Openings Exhibitions Museums USA

Italian Futurists come to New York

A foundation dedicated to the country’s Modern artists is due to open in February, to coincide with the Guggenheim’s examination of the movement

Fortunato Depero, Motociclista, solido in velocità (Biker solid at speed), 1923. Photo: 2013 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome

A foundation devoted to the study and presentation of Italian Modern art in the US is due to open to the public in New York on 22 February. Laura Mattioli, the daughter of the late Italian art collector and cotton trader Gianni Mattioli, established the Centre for Italian Modern Art (Cima) to fund research fellowships and present annual displays of work that is rarely seen outside Italy. The fist exhibition at its SoHo location focuses on the Italian Futurist Fortunato Depero (1892-1960).

News of the organisation’s launch comes as Futurism is gaining wider recognition in New York. In November, Sotheby’s set a new auction record for the artist Giacono Balla when his painting, Automobile in corsa, 1911, sold for $11.5m. Also opening in February is the Guggenheim’s “Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe”, the first multidisciplinary exhibition to examine the movement in the US. (The show’s curator, Vivien Greene, is also on Cima’s advisory board.)

Cima’s inaugural exhibition (22 February-28 June) is the first in-depth presentation of work by Fortunato Depero in New York since 1928, when the artist moved to the city and opened a workshop on 23rd Street called Futurist House. The exhibition includes 50 works in a variety of media drawn entirely from Mattioli’s collection.

“Italy is highly praised for its excellence in fashion, design and the culinary arts, but until very recently, Italian Modern and contemporary art has been largely overlooked,” says Heather Ewing, the executive director of Cima, in a statement. Strict regulations governing the export of art from Italy have played a large role in limiting its presentation outside the country. “Our goal is to serve as an incubator for new discourse, scholarly debate and increased public appreciation of 20th-century Italian art.”

Fortunato Depero, Il Circo (The circus), 1919. Photo: 2013 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome
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6 Jan 14
17:14 CET


CAn you bring this to San francisco???

6 Jan 14
17:20 CET


I am thrilled that attention will be focused on this aspect of Italian. I have several paintings and much background and examples of the work of Carlo Nangeroni, born in 1928 in Italy , fled to the US because of WW2, and then returned to Italy.

6 Jan 14
17:7 CET


I think the importance of the Futurist movement has been greatly under-recognised, at least amongst the general public and art students. My own original understanding was that they were a quirky bunch of artists fixated by speed and wanting to destroy old art. Only more recently have I discovered that they are the principle source of the evolution of abstraction in painting and sculpture. They were producing pure examples of abstraction and in sculpture they originated the idea that the sculptural object is part of the infinite number of planes that run through it, making the sculpture and the environment one and the same.

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