Post-war ‘political art’ between Guttuso and Schifano

'Birth of a Nation' in Florence, 16/3 to 22/7
Post-war ‘political art’ between Guttuso and Schifano
18 March 16:22 2018 Print This Article

The politics, activism, protest and social changes of the post-WWII period in Italy until 1968 are showcased in an exhibition that will open on Friday in Florence. ‘Birth of a Nation: between Renato Guttuso, Lucio Fontana and Mario Schifano’ is a show of contemporary art in Palazzo Strozzi in the Tuscan regional capital that will run from March 16 until July 22.

There will be 80 works in the exhibition including paintings, sculptures and installations by the famous Italian artists Guttuso, Fontana and Schifano, as well as Alberto Burri, Emilio Vedova, Piero Manzoni, Michelangelo Pistoletto and many others.

Opening ‘Birth of a Nation’ is one of the masterpieces of Guttuso’s ‘protest realism’, ‘ The Battle of Ponte dell’Ammiraglio (1951-1955), which was made for the Istituto di Studi Comunisti Palmiro Togliatti delle Frattocchie. Then there is one of ‘anti-realism’ by Giulio Turcato from 1950 and two of his from the following decade, a collage on fabric entitled ‘General Inciting to Battle’ (1961) by Enrico Baj and a décollage on former Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s face, entitled ‘The Last King of Kings’ (1961) by Mimmo Rotella. A great deal of space has been set aside for informal art created between the 1950s and 1960s, with tormented existentialism as a major theme. Fontana’s works are seen alongside the radical experimentation of Alberto Burri on jute, canvas and burnt wood, while works from 1968 – such as ones by Schifano and Franco Angeli – round out the exhibition.

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Nicole Volpe
Nicole Volpe

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