Last April, in San Lazzaro di Savena, a few kilometers from Bologna, the Massimo and Sonia Cirulli Foundation opened to the public, a new Italian private institution based on a historical archive dedicated to the Italian culture of the twentieth century, launched in New York in 1984 by its founders, Massimo and Sonia Cirulli and which today has a collection of some thousands of pieces.
April 21, 2018 – May 19, 2019
Massimo and Sonia Cirulli Foundation
Via Emilia, 275, 40068 San Lazzaro di Savena BO,
The objectives of the Foundation are the enhancement, at national and international level, of Italian art and visual culture of the twentieth century through a rereading of the unprecedented and multidisciplinary cut of its cultural heritage and the promotion of projects aimed at disseminating Italian creative culture from birth of modernity and made in Italy until the economic boom.
At the opening of the space will be inaugurated the exhibition Futurist Universe, curated by Jeffrey T. Schnapp and Silvia Evangelisti, focused on the core of the collection dedicated to this historical period (1909-1939) on which the attention of scholars does not cease to be renewed , through exhibitions and publications, and the public. The exhibition presents a selection of works from the Cirulli Foundation collection and poses the accent on central themes of futuristic aesthetics such as the hymn to the creative vitality, playfulness and fantasy of an art that rejoices the world by recreating it integrally, taking up the words of the Manifesto “Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe” drawn up in 1915 by Giacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero.
Futurist aesthetics moves its steps from a new way of conceiving artistic creation, which goes beyond the boundaries of traditional arts and involves daily life as a whole to become “total art”, creating a very close link between art and life. Futurist universe deepens this new aesthetic concept through the careful selection of paintings, sculptures, design objects, design drawings, photographs and photomontages, advertising posters and autograph documents of all kinds made by futurist artists from 1909 up to the end of the 30s twentieth century.
Through an extraordinary variety of works by the Fondazione Cirulli, the exhibition itinerary proposes “settings” dedicated to themes dear to futurists such as speed, energy, progress, mechanized man and home design, organized around five units main structures: the air conquer room, the wall of posters, the “constellations” (8 thematic units), the “orbits” (6 monographic areas dedicated to relevant figures of the Futurist period whose artistic production is well documented in the Collection Cirulli) and the “spaces” (2 installations built around the furnishings). As the American scholar Jeffrey T. Schnapp, co-curator of the exhibition, explains, the project does not follow a traditional historical-artistic approach but proposes an exploratory path through the abundance and multiplicity of the materials preserved in the Foundation’s collection, highlighting groupings, constellations, different rhythms of works and variations in size from large to small, from full to empty.
On show a nucleus of over 200 works realized in different materials, shapes and measures created by artists such as Balla, Boccioni, Bonzagni, Bucci, Casarini, Chiattone, D’Albisola, Depero, Diulgheroff, Guerrini, Korompay, Licini, Marchi, Marinetti, Masoero, Munari, Prampolini, Russolo, Schawinsky, Sant’Elia, Sironi, Tato, Thayaht.
Futurist universe includes masterpieces from the unique collecting story, such as the Disintegration x velocity (1913) by Giacomo Balla. Published in the volume Futurist painting and sculpture by Umberto Boccioni (1914), the work was exhibited in the United States in 1915 on the occasion of the “Panama Pacific International Exposition”, the universal exposition that took place in San Francisco to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal; a great event with over 11,000 exhibited works from Europe and the United States. At the end of the exhibition, Balla’s work lost all traces, until the discovery took place a few years ago in the United States.
Even one of the urban paintings by Osvaldo Licini exhibited in the exhibition has a particular history. During the restoration of the painting, an article of the Bolognese newspaper “Il Resto del Carlino” has been found, cropped inside the frame, which comments on the futurist exhibition of 1914, lasting one night and one day, organized in the basement of the Grand Hotel Majestic in Bologna (then Baglioni). Five young artists took part in the exhibition: Giorgio Morandi, Severo Pozzati, Giacomo Vespignani, Mario Bacchelli and Osvaldo Licini who exhibited, among others, the work mentioned above.