The 10 must-see exhibitions in August in Italy
08 August 2023
Rivoli Castle (TO), artists at war
"Artists at war. From Francisco Goya to Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Lee Miller, Zoran Mušič, Alberto Burri, Fabio Mauri, Bracha L. Ettinger, Anri Sala, Michael Rakowitz, Dinh Q. Lê, Vu Giang Huong, Rahraw Omarzad and Nikita Kadan". Inspired by Goya's "Desastres de la Guerra", this exhibition at the Rivoli Castle (To)displays over 140 works by 39 different artists. All artists who have been through or are currently at war. Empathetic Pieces, suffering, expressing unease and great humanity. An exhibition that does not follow chronological or temporal orders, but themed, experiential and emotional. A challenging encounter with complex and never trivial realities, a genuine full immersion into the narrative of war in art, which helps to better understand our times.
Paid admission; until 19 November.
Genoa, illustrated poem by a Nobel Prize winner
"Wisława Szymborska. La gioia di scrivere" (The Joy of Writing), set up in the Villa Croce Museum of Contemporary Art in Genoa, is the exhibition celebrating the centenary of the birth of the 1996 Nobel Prize winner for Literature. The title is taken from one of the author's most famous poems. On display are 85 collages made by Szymborska from private collectors, such as Jarosłav Mikołajewski, poet and writer. These are the people that Wisława Szymborska gifted, the real bonds of friendship that make it possible to follow her creative paths, as similar in visual language as in writing. The collages are displayed in the exhibition and some are reproduced full-wall, an exploded image that embraces viewers in Jandura's scenographic and immersive set-up. The route is punctuated by 100 maxims by Wisława Szymborska, extracted from her poems.
Paid admission; until 3 September.
Milan, a master of photography
Mario Dondero (1928-2015), one of the great protagonists of Italian photography, is the protagonist, at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, of the extensive retrospective "Mario Dondero. Freedom and commitment". An exhibition that, for the first time, reconstructs the artist's long and extraordinary career, following a dual exhibition criterion, both thematic and chronological. The exhibition, divided into ten rooms, displays evocative shots, a photographic account of trips, characters, intimate stories in a time span that, starting from the fifties, extends to the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Free admission; until 6 September.
Verona, the relationship with food
There are 125 images signed by 29 masters of world photography, on display in the exhibition called "Photo & Food. Food in Magnum photographs from the 1940s to today", at the Eataly Art House in Verona. Habits, fashions, revolutions related to what we eat, a reflection on how the relationship with food has changed. The exhibition is divided into five sections and follows both chronological and themed trends. They include shots by Elliott Erwitt, Inge Morath, Ferdinando Scianna and several other artists, in a journey that will whet your appetite.
Free admission; until 17 September.
Florence, the world of Yan Pei-Ming
Palazzo Strozzi in Florence will host "Yan Pei-Ming. Painter of stories". The exhibition dedicated to the French-Chinese artist reinterprets his painting in a contemporary way, inviting us to rethink the relationship between history and the present through monumental personal portraits or through characters such as Mao, Hitler, Putin or the Mona Lisa. There is also a sequence of paintings linked to famous images that document the recent history of Italy: from the discovery of Aldo Moro to the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Paid admission; until 3 September.
New light: from Pompeii to Rome
Coming from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, from the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, the ‘lights of Pompeii’ are oil lamps, candelabra or supports for figurative lamps and torches. In addition to statues and sculptures of lamps, the exhibition also features exhibits from the Naples museum that have never been exhibited to the public, many of them renovated for the occasion, as well as 30 pieces from the Capitoline Museums. Developed as part of a multi-disciplinary research programme on artificial light in the Roman age, dedicated for the first time to the scientific analysis of bronze lighting objects from the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, it is artificial Roman light that the exhibition invites visitors to discover. Theart of light: with their plastic shapes and elaborate surfaces, where bronze lamps and candelabra create a spectacular scenography of light and shadows. A new perspective to understand the different spheres of life in ancient Rome, between celebration and religion, magic and eroticism, dream and night. Representing a great work of archaeological research, restoration and simulation to understand the meaning of lighting in antiquity.
In Naples, Picasso and the Elder
It was during his two stays in Naples in 1917, especially his encounter with antiquity in Pompeii and the National Museum in Naples, guardian of the gigantic Hercules and Taurus Farnese, that Picasso was greatly impressed. In fact, the impact it had on the artistic production of the great Catalan master is remarkable, as shown by the paintings of the "second classical period" (1917-1925) and the graphic work of the 1930s. There are 43 works by Picasso compared with the Farnese sculptures and paintings by Pompeii in the exhibition "Picasso and the elder" at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Promoted by Mann, the exhibition aims to illustrate the profound influence of one of the greatest museums of classical art on the work of one of the greats of modern genius.
Until 27 August.
Alberobello, Frida Kahlo: images of life
If you plan to visit the village of Alberobello in Puglia, famous above all for its trulli, at the "Casa Pezzolla" museum, you can find the exhibition "Frida Kahlo. A life in pictures". Made first by her father and then by photographers and artists of international renown, the exhibition reconstructs the life and events of the brilliant Mexican artist: a photographic album both intimate and public, in which the events of her country, protagonist of political, cultural and artistic revolutions, unfold.
Paid admission; until 8 October.
In Palermo, contemporary art is at home
An unusual axis between Turin and Palermo occupies the halls of the Zisa, a space dedicated to contemporary art in Palermo. A gift: the exhibition "Mario Merz. My home's wind", the first retrospective in the region dedicated to one of the masters of Italian contemporary art who died twenty years ago. Curated by Beatrice Merz, the exhibition takes up the flow of the Turin artist's work in an unprecedented exhibition project that wonderfully exposes the echo of Merz's poetic, scientific and intense thought, always enriched by moments of irrationality.
Free admission; until 24 September.