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Constructing the Novecento Italiano - Masterpieces of the Giovanardi Collection When European painting speaks Italian

Exhibitions | Art | Museum

The collection of artwork of Augusto and Francesca Giovanardi took form in a postwar Milan, thanks to the passion for Italian 20th-century painting and to the commitment to society of the distinguished scientist and hygiene professor at the University of Milan.
The collection is an excellent testimony of that extraordinary historical and cultural period, during which entrepreneurs and important representatives of the Italian society, and in particular of the society of the cities of Milan and Turin, devoted themselves to art and culture, not only out of individual passion, but with a social and ethical purpose as well.  It should suffice to name people like Raffaele Mattioli, Riccardo Jucker, Jesi, Boschi, and Vitali, whose sense of community responsibility took the form of substantial legacies and loans of the most representative portions of their holdings to public museums.

The exhibition Constructing the Novecento Italiano. Masterpieces of the Giovanardi Collection, will be held in Palazzo Fava - Palazzo delle Esposizioni from 24 February to 25 June 2017 and it will show the whole Collection, ninety paintings by the best Italian painters active in the years between the two world wars.

Sponsored by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna and Genus Bononiae. Musei nella Città,andcurated bySilvia Evangelisti, the exhibition is organized in three main sections: the first one is dedicated to the paintings by Morandi and Licini and their controversial relationship; the second section includes important groups of paintings by Carlo Carrà, Filippo De Pisis, Massimo Campigli and Mario Sironi (nearly a dozen each), telling the story of the relationship between painting and architecture in Italian art between the two world wars. Finally, the third section presents some of the protagonists of the process of dissolution of form in 1930s paintings: Mario Mafai, Ottone Rosai, Arturo Tosi, Pio Semeghini, among others.
The entire Giovanardi Collection is one of the richest and qualitatively most important collections of works of 20th-century Italian art: fruit of thirty years of research and careful selection and of the refined sensitivity of Augusto and Francesca Giovanardi for the works of the artists they loved so much

Via Manzoni 2
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“Hosting the paintings of the Giovanardi Collection in the wonderful rooms of the piano nobile of Palazzo Fava, frescoed by the Caracci –said Fabio Roversi - Monaco –  is an important opportunity for Genus Bononiae, as the works exhibited perfectly match the profile of the building which has already hosted undisputed masterpieces, including, just to name one, the Girl with a Pearl Earring”. 

"This occasion for a show at Palazzo Fava organized by Genus Bononiae is particularly precious to us - said Paola Giovanardi Rossi and Cristiana Curti Aspesi - as the entire collection has been moved only twice before. First in 1998 when our collaboration with the MART in Palazzo delle Albere in Trento began, and a second time in 2005 to Rovereto, to be housed in Mario Botta’s lovely museum there. The Palazzo Fava exhibition and the recompilation of the catalogue have proven to be an important opportunity for students of the Novecento italiano, quite likely one that will not recur for quite some time to come.

The Giovanardi collection presents peculiar links with the Bolognese culture, not only because the Professor was originally from Emilia Romagna, but especially for his favourite passions, first and foremost the works of Giorgio Morandi and Osvaldo Licini, young fellow students at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna, two of the most extraordinary Italian painters of the past century.
This exhibition offers the chance to retrace the main course of Italian painting of the Novecento, taking a path through the first half of the twentieth century and beginning to touch on subsequent artistic developments, dear to another important fellow citizen, Francesco Arcangeli.

The collection is protected by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activists and Tourism and for at least 20 years it has been the core of the works of art around which the MART museum of Rovereto was established. Together with the exhibition, an illustrated book was also published, with essays entirely dedicated to the collection and to the idea of collecting in Italy, with photos and  information tables on the works.


The show is divided into three sections, each with a theme delving into the works of two or more artists whose language is characterized by particular assonances (or dissonances): Licini and Morandi. A controversial relationship; The constructive painting of Novecento italiano: Campigli, Carrà, Sironi and "Beyond form:dream and earth.

The three sections are supplemented, organized in a separate section, by a small set of plastic works of the Novecento by Arturo Martini, Giacomo Manzù and Lucio Fontana from the collection of Genus Bononiae.

For the present occasion - wrote Silvia Evangelisti in the catalogue - we have taken an approach that is somewhat different from the simple exhibition of the works. We adopted a critical criterion arranged according to a series of major themes within the collection: the relationship between Osvaldo Licini and Giorgio Morandi, two painters of whom Giovanardi was especially fond; the passion for “constructive” painting by such artists as Sironi, Campigli and Carrà, and the openness to a less formally defined language on the part of painters who, at the end of the 1930s, felt that the solidity of volumes and the firmness of forms was losing strength – as if they had sensed, in advance, the changing of the times that would soon give rise to informal painting.

Keep in touch and find out all the news about the exhibition on:
Twitter: @genusbononiae #GenusBononiae
Hashtag exhibition: #CostruireilNovecento
Facebook: www.facebook.com/genusbononiae
Website: www.genusbononiae.it

INFOs: ph. +39 051 19936343 esposizioni@genusbononiae.it
Date: from 24 Feb 17 to 25 June 17
Tickets: Full rate € 11.00 (audio guide included)/Reduced price € 9.00 (audio guide included)
Location: Palazzo Fava - Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Manzoni, 2 - Bologna
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10 AM – 7 PM (the ticket office closes one hour earlier)

Text by: Bononia Univercity Press Edition



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