Curators: Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco, Ida Gianelli
During the course of the 20th century, the theatre stage and sets have been perceived as boundary zone between painting and theatre, visual spaces open to the linguistic bonds between the two different disciplines. The exhibition presents six exponents who are exemplary of this situation of exchange and meeting between art and theatre, comparing different experiences and generations, dating from the start of the 20th century to the present day.
Giacomo Balla (Turin, 1871 – Rome, 1958), a leading exponent of Futurism, is remembered here for his involvement in the theatre with the reconstruction of Feu d’artifice (Firework), a choreographic panorama formed of reverberations of light and colour, performed at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome in 1917.
Giorgio de Chirico, (Vòlos, Greece, 1888 – Rome, 1978), the master of Metaphysical painting, is present with a set for opera and ballet, together with several sketches for costumes and sets produced from the 1920s onwards, revealing suggestions and atmospheres that are analogous to those present in his paintings.
De Chirico’s talented brother, Alberto Savinio (Athens, Greece, 1891 – Rome, 1952) was a complete theatre man, having worked in it as musician, dramatist, director and set-designer. Many of his sketches for sets and costumes are on display in the exhibition, together with models and backcloths.
One of the most significant examples of Pablo Picasso’s (Malaga, Spain, 1881 – Mougins, France, 1973) interest for the theatre is the impressive curtain made for Romain Rolland’s Quatorze Juillet, performed in Paris in 1936 and drawn from the Remains of the Minotaur in Harlequin costume.
The work of Giulio Paolini (Genoa, 1940) is metaphorically focused on the idea of theatre. In the exhibition, one can see three works alluding enigmatically at theatricality and artifice. On top of this, Paolini has produced the curtain and backcloth for the Museum theatre.
Enzo Cucchi (Morro d’Alba, Ancona, 1949) has also worked for the stage, in 1996 producing the curtain for the restored Fenice Theatre in Senigallia, the version on canvas of which is shown here.