Turin, Italy's first time to host major Tim Burton exhibition

In Turin, the National Museum of Cinema is hosting a major exhibition dedicated to the universe of director Tim Burton at its headquarters at the Mole Antonelliana: the show comes to Italy for the first time.

A major exhibition dedicated to one of the most beloved contemporary directors, Tim Burton, for the first time in Italy: this is The World of Tim Burton, an exhibition that can be visited at the National Cinema Museum in Turin from October 11, 2023 to April 7, 2024. The exhibition, conceived and co-curated by Jenny He in collaboration with Tim Burton and adapted by Domenico De Gaetano for the spaces of the Mole Antonelliana, home of the Cinema Museum, aims to be a journey into the visionary universe and creativity of Tim Burton. On display are objects, drawings, sketches and documents from thedirector’s personal archive to show the variety of his intense creative output.

The exhibition is also intended to be the definitive exploration of Tim Burton’s artistic output, as well as his style. Ten sections, 500 objects will be on display, including original, rarely or never-before-seen works of art from his early days to his most recent projects, including sketches, paintings, drawings, photographs, concept art, storyboards, costumes, moving works, maquettes, puppets and life-size sculptural installations. A themed tour will lead visitors and fans to immerse themselves in Tim Burton’s extraordinary universe, experiencing an insight into his sensibility and taking photos with the Balloon Boy figure, and there will be an opportunity to explore theexact replica of the artist’s personal studio along with exceptional documents on current or unrealized projects.

The tour itinerary follows in the footsteps of the director and the evolution of his unique visual imagination as a multidimensional postmodern artist, in a kind of autobiography told through his limitless creative process. Through the unique presentation of Tim Burton’s oeuvre, his unique vision transcends mediums and formats, making it clear how ideas, themes, and even some specific images of his art ended up in the most iconic films we now associate with cinematic pageantry.

Long before his critical and commercial success in the live-action and animation genres, Burton was inspired by films on television, animations, comic strips in newspapers, myths and fairy tales told in school, and other forms of popular culture, incorporating these influences from time immemorial into his art and films. Sketches from his childhood demonstrate Burton’s diversity and recall the work of his predecessors, including classic cartoonists and illustrators such as Edward Gorey, Charles Addams, Don Martin, and Theodore Geisel. The impact of Japanese monster movies, expressionist cinema, Universal Studios’ horror catalog and suspense masters William Castle and Vincent Price also permeate his work.

“Once again the National Cinema Museum pays tribute to a great artist of international renown,” emphasizes Enzo Ghigo, president of the National Cinema Museum. “With his great creativity and craftsmanship he gave life to universal films, appreciated by all, fans and others. For more than 30 years he has captivated us with his stories, from Beetlejuice and Batman to the recent great success of Wednesday, the second most-watched English-language Netflix series ever.”

“Hosting Tim Burton in Turin is a dream come true,” says Domenico De Gaetano, director of the National Cinema Museum. “The fantastic imagery of his films has accompanied our lives, from children to adults, and it will be wonderful to see how Tim Burton’s colorful and whimsical world will fit into the magical space of the Mole Antonelliana. The exhibition has been hosted in other countries in conventional exhibition spaces, and I am sure the National Cinema Museum will be transformed to combine architectural madness and creative genius, as well as fit into our institution’s strategic internationalization project.”

Biographical notes

Timothy Walter Burton (Burbank, 1958) grew up in Burbank, California, a homogeneous neighborhood in the American suburbs that drove him to find respite and escape its blandness. Widely known as one of the most imaginative artists and as a filmmaker capable of the most fantastic visual effects, he reinvented Hollywood genre cinema as an expression of personal vision, garnering for himself an international fan base and influencing a generation of young artists working in film, video, and graphic design. Burton studied at CalArts to become a pioneer of a dreamlike, grotesque and beautiful film genre that had never existed before. His iconic filmography over the past three decades includes Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Big Fish (2003), The Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dumbo (2019), and Wednesday, the second most-watched English-language Netflix series. He created an artistic style called “Burtonesque,” and although he is widely known as a filmmaker, Tim Burton is also a prominent artist, talented in various artistic areas, including fine art, photography and sculpture, working in the spirit of Pop Surrealism.

Turin, Italy's first time to host major Tim Burton exhibition
Turin, Italy's first time to host major Tim Burton exhibition

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