20.07.2023 > 07.01.2024
curated by Luca Beatrice
Spazio Circolo, Bellano (LC) and Villa del Balbianello, Lenno (CO)
In ancient times, throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, only a few faces were truly recognizable. An emperor, a powerful aristocrat, or the Pope could be depicted in a painting, sculpture, or drawing, but how widely were these images circulated? Throughout the history of art, the genre of portraiture has served social, political, and cultural functions: it has displayed power, beauty, relevance, wealth, and even idealized the common man. With the advent of photography, which quickly became the most widely used medium for portraiture, the 20th century marks a fundamental turning point. Artists began to explore new approaches; many sought to portray the character and emotional sphere of their subjects, while others aimed to express the relationship between painter and model. The growing interest in psychology, coupled with a desire to break with the traditions of the past, led these artists to undertake formal innovations that would forever change the way people are represented.
In an exhibition that spans two locations, VOLTI. Il ritratto italiano del XX secolo brings together approximately fifty works created from 1910 to 2010 that testify to the evolution of portraiture and reflect on its historical and contemporary significance.
Among the selected artists are Felice Casorati, Giorgio De Chirico, Mario Merz, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Carol Rama, Giosetta Fioroni, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Giulio Paolini, Enrico Baj, Carlo Levi, Luigi Ontani, Alberto Savinio, Mario Ceroli, and Thorsten Kirchhoff.