THE ESTORICK COLLECTION OF MODERN ITALIAN ART: Untitled: Abstraction in Italy, 1930-1980 27 June to 9 September 2012


described by Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, as “one of the finest
collections of early 20th century Italian art anywhere in the world” – opened in
January 1998. Comprising some 120 paintings, drawings, watercolours,
prints and sculptures by many of the most prominent Italian artists of the
modernist era, the Collection is housed in a Georgian Grade II listed building.
Untitled: Abstraction in Italy, 1930-1980
27 June to 9 September 2012
Drawn from Liguria’s three main museums dedicated to contemporary art,
this exhibition will present a survey of the myriad approaches to abstraction
in Italian art which developed between the 1930s and the early 1980s.
Genoa’s Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce houses the collection
of Maria Cernuschi Ghiringhelli. Comprising 233 paintings, sculptures and
works on paper, it provides an overview of three decades of abstract research
in 20th century Italian art. The wife of Virginio (aka Gino) Ghiringhelli – a
painter and owner of the Milanese Il Milione gallery – Cernuschi began to
acquire works of both Italian and foreign abstract painting, drawing, sculpture
and graphics in the 1930s.
The Centro d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (CAMeC) of La Spezia
acquired the collection of Giorgio Cozzani in early 2000, dedicated to an
extensive and thorough documentation of the different expressive tendencies
within 20th century art. This has been fully integrated into the museum’s own
collection, with works purchased by the city of La Spezia over the course of
the various exhibitions of the Premio del Golfo (1949-1965) – a prize
inaugurated during the 1930s under the auspices of Futurism, and which
continued after the war with a series of important surveys of the major artistic
currents of the time.
Finally, the works from the Pinacoteca Civica in Savona’s Palazzo Gavotti
belong to the large collection donated by Milena Milani, a writer, journalist,
visual artist and leading figure of Lucio Fontana’s Spatialist movement. The
companion of Carlo Cardazzo, one of the most important gallerists of postwar
Italy, Milani was herself a protagonist of some significant episodes in
contemporary art, often closely bound up with the cultural life of Savona and
Curated by Matteo Fochessati, and organised by the Scientific Committee of
the Regional Centre for Contemporary Art in Liguria, the exhibition will be
divided into six thematic and chronological sections: Historical Abstraction;
MAC and ‘concrete’ research; Art Informel; Towards the Conceptual;
Optical-perceptual Research; Analytical Painting-New Painting; and will
present a selection of works by over forty artists.


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