Fondazione Federico II - Palermo

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Novecento Italiano. Una Storia

The exposition will be open till September 17th.

For information please click here

Novecento Italiano includes a number of artists who felt they were the translators of the twentieth century, they came from different backgrounds, but linked by a common sense of returning to the origins of art, reinterpreted according to modernity: Novecento returns to have as supreme reference the classical antiquity, the purity of forms and the harmony in composition. A composite strand, which fully embeds itself in an assessed Sicily with multiple cultural contributions.

The Italian art of the twentieth century offers significant examples of a route that highlights on one side the importance of history, on the other leads us to reflect on the revolutionary aspects of the contemporary world. There is a strong thrust towards the future connoting the fertile utopias of the last century: it can seize the first signs in the work of Giacomo Balla and his young pupils Umberto Boccioni, Gino Severini, Mario Sironi, a pointillist prelude to the international adventure of Futurism, approached with great courage and documented by the works exhibited.

The climate of the Early Twenties is that of the "escape from vanguards", the "rappel à l'ordre", the "return to trade", which are pioneers Giorgio De Chirico, of Sicilian origin and Carlo Carrà from Piedmont. There is thus the metaphysical season of De Chirico and the particular realism of Carrà, also nourished by the metaphysical experience and the love for the Italian tradition, that will dominate his long creative life.

In this vein the exhibition gives tribute, not to mention the astonishing originality of Alberto Savinio, brother of De Chirico, and the whole Italian Impressionism of Filippo De Pisis.

The exhibition thus seeks to lead the visitor to a location in the lively cultural and artistic climate belonging to the XX century, passing from the vanguards of the Twenties to the novelty of "Gruppo Forma", attended by Pietro Consagra, Antonio Sanfilippo and many other masters animated by the will to be "Formalists and Marxists", without forgetting Mario Schifano, the most important exponent of what we might define the Italian response to American Pop Art.

A tribute to a season that has seen as protagonist Jannis Kounellis, who died recently, along with a series of many other artists who are reported to the vigor and the originality of unavoidable experiences.



The exhibition housed in the Sala Duca di Montalto of the Royal Palace presents a story that does not pretend to be exhaustive, but to show the greatness of our creative heritage leading the spectator to a journey where every step is a story starring and seeing some among the greatest artists of the XX century. It is an exhibition of 60 paintings and eight sculptures of 44 artists, who could be considered the manifestos of their reference currents.

There are at least fifteen art movements that can rightly be considered manifestos in this exhibition: from Return to craft to Idealism, passing through the Daily Metaphysics, the Magic Realism, the Scuola Romana, the Gruppo Forma; and again the Sidereal Oneirism, the Italien de Paris, the Plastic Primordialism, the Scuola di Via Cavour, and the Gruppo di Piazza del Popolo.


“For me nothing is abstract: moreover I feel that there is nothing more surreal and more abstract than reality.” (G. Morandi)




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