Admission is always free Directions

Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

Exhibition

Persistence of Tradition

Introduction

Neoclassicism

Scenographic Design

Topographical Views

The New Reality

Introduction

Turin

Rome

Naples

Milan

Venice

A Different Modernism

Introduction

Precursors

Futurism

Futurism in Print

Individualists

A Different Modernism

modernism-installation

This last section gathers art from the formative and then definitive period of a true Italian modernism. The works’ relatively separate development, remarkably disparate appearance, and correspondence to either unusually sustained individual efforts or short-lived movements all distinguish the period in Italy from elsewhere in Europe. On the left side of the room pictured here are examples by precursors of two kinds: those exploring novel compositions and experimental techniques, notably Giuseppe De Nittis and Giovanni Boldini, who worked principally in Paris where they sought out the avant-garde, and the leaders of a group known as the Macchiaioli—like the impressionists, committed to capturing optical sensation and emphasizing the paint surface—Telemaco Signorini and Giovanni Fattori, who worked in the now minor center of Florence and cultivated an analytical, completely unsentimental naturalism. The rear wall and case are devoted to futurism, which violently rejected tradition and scorned Italian art of the late nineteenth century as equally conventional. Instead, during the intense decade of the 1910s, the futurist group proclaimed a radical style to express the dynamism, the truly new reality, of modern industry and technology. The right side of the room above offers examples by artists who worked independently of the main currents of early twentieth-century art and instead sought to reconcile established styles, from classicism to naturalism, with those of the new century.

Precursors

Futurism

Futurism in Print

While futurism rejected the artistic etching of the previous generation, printed materials involving words were fundamental to its activity. A number of the futurists’ most important works, expounding on their ideas and intentions, are displayed in this slideshow. Its leader, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, declared the movement in a series of manifestos.  Assembled in Parole in libertà (Words-in-Freedom), they describe a radical language that defies convention and syntax. In Guerrapittura, Carrà argues that war is an "incentive to creativity… nothing but art pursued by other means.” Covers for futurist publications, like Boccioni and Ballà’s designs for completely atonal and free harmonic scores by Nino Formoso and Francesco Balilla Pratella, were a regular concern and frequent project. Most significant, the futurists combined word, sign, and image in a new form of representation intended to capture the full sensory experience of modern life, as in Marinetti’s Zang Tumb Tuuum, which evokes the action and sounds of a battle in the Balkans, and Cangiullo’s whimsical Caffeconcerto, which imagines a cabaret performance by letters of the alphabet.

Individualists