At MiDeC an exhibition dedicated to Leonor Fini. With perfumes and music created for the occasion

The MIDeC - Museo Internazionale del Design Ceramico in Laveno Mombello (Varese, Italy) is dedicating an exhibition entirely to Leonor Fini. The exhibition will also have a multimedia interweaving of music and olfactory perception.

At MIDeC - Museo Internazionale del Design Ceramico in Laveno Mombello (Varese, Italy) the multimedia exhibition of ceramics and painting, music and olfactory perception, entitled Leonor Fini segreta. Ceramics and Painting, Notes and Scents, conceived and curated by Marianna Accerboni, realized in collaboration with the Department of Culture of the Municipality of Laveno-Mombello and promoted by the Foemina APS Association with the technical sponsorship of Ciaccio Arte, the Amalago Association for the artistic and cultural promotion of Lake Maggiore and Videoest Trieste.

The exhibition is dedicated, including through works never before exhibited to the public, to Leonor Fini (Buenos Aires, 1907 - Paris, 1996, surrealist painter, who was also a costume designer, set designer, illustrator and writer of international renown.

Already presented at theItalian Cultural Institute in Brussels and Paris and at the museum hub of Magazzino 26 in Trieste’s Porto Vecchio, the exhibition displays differently from previous occasions the precious ceramics made in 1951 with decorations taken from Fini’s drawings, from the historic factory S.C.I. - Società Ceramica Italiana di Laveno-Mombello, preserved at the museum.

The exhibition intends to interpret the artist’s temperament, also delving into her intense relationship with Trieste, her mother’s city of origin, Here Leonor Fini was formed on the artistic cultural level as well as on the human and personal level until the age of about 20, always remaining very attached to the city, from which most of the works and materials on display come. The interpretation of the artist’s personality is also expressed in the exhibition through the creation of two never-before-seen perfumes, produced especially for the occasion: the artist was very fond of fragrances and in 1937 had designed a forerunner and iconic bottle for Elsa Schiapparelli’s Shocking perfume in Paris. Fini’s character is also interpreted through the musical notes of Notturno, Surrealist Solitude and Sonata Meditation, pieces composed for the exhibition by Italian-Brazilian musician Paolo Troni.

Accompanied by a catalog with unpublished photos and contributions, produced by the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris, the exhibition features a selection of Fini’s mostly unpublished and rare works, starting with the section devoted to ceramics decorated through decals taken from Leonor’s drawings or with her motifs imprinted in print. The section includes more than thirty rare porcelains and strong earthenwares and worksheets from the S.C.I. depicting motifs of masked female figures, polychrome carnival masks, cats, sphinxes and clowns and produced around 1951 by the Società Ceramica Italiana of Laveno- Mombello. Alongside these materials, a copper matrix for printing on ceramics with drawings by Fini, engraved with a burin by Marco Costantini, is also on display. Alongside the ceramics, rare and unpublished drawings, paintings, watercolors, engravings, illustrations, documents, books, letters, photos, video interviews, clothes that belonged to the artist and an in-depth study on the literary and graphological level of her personality will also be exhibited, also delving into the cultural climate of twentieth-century Trieste. Also featured in the exhibition are vases, plates and table, coffee and tea sets with masked female figures, cats and sphinxes. These decorations relate to the imagery drawn by Fini during her childhood and youth years in Trieste.

In the context of Trieste, the young painter had opportunities to associate with characters of her age from the city who would become world famous. These included Leo Castelli, Gillo Dorfles, Bobi Bazlen, Arturo Nathan, Italo Svevo and Umberto Saba.

Of particular interest are a video featuring the curator’s previously unpublished interviews with Fini’s Trieste relatives and friends, including Gillo Dorfles and Daisy Nathan, the painter’s sister, and other people who knew her, and a video featuring the last interview in Italian with the famous painter.

As in the other venues, the exhibition will feature a multimedia interweaving of music and olfactory perception. For the duration of the exhibition, a number of previously unreleased surrealist compositions, created and performed on the piano by Italian-Brazilian musician Paolo Troni, inspired by Leonor and conceived for the exhibition, will be played as a soundtrack inside the MIDeC.

Two exclusive limited-edition perfumes have also been designed, dedicated to the artist and inspired by her personality. The fragrance Lolò, the nickname by which family and friends called the painter in Trieste in her youthful period, embellished with glitter in reference to the brightness of her painting, and Kot, a fragrance inspired by her “masculine double” and meaning cat in Polish: it was the nickname by which the artist called Costantin Jelenski, a Polish writer and journalist she met in Rome in 1952.

Hours: Through June 30, Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. From July 1, Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 3 to 8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 to 7 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Tickets: Full 6 euros, reduced 3 euros for over 65s, students 14-26 and groups of at least 26 people; reduced 4 euros for groups of minimum 10, maximum 25 people. Free for children and young people up to 14 years old.

Image: Leonor Fini (Paris 1950s; private collection, Trieste) © Marianna Accerboni

At MiDeC an exhibition dedicated to Leonor Fini. With perfumes and music created for the occasion
At MiDeC an exhibition dedicated to Leonor Fini. With perfumes and music created for the occasion

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