Venice | Ca’ Pesaro: modern art affinities
Owner: Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia
photos Riccardo Bianchini, Inexhibit
Modern art affinities – The International Gallery of Modern art, Ca’ Pesaro, Venice
Seated on an invisible throne, the Cardinal by Giacomo Manzù keep his gaze steady ahead, indifferent to those passing by to reach the first floor of Cà Pesaro, home of the Venice Modern art Gallery since 1902, when the duchess Felicita Bevilacqua La Masa donated her palace to the city.
The permanent collection of the museum, made of 19th and 20th century masterpieces, including works by Gustav Klimt, Marc Chagall and Edward Munch, has grown over time through donations and acquisitions, at first time focused on European art in general and after the Sixties more on Italian artists.
From the 1960s onwards indeed, works by Umberto Boccioni, Felice Casorati, Gino Rossi, Arturo Martini have been added to the collection. They were all artists which, from 1908 to 1924, participated to exhibitions that made Cà Pesaro a reference center of the Italian art renovation, in plain opposition to the concurrent Venice Biennials.
On the occasion of the Biennale 2013, the permanent exhibition have been completely renovated and the artworks rearranged following an original presentation key, entitled Colloqui (Conversations).
Paintings and sculptures in the fifteen rooms of the Gallery are arranged to build up themes and “tales”, based on connections, relationships and affinities between different artists and artworks. Such approach gives rise to an involving narration, supported by effective multilingual description panels distributed along the whole exhibition path.
The first permanent exhibition hall features a dialogue between three masterpieces of the European 19th and early 20th century sculpture: the Burghers of Calais by Rodin, two wax busts by Medardo Rosso and the monumental after head of Johann Larass by Adolfo Wildt.
In the room entitled From the Macchiaioli to scientific Luminism, the sculptures by Medardo Rosso seem to observe the adjacent works by Telemaco Signorini, Giovanni Fattori and Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo.
The passage between room 3, dedicated to Realismo and Belle époque, and room 4 entitled Expressions of symbolism and secession.
In background Judith by Gustav Klimt, the Vienna Secession founder.
Man and his thoughts. Auguste Rodin and Adolfo Wildt. A view of the rooms dedicated to the personality of the sculptor Adolfo Wildt where several of his works are exposed, thanks to a donation by his heirs to Cà Pesaro, and put in relationship with a gypsum version of The Thinker by Auguste Rodin.
Incumbent ghosts of power. The 1930s and 1940s. The room depicts the dark years of European totalitarianism; from expressions of virility – like the boxer by Napoleone Martinuzzi placed in the middle of the room – to the personal bewilderment testified in the portraits by Cagnaccio di san Pietro’s and in the works by Antonio Donghi’s, both exponents of the New Objectivity in Italy.
Foreground, Alou with Talons by Jean Arp. On the walls works by Antoni Tàpies, Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy exposed in the room dedicated to Abstraction and Surrealism.
The last section, room 15, offers an overview on the Spazialismo Veneziano, the movement born with the “Arte Spaziale” exhibition, held in Venice in 1953.
Photos by Riccardo Bianchini, Inexhibit
copyright Inexhibit 2019 - ISSN: 2283-5474