The mountain painted by Testori's artists, from Courbet to Guttuso, on display in Châtillon

Opening July 11, and remaining open until Sept. 29, is the second exhibition of the new exhibition season at the Gamba Castle in Châtillon: High Colors. The Painted Mountain: Giovanni Testori and His Artists, from Courbet to Guttuso scheduled from July 12 to September 29, 2019. Produced by theValle d’Aosta Department of Tourism, Sports, Commerce, Agriculture and Cultural Heritage in collaboration with Casa Testori, the exhibition takes its cue from the presence in the Gamba Castle collection of a small but important work by writer, art critic and painter Giovanni Testori (Novate Milanese, 1923 - Milan, 1993).

The intent is to investigate Testori’s relationship with the mountains, the setting of his artistic activity and the privileged subject of many artists he launched as a journalist and militant critic. The exhibition represents an opportunity for discovery, a journey through the works Giovanni Testori loved to surround himself with, starting with a key episode in his life: his first article, published when he was only 17 years old.

The beginning of Testori’s critical activity, in fact, concerns a mountain painting: a masterpiece by Giovanni Segantini, Alpe di maggio (1891), of which he published a preparatory study, moving on to his other great loves: Gustave Courbet, the revolutionary artist whose two important paintings are presented; Willy Varlin, the brilliant Zurich painter who chose to go and live in the mountains of the Bondasca Valley; Renato Guttuso, a Sicilian who, bewitched by the view of the Rosa, chose to make his house in Velate, Varese, a studio where he made many of his most famous; Paolo Vallorz, an artist from Trentino who, despite emigrating to Paris, has always remained tied to his Val di Sole; and Bernd Zimmer, a living German painter who was “discovered” by Giovanni Testori and the author of paintings featuring flaming, visionary mountains. The exhibition will also be an opportunity to present a cycle of photographs by the great photographer Pepi Merisio, taken in the 1970s during the night procession from Fontainemore to the sanctuary of Oropa. Photos that Testori loved for their intensity and for the testimony of a mountain civilization tied to its own tradition.

Engaged on many fronts, from art criticism to theater, from fiction to painting, Giovanni Testori was among the most important Italian intellectuals of the 20th century. A novelist and playwright, as well as an art critic, in the mountains he had rediscovered his pictorial vocation, electing the scenery as the subject of many of his paintings, as in the series of drawings and watercolors executed from the late 1960s, during a summer spent in the Gressoney valley and the Swiss Alps. For the first time this very private nucleus, which Giovanni Testori wanted to keep for himself and his family, is presented to the public in an extraordinarily evocative setting: the tower of Gamba Castle.

For all information you can visit the official Gamba Castle website.

Source: press release

The mountain painted by Testori's artists, from Courbet to Guttuso, on display in Châtillon
The mountain painted by Testori's artists, from Courbet to Guttuso, on display in Châtillon

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