused many ideas from the "fine" arts and conveyed them to a broad public. It was a complex and vital time of experimentation, open to the outside world, the prelude to our modern era.
The exhibition will present this decade through a selection of high-quality works, which at the same time offer a historically informed narrative of the time, fully conveying its aesthetic, cultural and ideological atmosphere. The exhibited materials will include art works (paintings, sculpture and graphics), photographs (both experimental and documentary), models.
Centres and schools
The exhibition opens—following an interpretative thread characteristic of the 1930s, intended to recreate the atmosphere of the time—with a focus on the influential artistic centres, each characterised by a particular style or taste: the Milan group, whose predominant figures were Sironi and Carrà and such representatives of Novecentismo as Garbari, Tosi, Funi and Wildt; Florence, with Soffici, Rosai, Lega and Viani, with whom Bologna's Morandi can also be associated; Roma, divided between Classical and Realist schools (Donghi, Carena and Ceracchini); Turin, with the neo-15th century movement of Casorati, which also drew inspiration from France (Chessa, Menzio, Paulucci, Mori); and Trieste, with its harking back to a Mitteleuropa suspended in time, as represented by Nathan, Bolaffio and Sbisà.
Youngsters and “Irrealists”
The supranational character of Italian 1930s art is more clearly perceptible in the Futurist and abstract avant garde and the younger painters and sculptors, open to European and international influences. This section highlights their manifold and even conflicting characteristics through a selection of particularly significant pieces by artists working mainly between Rome and Milan: Licini, Prampolini, Radice, Peruzzi, Crali, Scipione, Mafai, Guttuso, Pirandello, Cagli, Capogrossi, Basaldella, Birolli, Sassu, Gentilini, Fontana, Marini and Melotti.
In this section the exchanges between Italy and Europe are illustrated both though examples of specific work done by Italian artists abroad (the France of the Italiens de Paris—de Chirico, de Pisis, Paresce, Tozzi, Savinio, and others—the Germany of Mucchi and De Fiori, and through the presence of Italy and of visits to Italy in the work of such painters as Germany's Jenny Wiegmann, France's Cheyssial, and Britain's Halliday.
Muralism and public art
The idea of art as a means of communication and a vehicle for messages is typical of the 1930s. This section focuses on manifestations of public art in its plastic and painterly (muralism) forms, starting with the Milan Triennale of 1933, which was dominated by Mario Sironi. It seeks to prompt a comparison with the French scene of the time, presenting sketches for murals and sculptures intended for public places, reliefs, glass panels and posters. This is illustrated by works by Martini, Sironi, Carrà, Fontana, Funi, Severini.
Aesthetic and ideological issues gave rise to arguments and conflicts in the 1930s. The contrast between modernity and tradition gradually increased during the decade, culminating in the critical issue of "degenerate art" in Germany, which was reflected in some respects in Italy, in around 1940, in the clash between the "reactionary" Cremona Prize and the Bergamo Prize, some entries for which were provocatively modernistic.
This tension was reflected in metaphysical and "abstract" works by Italian artists that were at one time regarded as "shocking" (Birolli, Ghiringhelli, Reggiani, Melotti and later Guttuso), set against works that celebrated the regime (Ricchetti, Gaudenzi), somewhat symmetrically, the even more strident comparison provided by the works of German artists (such as Dix, Grosz and Ziegler).
Design and applied arts
This section alludes to a specific historical development: the multiplication of art, mass reproduction, conjured up by displaying a variety of different household items against a backdrop of modern environments and objects as they were depicted in the films of the era.
In the final section, the opening group—Artists, poets and musicians: common ground— refers to Florence's role as the city of the most important and dynamic cultural journals, forming connections between poetry, painting, writing, sculpture and music. On the other hand there is the contrasting, albeit complementary, theme of The Strength of the Province and its Origins, featuring works by Soffici, Rosai, Viani, Romanelli, Marini, Quinto Martini and Manzù. Between these two views and portrayals of life, the small group of works, Myth and the Mediterranean in the representation of the Human Form, deals with a particular approach to this topic, poised between the legacy of the Renaissance and international influences, from Hildebrand to Berenson and De Chirico. The Modernity Myth relates the developments of such an atypical Futurist as Thayaht, and his brother Ram, to ideas for the city's renewal as embodied in the two architectural masterpieces of the new Santa Maria Novella station and the Giovanni Berta stadium. Lastly, the establishment of Florence's Maggio Musicale festival is represented by reference to two performances emblematic in different ways of the condition of modern man: Luigi Dallapiccola's Night Flight, staged in 1940, and Luigi Pirandello's The Mountain Giants, first performed, posthumously and incomplete, in Boboli on 5th June 1937.
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Admission: full € 10,00; reduced € 8,50 € 8,00 €7,50 schools € 4,00
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Exhibition activities for family, kids and teenagers.
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