Mart in Rovereto hosts major exhibition on Canova and his legacy

The Mart in Rovereto from December 17, 2021 to April 18, 2022 is hosting the major exhibition 'Canova Between Innocence and Sin' which explores Antonio Canova's legacy from his time to contemporary times with more than 200 works.

On the occasion of the second centenary of the artist’s death, the Mart celebrates the legacy of one of the most important masters of sculpture of all time: Antonio Canova (Possagno, 1757 - Rome, 1822). And lo facon Canova between innocence and sin, a major exhibition that, from December 17, 2021 to April 18, 2022, explores the relevance of his work in contemporary languages, from photography to the most recent sculptural experiences, highlighting connections, dialogues, continuity and juxtapositions. Through his work, Canova embodied the ideal of eternal beauty, founded on principles of harmony, measure and balance, establishing himself as the greatest exponent of Italian Neoclassicism. His research, rich in references to the past, opens to the future, bequeathing an aesthetic ideal that lives on to this day.

With more than 200 works, the exhibition, curated by Beatrice Avanzi and Denis Isaia, investigates how this legacy has influenced contemporary languages, presenting some of the most significant artistic experiences in the fields of photography and sculpture, in search of an ideal of beauty that finds different declinations along the exhibition path: from imitation to celebration, to questioning and negation.

In a setting in which black and white predominate, the real protagonist is the body. If some of the artists in the exhibition choose to idealize or aestheticize it, others describe an anti-canonical and “anti-Canovian” beauty that contemplates and contains its opposite. In both cases, the body is iconic.

The exhibition is divided into five sections in which works by Canova and contemporary artists coexist. In the works of a number of artists active in the last century, the practice of sculpture becomes an exercise in mastery and an expression of research that renews and updates the Canova canon. The central environment of the exhibition presents evocative dialogues between Canova and the greatest nude photographers of the 20th century: Helmut Newton; Jean-Paul Goude; Robert Mapplethorpe; Edward Weston; Irving Penn; and Horst P. Horst. A true investigation of the perfection of technique and form. These are counterpointed by photographers who have pursued research of the opposite sign, such as Miroslav Tichý, Jan Saudek and Joel-Peter Witkin. Finally, a section is devoted to the photographers who lent their lens to the documentation and interpretation of Canova’s art: the Alinari brothers, Aurelio Amendola, Paolo Marton, Massimo Listri, and Luigi Spina.

In the museum square at the center of the fountain, the public encounters the work of sculptor Fabio Viale, who has been subverting the masterpieces of the classical masters by tattooing them for several years.

The exhibition Canova between Innocence and Sin is open until April 18, 2022.

For all information, you can visit the Mart’s official website.

Image: Antonio Canova, Sleeping Nymph (1820; Possagno, Museo Gypsotheca Antonio Canova)

Mart in Rovereto hosts major exhibition on Canova and his legacy
Mart in Rovereto hosts major exhibition on Canova and his legacy

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