From Lucio Fontana to Casorati, Manzoni to Guttuso. A great history of passion at the Mart

From February 23 to September 8, 2019, the Mart in Rovereto is hosting the exhibition 'Passion. 12 projects for Italian art'

Passion is the feeling at the center of the major exhibition project Passion. 12 Projects for Italian Art, running at Mart in Rovereto from February 23 to September 8, 2019. Curated by Daniela Ferrari and Denis Isaia in collaboration with Fondazione VAF, the project is interamento dedicated to the VAF Collection, the largest collection on deposit at Mart, the result of a great passion for twentieth-century art. On display are 250 works including masterpieces by the great Italian artists of the 20th century: Medardo Rosso, Carlo Carrà, Giorgio De Chirico, Alberto Savinio, Massimo Campigli, Felice Casorati, Renato Guttuso, Ettore Colla, Agostino Bonalumi, and Giuseppe Uncini.

With Passione, the Mart dedicates a long exhibition schedule to the VAF Collection, which for an entire semester will occupy both galleries dedicated to temporary exhibitions, on the first and second floors. The exhibition does not follow chronological criteria, but develops in 12 thematic sections that constitute real projects of investigation: Passion investigates past and present, great masters and emerging artists. The curators mix and rearrange the Collection, outlining some of the infinite possible readings. Revealed in this living heritage is the obsessive act of collecting, the shift from one register to another, the evocation of the taste and memories of those who have collected, year after year, works of priceless value today. In the twelve projects find space for past legacies and future impulses, opposing trends, works loved, desired, chosen. And, above all, space is found for the recent history of a country, Italy, with its currents, political movements, diatribes, between popular positions and niche aesthetic searches.

Italian art history and the history of the Collection intertwine and write part of the history of the Museum of Rovereto, in an overlap of research, influences, choices. Indeed, the very identity of the Mart is deeply linked to the Collections that constitute its heritage: an internationally recognized and renowned nucleus, consisting mainly of works of the Italian twentieth century. Faithful to its public vocation, the cultural institution intends to systematize experiences and relationships in order to reorganize and enhance the heritages it guards. In the daily activities of the museum, the activities of research, protection and preservation intersect with patronage and end up coinciding with the highest educational and cultural purpose in making the works available for enjoyment. And the VAF Collection allows the Mart to explore lesser-visited areas of scientific research, investigate new themes, and construct novel projects. With the exhibition Passion, the Mart offers the public some of these investigations. The itinerary is divided into twelve “projects” that record Italian art according to themes and collecting periods, determined by trends in taste and the market and the happy intuitions of collectors. The various sections help to create a dense web of relationships that highlights the different directions of Italian artistic research. With the result that, from February 23 to September 8, the exhibition will never be the same.

The exhibition opens with the first four projects, on the second floor, from Feb. 23 to Aug. 4: Matter, Traditions and Anachronisms, Modernity and Industry, and Imaginary Pop. Starting March 16, two more sections will be added: the remounting of the Mart’s Permanent Collections, on the first and second floors, and the eighth edition of the VAF Prize. When the Prize is unmounted to travel to Kiel, the museum’s second floor will host six additional projects from May 25 to Sept. 8: Bourgeois Interior, Rome Year Zero, The Library, Miracle in Milan, Analytical Painting, and Nuclear Art. Passion thus aims to give an account of an intimate world inhabited as much by feelings and tastes as by economic evaluations.

The VAF Collection was established in Germany in 2001, and since 2002 its history has been linked to that of the Mart. The VAF-Stiftung (the Foundation that manages it) is a cultural institution that has made it its mission to be passionate about Italian art, because in addition to the famous Collection, there are many publications, exhibitions, purchases and loans, relationships with major museums around the world, research activities and support for artists, that the VAF has dedicated to Italian art. And with some 2,000 inventoried works, the Collection, among the most important worldwide, celebrates Italian art and artists. From the works of Divisionism and Futurism to the languages of contemporary art, from the great masters of the early and late 20th century to emerging artists, the VAF Collection brings together an almost complete set of the major names, the most significant currents and the most important artistic trends.

And as is often the case with private collections, the collectors’ intentions are neither didactic nor museum-like. This is a sign of an autonomous point of view and a strategy that prescinds from the anthological or purely research function. Especially with reference to the last fifty years, VAF collectors have chosen to bet on a few outsiders who, for reasons of market, fashion, or relationships, have situated themselves beyond the official canon. Alongside the universally recognized big names, they trace artists or groups that inhabit the thresholds of the contemporary art system. This “intimate wealth of unknown works” (as defined in the large 2012 catalog published by the Mart) becomes one of the characteristics of the VAF, decidedly original and different from other public or private collections concerned with the same geography. In its constant expansion, the Collection also expands thanks to the VAF Prize: a biennial project to support young Italian art. While the Prize allows the Foundation to expand its holdings with purchases of recognized quality, it also promotes innovative positions in contemporary art and presents them to Italian and German audiences. Every two years the most interesting Italian talents under 40 are selected by the Kuratorium of the VAF Foundation and presented to the public with two exhibitions, in Italy and Germany. This year the eighth edition was won by Silvia Giambrone.

The exhibitions will be open during the Mart’s opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed Mondays. Museum tickets: full 11 euros, reduced 7 euros, free for children under 14 and disabled. More information can be found on the Mart website.

Pictured: Renato Guttuso, Boogie-woogie (Boogie-woogie in Rome), 1953, Mart, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto / VAF-Stiftung Collection

From Lucio Fontana to Casorati, Manzoni to Guttuso. A great history of passion at the Mart
From Lucio Fontana to Casorati, Manzoni to Guttuso. A great history of passion at the Mart

Warning: the translation into English of the original Italian article was created using automatic tools. We undertake to review all articles, but we do not guarantee the total absence of inaccuracies in the translation due to the program. You can find the original by clicking on the ITA button. If you find any mistake,please contact us.