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Exhibition at Mart, Rovereto reviews the features of Magic Realism in Italy
Felice Casorati, Gli scolari, 1927–28. Galleria d’Arte Moderna “Empedocle Restivo”, Palermo.

ROVERETO.- After Umberto Boccioni and An Eternal Beauty, the season of great exhibitions dedicated to early 20th century Italian art continues at Mart, Rovereto.

Constituting the first stage of the exhibition, that in 2018 will be at the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki and at the Folkwang Museum, Essen, Mart’s great winter season exhibition reviews the features of Magic Realism in Italy through a selection of painterly works of art from important public and private collections.

Coined by critic Franz Roh in a famous essay (1925), the definition Magic Realism describes an international artistic season that reached its heights of creativity and originality between the 1920s and 1930s of the last century. This in a period that followed on from that of the historic avante-gardes, featuring a return to the pictorial and sculptural tradition.

The objective representation emphasised by the term “realism” is accompanied, in this expression, by an adjective that evokes the suspended and surreal atmospheres that are a strong feature of the movement. Reality is in fact the point of departure for a transfiguration that goes by way of the imagination and marvellous wonderment, implemented by a group of artists featuring Cagnaccio di San Pietro, Felice Casorati, Antonio Donghi, Achille Funi, Carlo Levi and Ubaldo Oppi. Alongside the better-known painters, the exhibition also comprises artists active locally on the Venetian, Trieste, Turin and Roman art scene, confirming the transversality of subjects and styles that combined in Italian painting in those decades. These include Mario and Edita Broglio, Leonor Fini, Arturo Nathan, Carlo Sbisà, Gregorio Sciltian, Carlo Socrate and Cesare Sofianopulo.

The layout of the exhibition, that examines the complexity of the sources of inspiration and its different declinations on the Italian scene, throws light on the interpretative new features that Magic Realism fields in regard to given genres from the pictorial tradition. This is in fact the first project to be realised after the important anthological exhibition curated by Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco, held between 1988 and 1989 at the Galleria dello Scudo, Verona.

Curated by Gabriella Belli and Valerio Terraroli, the exhibition has been organized in cooperation with 24 ORE Cultura.

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