Curated by David Ross, Nicholas Serota, Ida Gianelli, Giorgio Verzotti, Jonathan Watkins
Following a long restoration, the Manica Lunga opens to the public with the exhibition “Quotidiana.” Built as the painting gallery of Carlo Emanuele I, this unusually proportioned building thus rediscovers its function as a place set aside for art and, equipped with the most advanced technology, it lends itself to large, temporary exhibitions.
Since the beginning of the last century avant-garde art has addressed everyday life, whether representing it literally, or alluding to it implicitly. Contrary to the preconception that the avant-garde is a form of cultural extremism divorced from reality, it is in the very heart of the quotidian and its most immediate manifestations that it has found a constant source of inspiration.
This predisposition can also be detected in more current artistic expressions and characterizes the work of many contemporary artists. “Quotidiana” presents an exhibition path that, beginning with the present, takes a retrospective look back, showing works from different eras within the same context. The exhibition includes Divisionist paintings by Giacomo Balla, Cubist collages by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, pre-Futurist portraits by Umberto Boccioni, ready-mades by Marcel Duchamp and merzbilder by Kurt Schwitters. In these artists’ works everyday time is captured in images of labor or in portraits in domestic interiors, or alluded to through the use of materials and objects pertaining to daily life. The transfiguration of reality is related through the still lifes of Giorgio Morandi.
The ‘Sixties and ‘Seventies, other eras of experimentation that radically altered the history of the visual arts, represent an important chapter in the development of the exhibition’s theme. This period is described through the work of artists such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gerhard Richter and Christian Boltanski. The continuity of art and life is also confirmed in works by artists such as Nan Goldin, Grazia Toderi, Beat Streuli, Richard Billingham and Andrea Zittel, who in different ways draw upon the experience of the phenomenology of the real and on the realm of individuality and more personal feelings.