Italy Modern Arts 1

Italy caught up with European avant-garde art through the militant movement of Futurism, which was founded in 1909 by the poet F. T. Marinetti, and thus again influenced the international development of art.

Architecture: With the buildings for the applied arts exhibition in Turin in 1902 by Raimondo D ‘Aronco (* 1857, † 1932) and Annibale Rigotti (* 1870, † 1968), Italy made important contributions to Art Nouveau architecture; other representatives are Giuseppe Sommaruga (* 1867, † 1917) and Ernesto Basile (* 1857, † 1932). A. Sant’Elia is the main exponent of futuristic architecture in the early 20th century(Drafts for a »Città nuova«, 1913/14), none of whose projects, however, were carried out. The avant-garde »Gruppo 7« formed in Milan in 1926, whereby a national tendency towards neoclassicism cannot be overlooked, which had dominated Italy since 1922 in the »Novecento italiano« movement, whose most influential architect Marcello Piacentini (* 1881, † 1960) was. Mention should be made of the Novocomum apartment block in Como by G. Terragni (1927/28), the buildings for Olivetti 1934–57 in Ivrea by L. Figini and Gino Pollini (* 1903, † 1987). The group “MIAR” (Movimento Italiano dell’Architettura Razionale), founded in 1930, advocated a reform characterized by a rational architecture and spread its ideas in magazines (including Casabella); Well-known buildings from that time are the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence by G. Michelucci and others. (1932–36) and in Rome the post office building in Quartiere Nomentano (1932) by Mario Ridolfi (* 1904, † 1984). For more articles about Italy and Europe, please follow Shopareview.

The 8th Milan Triennial in 1947 is considered a new beginning after the Second World War. the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan by G. Ponti, P. L. Nervi and others. (1955–59, badly damaged by an airplane in 2002). Nervi also further developed his idiosyncratic reinforced concrete structures (Palazzetto dello Sport, Rome, 1956/57).

The contributions by F. Albini (INA building, Parma, 1951), Carlo Scarpa (* 1906, † 1978; pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 1956), Michelucci (motorway church near Florence, 1961–63) and G De Carlo (student housing, Urbino, 1966 ff.). In the 1960s, the direction of rational architecture was re-established (Quartiere Gallaratese in Milan, 1967 ff., By C. Aymonino, A. Rossi et al.; student residence in Chieti by G. Grassi, 1976–84). The architecture of the 80s and early 90s is predominantly characterized by a relaxed, respectful and occasionally playful (A. Mendini, Arduino Cantafora) Recourse to traditional Italian designs, which are adapted to the new building functions (postmodern). Characteristic are the reduction of forms, the fitting of the contemporary buildings into the historical cityscape and orderly urban spatial concepts. In this sense, the reconstruction of the Campo di Marte district on the Giudecca island in Venice (1985), the Avelino Theater in Rome (1987), the Piazza Kennedy in Matera (1988-91) and the urban planning by Mulino Andrisani (1991) by C. Aymonino. The same applies to P. Portoghesi’s Islamic Center in Rome (1976–78), his “Piazza” in Poggioreale (1986–91). Ignazio Gardella used the formal language of rational architecture for the new architecture faculty in Genoa (1990). A joint project with A. Rossi is the “Carlo Felice” municipal opera house in Genoa (1983–90, opened 1991), whose tower-like opera hall is based on classical palace architecture. The buildings by V. Gregotti (“ENEA Research Center” in Rome, 1985; University of Calabria in Cosenza, 1973–85) are reduced to the utmost. In the building for the science faculty in Palermo (1969–88), Gregottiincreased his “bridge architecture” to create the impression of an additive stacking of freely floating spaces. As a remodeling of a grown urban environment, R. Pianos “Santa Nicola” football stadium in Bari (1987–90), its renovation of the old town in Genoa (1991) and the conversion of the Fiat Lingotto plant in Turin into a cultural center (1983–2002). With the new building of the Auditorium “Città della musica” concert hall complex in Rome (opened in 2002), one of the world’s largest concert halls, and the pilgrimage church for Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotonda, Province of Foggia (consecrated in 2004), piano once again underlined its role as internationally significant Architect. Examples of contemporary architecture in Rome include the new pilgrimage church (1999) at the “Divino Amore” shrine by Luigi Leoni. De Carlos housing estate on the island of Mazzorbo in Venice (1980–85) and the landscape park near Udine by Roberto Pirzio-Birolo (1993 ff.) Build on experiences from tradition. Massimiliano Fuksas, who received contracts for sports centers, schools and cemeteries in Italy (Orvieto, 1990), was able to achieve exciting solutions using technological means.

Sculpture: In the early 20th century, U. Boccioni called for new contents, materials and techniques for sculpture with his “Manifesto tecnico della scultura futurista” (1912) and artistic works. G. Balla created the first non-representational objects in Italy in 1913, but futuristic sculpture had little successor. On the other hand, M. Marini with figurative sculptures and G. Manzù with portraits achieved international recognition. Also A. Viani, Agenore Fabbri (* 1911, † 1998), E. Greco, P. Fazzini u. A. emerged with figurative works, while F. Melotti, Mirko, L. Minguzzi, P. Consagra, A. and G. Pomodoro turned to abstract forms. With the activation of spatial references (Spazialismo), which he had pursued since 1946/47 (“Manifesto blanco”, 1946), L. Fontana won his “Ambienti spaziali” (1948 black environment, 1949 light sculpture in space), the “Manifesto tecnico” (1951), his perforated (since 1949) and since 1958 slotted monochrome canvases at the beginning of the 1960s had a great influence on the younger generation (P. Manzoni, E. Castellani) in and outside Italy. Not least, Fontana influenced Arte povera, which was created in the mid-1960s. This direction, which is related to international concept art, includes M. Merz, I. Kounellis, G. Paolini, G. Penone, M. Pistoletto, L. Fabro, P. Pascali and a number of other important artists.

Italy Modern Arts 1