‘Collezionare il Futurismo’ in Cairo

Collezionare il Futurismo

June 1 – June 15, 2009
Istituto Italiano di Cultura del Cairo

On June 2, Italy and Italians throughout the world remember the referendum by universal suffrage which turned Italy into a republic. It was held on June 2 and 3, 1946, after the fall of Fascism. As part of the celebrations for the 63rd anniversary of the proclamation of the Italian Republic, an exhibition will open in Cairo at the prestigious Sama’khana on Monday June 1. Entitled “Collecting Futurism,” the exhibition, which is organized by the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo, will remain open until June 15, 2009. It aims to present an original interpretation of Futurism, the most important Italian avant-garde movement. A manifesto issued in Paris in 1909 by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti-an Italian born in Alexandria who was always very attached to his hometown – initiated the movement. Futurism stretched over the next two decades, influencing most of Italian art and culture at the beginning of the century and attempting to bring these closer to the modernist trends of Europe’s most advanced countries. The trend involved many artists from every domain. Amongst the most renowned were Boccioni, Balla, Sironi, Depero and Prampolini. They founded small Futurist circles deep in all the Italian regions to diffuse the new artistic ideology, through a futuristic aesthetic concept, such a new ideology of the art as significant as the artistic avant-garde movements that were establishing themselves in Europe at the same time. Some 80 works will be displayed at the Sama’khana. They comprise temperas, oil paintings and various objects. From the first decades of the 20th century, they became part of the collection of Paolo Salvadori, a Genoese industrialist who loved art and was keen on investigating how the Futurist style of the time affected advertising and its graphics. So it is not by chance that many of the works on display are preparatory sketches for illustrations or advertisements. Some objects also document how Futurism sought to become intrinsic to the lifestyle of people, influencing even the fashion and furniture industries. The catalogue contains colour reproductions of all the works as well as technical charts and biographical material on the artists. The Futurist movement is put under close scrutiny and its most significant “manifestos” are set out once again. Attention is paid to the magazines of the time and to advertising, which first gave the Futurists the opportunity to carry out their graphic experiments

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