Fantastico! Italian art from the 1920s and 1930s

Cesare Sofianopulo: Naamioita, 1930. Museo Revoltella – Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Trieste. © Archivio Fotografico del Museo Revoltella

Fantastico! will explore an artistic movement known as magic realism, which emerged in Italy at the end of the First World War. The works exhibited are characterised by silence and a mysterious atmosphere, and the conflict between reality and the world of dreams. The depictions of everyday life seem to reveal a hidden side of existence. The exhibition will feature masterpieces by artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Carlo Carrà, Felice Casorati, Antonio Donghi and Cagnaccio di San Pietro.


The key artists of magic realism were Felice Casorati, Antonio Donghi, Cagnaccio di San Pietro, Gino Severini, Ubaldo Oppi, Achille Funi and Carlo Levi. The works featured in the exhibition by Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà will display the basic tenets of magic realism. Works by artists who are lesser known outside Italy, such as Mario and Edita Broglio, Gian Emilio Malerba, Carlo Sbisà, Gregorio Sciltian, and Cesare Sofianopulo, will demonstrate the diversity of the movement.

The exhibition will also include works by artists featured in the Ateneum collection who represent the realist and classicist modernism of the 1920s and 1930s in Finland, such as Ragnar Ekelund, Greta Hällfors-Sipilä, Yrjö Ollila and Ilmari Vuori. The exhibition will coincide with the release of a publication, in Finnish, Swedish and English, produced by the Ateneum.

The exhibition is curated by Gabriella Belli and Valerio Terraroli, in collaboration with 24ORE Cultura. The works are drawn from public and private collections around Italy. Before coming to the Ateneum, the exhibition will be on display at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (Mart) in Italy, until 2 April. After its display at the Ateneum, the exhibition will be shown at Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany.

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