A major exhibition to celebrate Armando Testa, his art and characters

At the Mart in Rovereto a major exhibition celebrates the great Armando Testa on the centenary of his birth: the public can admire his art and characters.

Exactly one hundred years ago, on March 23, 1917, the great Armando Testa (Turin, 1917 - 1992), one of the most important advertising graphic designers Italy has known, was born. Characters such as the hippo Pippo or Carmencita and Caballero, and advertisements such as Punt e Mes or Pirelli tires have entered the collective imagination. But Armando Testa was not only a great graphic designer: he was also an up-to-date and thoughtful artist who expressed himself in the fullest freedom when drawing and painting. Now a major exhibition at the Mart in Rovereto celebrates him on the centenary of his birth: it is All the “isms” of Armando Testa, an exhibition that already from its title wants to communicate to the reader how attentive the artist was to the movements (the “isms,” precisely) of the twentieth century... futurism, cubism, surrealism, neoplasticism, and so on.

The exhibition, curated by Gianfranco Maraniello and Gemma De Angelis Testa, will present graphics, paintings, sculptures, television commercials, sketches, installations, posters (there are about one hundred and fifty works in all), but also archive footage that also includes excerpts from interviews and anecdotes told by Armando Testa himself: the aim is to present his figure in a complete way, without leaving out any detail. There will then be works that will make evident the influences undergone by the great artists of the twentieth century (Mondrian above all) and that delve into Armando Testa’s favorite iconographies (fingers, animals and surreal worlds in particular), but also the fine humor that distinguished his creations. An itinerary organized on a thematic basis designed for an audience as heterogeneous as possible: Armando Testa, in fact, was able to reach different audiences, from gallery, museum and cinema-goers to consumers unaccustomed to high-level proposals. To conclude, a video on communication and images in the future.

"All the ’isms’ of Armando Testa,“ reads the presentation of the exhibition, ”wants to testify to the dialogue between the work of the creative artist from Turin and the most vibrant cultural vocabularies, highlighting the mechanisms of proximity: sometimes art offers direct references, other times analogies of method. Testa senses that the world is changing and that the languages of modernity become common heritage, shared identity. An absolute forerunner, he inaugurates a new way of advertising, a perfect synthesis between representation and symbol. Between metaphors, mirages, dreams, fables, metamorphoses, his creations grant an escape from the obviousness of reality, responding to the viewer’s primary needs: entertainment, emotion, involvement."

The exhibition opens July 22, 2017, and runs through Oct. 15, 2017. Mart opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays open until 9 p.m. (closed Mondays). Open August 15. Full-price ticket is euro 11, reduced price euro 7 (for young people aged 15 to 26, over 65, groups of at least 15 people, conventioned museum friends, Trentino Family Card holders). The family ticket is euro 22. It is also possible to purchase a single ticket for the three venues (Mart Rovereto, Casa Depero in Rovereto, Galleria Civica in Trento) for 14 euros (10 the reduced). Free admission for children up to 14 years, Mart Membership, school groups, ICOM, AMACI, ANISA, CIMAM members, Museum Pass Trento Rovereto City of Cultures, disabled people with accompanying person, tour guides and interpreters in professional activity, group leaders and teachers accompanying school groups, journalists with law enforcement cards, law enforcement, cultural heritage professionals (Ministry and Superintendence). Free admission every first Sunday of the month. Click here for an in-depth look at Armando Testa.

Image: Armando Testa, Carmencita and Caballero (1965; plaster; Gemma De Angelis Testa Collection)

A major exhibition to celebrate Armando Testa, his art and characters
A major exhibition to celebrate Armando Testa, his art and characters

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