Rooms of 20th century, First sector, National gallery of modern and contemporary art in Rome

The exhibition “Time is Out of Joint” exhibition, in National gallery of modern and contemporary art in Rome, provides a discourse about time, its permanence, impermanence, and ever-changing state, to challenge and renovate the gallery’s space which allows new interpretations of the art than ever before.

A distorted sense of time, with art from the late 19th century, art from the mid 20th century, and recent 21st-century art that do not seem to belong together. Everything has some relation; whether it be with the artists, the subject matter, the movements the art was produced in, or just by aesthetics.

In each room, there are artworks with different mediums to make you think about the relation of the pieces together, and it is difficult as most relations are not obvious. In a place where art from different time periods and art movements are put together in one space, they come together in a blank room where the walls and décor have no predispositions on or empowerment over the art. This allows the audience to think about why they are all put together.

Against the white walls, these pieces all stand out in one way or another, be it color, scale, the frames, or having to walk around a piece that was placed in a location to look at every angle and interact with it. The interaction between the art and the audience, not by touching, but by movement, sounds, or provocative visuals to make them stop and think. What could be different are the wall labels, seeing as they only included the artist, object title, and date, and not the material used or where it came from.

Room 1
Rome 1911 year of the 50th anniversary
This room, introductory to the new century, and the following rooms are dedicated to the great international exhibition which was held in Rome in 1911 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the unification of Italy. On that occasion the Palazzo delle Belle Arti was built as the permanent seat of the gallery and the area of Rome between Valle Giulia and Viale Mazzini was urbanized, the Risorgimento bridge was also built (the first reinforced concrete bridge in Rome) to connect the new areas.

Room 2
Rome 1911 the year of the 50th anniversary
It is a room obtained from a mezzanine, you can get there by climbing the stairs from the previous room, it is rarely open to the public.

Still dedicated to the 1911 Exhibition but reserved for foreign artists.

Room 3
Rome 1911 the year of the 50th anniversary

Another room dedicated to the 1911 Exhibition, the theme of work seems to prevail, alongside foreign artists two works by the Roman Ferruccio Ferrazzi (1891 – 1978).

Room 4
Divisionists of the twentieth century
The corridor that overlooks the Balla room is dedicated to the divisionists of the first decade of the twentieth century, in Boccioni, Russolo and Cominetti, there is an omen of futurism.

Room 5
Armando spadini
The room is dedicated to the Florentine painter, Roman by adoption, and to others who report post-impressionist echoes in their painting.

Room 6
Rome 1911, Klimt and climate of secession school
The room is dedicated to one of the gallery’s gems: Gustav Klimt, The Three Ages of Women, 1905.

Purchased at the 1911 Rome Exhibition after various types of pressure on the director of the Galleria Ugo Fleres who did not want to buy it. “It is one of the masterpieces of the Austrian master and exemplary of his style: poetic for the symbolic images, musical in the rhythmic cadence of the lines and in the symphony of the colors, as meticulous as a goldsmith’s work in the context of the gold and silver slats set in the surface of the colors that pass from the transparency of a veil to the vitreous hardness of an enamel.. The work is cited in: Argan, L’arte Moderna 1770/1970, 1970 Sansoni; and in Mary Hollingswrth, L ‘ art in human history, 1997 Giunti.

Room 7
Balla: the debuts and the divisionist experience
Balla’s paintings in the gallery are the result of the donation of the artist’s daughters (1984), with some exceptions. In this room we find the Divisionist Balla. In those years his studio was frequented by Boccioni, Severini and Sironi.

Room 8
Bella epoque portrait
In the room there are works of worldly portraiture of the first decade of the century. Giovanni Boldini, Portrait of M.lle Lanthelme, 1907.

The actress, lover of Alfred Edwads, a high finance figure and owner of newspapers, including Le Matin is represented. He fell into the water from the yacht and died in unclear circumstances. Dressed in bright black, on a dark background, the bow on the waist and face are pink, the hand on the side, the steady gaze of an almost brazen security. Example of Parisian femininity. From: catalog of the Boldini exhibition held in the Gallery in 2005. Giovanni Boldini, Portrait of the Marquise Casati, 1911-13.

Daughter of a wealthy Lombard industrialist, wife of the Marquis Camillo Casati, from whom she officially separated in 1914. From 1906 to 1938 she was the lover and inspiring muse of Gabriele D’Annunzio who called her Corè, made her the protagonist in “Maybe that yes, maybe not. ” Luisa Amman, this is the real name, was able to create a real cult around her legendary, eccentric, mysterious person. Always original, very elegant, magnetic, centralizing, patron of artists (Sarah Bernhardt), collector also of his portraits commissioned to artists and photographers. The marquise met and hosted Boldini who called her “La Divina”. From: exhibition catalog on Boldini at Gnam in 2005.

Paolo Troubetzkoy, My wife, 1911. “Witty presentation of a fashion model of the time. From a Russian aristocratic family, it brought the last echoes of the Lombard scapigliatura, into the new century”. From: Palma Bucarelli, The National Gallery of Modern Art, 1973 State Polygraphic Institute.

Room 9
The time of the vanguards
The hall is dedicated to the historical Avant-gardes that established themselves in the first thirty years of the twentieth century and are articulated in real movements conceptually linked together and preparatory to each other, they are: Expressionism (Die Bruke 1905, not present in Gallery / Fauves 1905), Cubism 1907 / Futurism 1910, Abstractionism (Der Blaue Reiter 1911 / Neoplasticism 1917), Dada 1920s, Metaphysics 1917 (see De Chirico room) and Surrealism 1930 (see Arturo Schwarz collection).

Expressionism In 1905 in Dresden, Germany, a group of young painters, with the intention of renewing the language of art, formulated a real program and was given the name Die Brucke, that is The bridge, the road to the future understood as renewal of art. The artists of this group believe that each work can somehow influence the composing of the observer and precisely to raise public awareness of the problems of social reality, they often represent themes related to the life of the most disadvantaged classes, using schematic forms and violent colors that they communicate great drama and tension. The images undergo a violent deformation that expresses the artist’s psychological tension. In 1911 the group broke up, they were part of it: Ernest Kirchner,Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and others. German expressionism is also a literary current.

In France, also in 1905, the Fauves group, that is Le belve, manifests itself, the attention of the artists is mainly addressed to the color, to the broad and full-bodied brush stroke and not to what is represented. Main exponents are: Henri Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck, André Derain, Kees Van Dongen. In 1907 the group broke up.

Cubism The most important avant-garde movement of the century: Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were its founders in France in 1907. They start from the study of reality, but break it down and then build it on the canvas in a particular order that cancels the distinction between the figures, the objects and the space in which they are inserted. They came to cubism following the study of Cezanne’s geometric shapes and the study of African primitive sculpture that Matisse had made known. The term cubism was coined by the press in 1908 following the display of some paintings by Braque in which the houses were reduced to small cubes: “Case all’Estaque”, (hilly relief in the South of France) 1908, today in Bern. For Apollinaire “with cubism art is no longer imitation, but thought” (from Apollinaire, Cubist painters, 1911).

Futurism In 1909, in Italy and France (on Figaròof Paris on February 20) the Futurism manifesto (Marinetti) is published which concerns literature, theater and cinema. In 1910 he followed the Manifesto of Futurist painting and in 1912 that of architecture. They sign the technical manifesto of futurist painting: Boccioni, Carrà, Russolo, Balla and Severini. The futurist dream is to destroy the past, only the future can exist and we must strive for it, constantly renewing itself, abandoning the rules imposed by tradition. Images, sounds and words can only be new in a world increasingly renewed by machines and in continuous and fast transformation. The representation of movement effects is therefore the basis of futurist painting and sculpture. From the manifesto: “A running horse does not have four legs but twenty…”.

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Abstractionism Abstract art begins in 1910, when Kandinsky performs a watercolor made of colored spots combined with pen marks: “Untitled”, 1910 Paris, Museum of Modern Art. In 1911 Vasili Kandinskijand Franz Marc founded the movement Der Blaue Reiter in Monaco, that is “The Blue Knight” claiming, like the Cubists, that the image does not need to represent nature to communicate, sensations, emotions, ideas are aroused by colors, lines, from the lights regardless of what they mean. With abstractionism, art wants to communicate internal, spiritual contents; he does not want to interpret reality, art becomes an expression of the individual’s psychological life. This movement can be defined as lyrical abstractism. Other important exponents are Paul Klee and August Macke. For Klee: “The artist works irrationally”.

In 1917 in Holland the neoplasticism spread through the magazine “De Stijl” by the painter Piet Mondrian. Mondrian’s paintings are almost obsessively based on horizontal and vertical lines that separate sectors of compact color, without nuances, almost always primary color: red, yellow, blue, Mondrian tends to eliminate any subjective interpretation and solve every compositional problem as if it were building the proof of a theorem.

Russian avant-garde After learning about cubism and futurism, Russian artists create avant-garde artistic movements of international importance. Racism. Founded by the spouses Larianov, it defines itself as a synthesis of Cubism and Futurism, it is characterized by snappy and dynamic lines, similar to light rays combined with very vivid colors.

Suprematism. Founded in 1915 by Kazimir Malevic in which for the first time a work of art is made up only of geometric shapes, Mondrian’s similar research is later.

Constructivism. Founded by Vladimir Evgrafovič Tatlin in 1915, it offers a socially engaged art, the preferred field of research is industrial design and architecture. Di Tatlin is the never realized project of the “Model for the monument to the Third International” 1919-20.

Room 10
Schwarz Collection – Works Dada
The works in this room and in the next are the result of a private donation from 1997. The movement was born in 1916 in Zurich where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge at the outbreak of the First World War since Switzerland was a neutral country. Three years earlier Duchamp had created “The bicycle wheel”. Starting from the desire to break with the society and culture that led to the war, these artists have created a movement that breaks all the rules, even those of language and art, the password is “nothing”, the same word Dada, says Tzara, means nothing. Marcel Duchamp he sees a world full of mass-produced objects, to combat this conformity of taste he takes these objects and exhibits them, as in the case of the urinal, called the fountain and signed Mutt, presented in 1917 in New York.

Room 11
Schwarz Collection – Surrealism
The room is located in the mezzanine built above the previous room. Surrealism, or higher reality, is a literary and artistic movement that has re-evaluated the irrational part of man, that is, the world of the unconscious, imagination, dream, psychic impulses, the deepest part of our mind, of which we are not aware of. For the poet André Breton, who published the first manifesto, Surrealism must express thought in an “automatic” way, without the control of reason. The artistic creation thus becomes immediate, automatic, capable of registering every inner heartbeat or psychological vibration. Surrealist art is based on the psychoanalytic research carried out by Sigmund Freud. They sympathize with the most radical movements of those years. The first group exhibition was staged in Paris in 1925 with Man Ray, Arp, Masson, Picasso, Ernest and Mirò, later Magritte and Dalì joined.

Room 12
The return to the archaic values of a rural italy
The room is dedicated, like the following, to those artists who, between the two world wars, joined the artistic movement called “plastic values”, first and “twentieth century” then. The return to order is understood as the restoration of tradition and wants the recovery of the primitivist (Giotto) and Renaissance tradition.

Plastic values It is an Italian artistic movement linked to the magazine founded by Mario Broglio (1918-22) which welcomed artists of various backgrounds in its ranks: Carrà, Morandi, De Chirico, Soffici and the sculptors Melli and Martini. He published monographs on Italian artists and foreign artists and movements. While the magazine had an important informative function, the movement was clearly oriented towards the call to order, and exalted the values of the form referring to the tradition of the fifteenth century.

Novecento Italian artistic movement, characteristic expression of the national culture that emerged from the First World War, sanctioned the renunciation of the ideals of the avant-garde, to elaborate, in a nationalistic key, the principles of “a return to order”: the primitivist (Giotto) and Renaissance tradition, the study of the form – volume, whose premises are already found in Valori Plastici and in the metaphysical painting of Carrà and De Chirico. It was equivalent to the literary and musical twentieth century. His birth certificate dates back to 1922 with the exhibition at the Pesaro Gallery in Milan of a first grouping (Bucci, Funi, Malerba, Oppi, Sironi, Dudreville and Marussig. For the 1924 Biennale, in the presentation Margherita Sarfatti, she hoped for a wider deployment of forces. Art critics in favor of the movement were Massimo Bontempelli (editor of the Novecento magazine with Curzio Malaparte), Maraini and Ugo Ojetti

Room 13
Plastic values, magical realism,
Twentieth century

Room 14
The air of Paris
The room is dedicated to Giorgio De Chirico and Metaphysics, from the Greek beyond the physical, the artistic movement conceived by him and by Carrà in Ferrara in 1917. Unlike futurism, absolute stillness dominates in the paintings of Metaphysics. The scenes are populated by strange mannequins instead of living beings: the space, always defined in perspective, is unreal, appears limited by constructions or landscape elements according to a non-real order, so as to make one think of dreams. Within impossible scenarios, the objects are absurdly approached and project magnified and looming shadows. The metaphysical world is empty and uninhabited. In addition to De Chirico and Carrà other exponents were Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Savinio (the brother of De Chirico) and Filippo de Pisis.

Room 15
Big national currents in the thirties
The hall is dedicated to the most representative artists of the thirties attributable to the twentieth century artistic movement. They can be considered the “official” artists of the regime of the time.

On the short sides of the hall two large works testify to the art that fascism required for the decoration of public buildings. They cannot be traced back to the twentieth century movement, but can be considered works of Evasion with respect to the cultural and political climate of the time. They are works openly in Dissense with respect to the regime, which use the methods of Expressionism that has already been seen in the Avant-garde hall.

The room is dedicated to Neorealism, a cultural movement born in the period of political commitment of the Resistance which looks at the social aspect and above all at the hard but dignified life of the humble, with language understandable to the masses. Neorealism is expressed in literature with Pavese, Vittorini, Fenoglio, Pratolini; and in cinema with Rossellini (author of Rome open city), Visconti (author of La terra trema) and De Sica (author of Bicycle Thieves and Sciuscià).

Room 17
The war in postwar memory – Corridor and the central court

Room 18
New front, neorealism, postcubism
The room represents the artistic research of the immediate post-war period.

Room 19
Evolution and landings of abstract art
This room is also dedicated to the many artistic voices of the Italian post-war period, with a prevalence of artists operating in Rome.

Room 20 (temporarily closed)
Non Figurative Sculpture In The Fifties And Sixth

National gallery of modern and contemporary art in Rome
The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, also known as La Galleria Nazionale, is an art gallery in Rome, Italy. It was founded in 1883 on the initiative of the then Minister Guido Baccelli and is dedicated to modern and contemporary art.

It houses the most complete collection dedicated to Italian and foreign art from the 19th century to today. Among paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations, the almost 20,000 works in the collection are an expression of the main artistic currents of the last two centuries, from neoclassicism to impressionism, from divisionism to the historical avant-gardes of the early twentieth century, from futurism and surrealism, to the most conspicuous nucleus of works of Italian art between the 1920s and 1940s, from the twentieth century movement to the so-called Roman school.

The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art keeps the complete collection of international and Italian art from the XIX to the XXI century, composed of 20.000 artworks, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations and it represents the major artistic movements from the last two centuries. From Neoclassicism to Impressionism, Divisionism and Historical avant-gardes of the early twentieth century, Futurism, Surrealism, the most remarkable group of works from the ’20s to the’ 40s, from the Novecento’s movement to the so-called Scuola Romana, from Pop Art to Arte Povera, contemporary art and artists from our time, and more are represented and showcased in La Galleria Nazionale’s collection and space.

The new gallery layout was inaugurated in October 2016, based on an original project which, by reducing the number of works on display, introduces the non-chronological reading key to the main exhibition “Time is out of joint.” In addition to the new layout of the rooms, the access area to services, called the “welcome area”, the library and the Sala delle Colonne are redefined. While retaining the institutional name of the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, the gallery takes on a new name in its communication, “The National Gallery.”