10 must-see exhibitions in Italy in 2022

Ten must-see exhibitions in 2022 in Italy, including painting, sculpture and photography.

As 2021 draws to a close, we already know what are many of the exhibitions that await us in 2022. So let’s see what are some of the biggest exhibitions of the coming year, ranging from ancient to contemporary art: we have chosen ten titles from north to south, knowing that this is not an exhaustive list as more will be added during 2022. Here is the selection.

1. Women in Art. From Titian to Boldini - Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia

From January 22 to June 12, 2022, Palazzo Martinengo in Brescia will host the exhibition Women in Art. From Titian to Boldini dedicated to women in the history of art, investigating how the representation of the female universe has played a decisive role in the history of Italian art over a period of four centuries, from the Renaissance to the Belle Époque. Curated by Davide Dotti, the exhibition will feature more than ninety masterpieces by artists such as Titian, Boldini, Artemisia Gentileschi, Hayez, Corcos, Zandomeneghi, and Guercino. The exhibition was originally scheduled for 2020, and was forced to close after only one month of opening due to the pandemic.

2. Aron Demetz. Autarkeia II. The Call of Matter - MARCA, Catanzaro

From January 15 to March 31, 2022, the MARCA in Catanzaro presents the exhibition Aron Demetz. Autarkeia II. The Call of Matter, curated by Alessandro Romanini and promoted by the Rocco Guglielmo Foundation. It is a site-specific exhibition project by Aron Demetz, an artist originally from Val Gardena who makes sculptures mainly in wood. The exhibition revolves around the concept of Autarchy as a form of conquest conveyed by strict self-discipline, sustained by inexhaustible research and exercise and fueled by a continuous comparison with the historical cornerstones of plastic art. And among the latter, the dimension related to Greek art is in first place. The entire exhibition is characterized by research and experimentation.

3. Robert Capa. Photographs beyond war - Villa Bassi Rathgeb, Abano Terme

From January 15 to June 5, 2022, Villa Bassi Rathgeb in Abano Terme dedicates a major exhibition to Robert Capa’s photography away from war. Curated by Marco Minuz, the exhibition aims to present an “other” Capa, focusing on little-known reportages and aspects unrelated to the suffering of war. Through about a hundred shots, the photographer’s relationship with the world of culture of the time will be analyzed with portraits of famous people such as Picasso, Matisse, and Hemingway. The section devoted to period films is particularly interesting.

4. Paris Bordon - Museo di Santa Caterina, Treviso

From February 25 to June 26, 2022, the Museo di Santa Caterina in Treviso will host the largest monographic exhibition ever devoted to one of the greatest Venetian artists of the sixteenth century, Paris Bordon (Treviso, 1500 - Venice, 1571). Curated by Arturo Galansino, director of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and Simone Facchinetti, a researcher at the University of Salento, the retrospective aims to recount the extraordinary quality of the work of Titian’s pupil, bringing together many of his masterpieces, including some on loan from the world’s most important museums. The exhibition also aims to rediscover the variety and richness of the production of the Treviso genius through his sensual portraits, mythological representations, sacred scenes of the great altarpieces and small works intended for private devotion.

5. Vasily Kandinsky - Palazzo Roverella, Rovigo

From February 26 to June 26, 2022, Palazzo Roverella in Rovigo offers a retrospective devoted to Vasily Kandinsky (Moscow, 1866 - Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1944), curated by Paolo Bolpagni and Evgenia Petrova. High-quality works granted by Russian museums and numerous European institutions will be on display. The exhibition starts from the artist’s beginnings in Munich, then delves into his arrival in Murnau and the discovery of the spiritual in art, and then flows into the magical moment of the Blue Horseman and the conquest of abstractionism; then the return to Russia and the experience at the Bauhaus, up to his last years in the land of France.

6. Donatello. The Renaissance - Palazzo Strozzi and Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence

From March 19 to July 31, 2022, Florence will dedicate a major exhibition on Donatello (Donato de’ Bardi; Florence, 1386 - 1466) at the two venues of Palazzo Strozzi and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. Curated by Francesco Caglioti, the exhibition has been presented as “a historical and unrepeatable exhibition.” The aim is to reconstruct the artistic journey of one of the most important and influential masters of Italian art of all time by comparing him with masterpieces by artists such as Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Raphael and Michelangelo. A celebration of Donatello in dialogue with museums, collections and institutions in Florence and throughout Italy as well as through key international collaborations.

7. Magdalene. The mystery and the image - Musei San Domenico, Forlì

From March 4 to June 26, 2022, the San Domenico Museums in Forlì will host a major exhibition dedicated to Mary Magdalene, who will be told through two hundred works by great artists, starting from the third century and reaching the twentieth century. Curated by Cristina Acidini, Paola Refice, and Fernando Mazzocca, the exhibition will tell the story of who Mary Magdalene was, why that confusing, fascinating sequence of representations that led to the construction of her multifaceted identity was generated and developed, and what is the mystery of a woman named Mary that still disquiets and fascinates. A journey in eleven sections, including painting, sculpture, miniatures, tapestries, silver and graphic works.

8. Anish Kapoor - Gallerie dell’Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin, Venice.

From April 20 to October 9, 2022, Venice will host between the Gallerie dell’Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin a major exhibition dedicated to Anish Kapoor (Mumbai, India, 1954), curated by Taco Dibbits. The retrospective will retrace the most significant moments of the celebrated artist’s career; previously unseen works will also be presented. Highly innovative new works, created using carbon nanotechnology, will be exhibited for the first time, in addition to recent paintings and sculptures that testify to the vitality and visionary drive of the master’s current artistic output.

9. Giovan Francesco Caroto - Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Verona

From May 12 to October 2, 2022, the Palazzo della Gran Guardia in Verona will dedicate a major exhibition to Giovan Francesco Caroto (Verona, c. 1480 - 1555), among the greatest artists of the 16th century. Curated by Gianni Peretti (Art Historian), Edoardo Rossetti (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan; Scuola Universitaria Professionale Svizzera Italiana - SUPSI, Lugano) and Francesca Rossi (Director of the Civic Museums of Verona), the exhibition aims to acquaint visitors with the vicissitudes of a great protagonist of sixteenth-century Veronese art and the facets of the artistic and cultural scene of his time. Alongside external loans from Italian and foreign public and private collections, works from the collections of the Museo di Castelvecchio, the Museo degli Affreschi “Giovan Battista Cavalcaselle,” the Museo Archeologico al Teatro Romano, and the Museo di Storia Naturale will be on display.

10. Rubens and the Palaces of Genoa - Palazzo Ducale, Genoa

From October 6, 2022 to January 22, 2023, the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa will dedicate a major exhibition to Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen, 1577 - Antwerp, 1640) and his connection with the city. Curated by Nils Büttner and Anna Orlando and produced by the City of Genoa with the Fondazione Palazzo Ducale per la Cultura and Electa, the exhibition entitled Rubens and the Palaces of Genoa will celebrate the fourth centenary of the publication in Antwerp in 1622 of the Baroque painter’s volume entitled Palaces of Genoa. More than 150 works, including 20 paintings by Rubens from European and Italian museums and collections, will be on display, adding to those in Genoa.

10 must-see exhibitions in Italy in 2022
10 must-see exhibitions in Italy in 2022

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