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Italian Modern Art Foundation Launching in New York in February

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On February 22, 2014 the Center for Italian Modern Art will open its doors to the public at 421 Broome Street in Manhattan. The Soho space was founded earlier this year by curator, art historian, and collector Laura Mattioli. It will launch — on a Tuesday-to-Saturday, by-appointment-only schedule, with guided tours on Fridays and Saturdays — with an exhibition devoted to the under-represented Futurist artist and designer Fortunato Depero.


The programming at CIMA will be organized around one major exhibition every year, devoted to contemporary and modern Italian artists and artworks rarely seen outside of Italy. Around each exhibition, the Center will support research fellowships, special events, and related programs. To mark its opening, the Center will host a Study Day devoted to Depero on February 21, including exhibition tours, scholarly presentations, and lectures. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a catalogue with an introduction by Mattioli.


The inaugural exhibition includes more than 50 works by Depero (1892-1960), who has not been given such an extensive show in New York since he lived here in the 1920s. The works are all drawn from the Gianni Mattioli Collection, which, as you may have guessed, was compiled by the father of CIMA founder Laura Mattioli. The choice of a Futurist for the Center’s first exhibition is no coincidence, as the Mattioli Collection is also loaning a number of works to the Guggenheim’s “Italian Futurism 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe.”

“Italy is highly praised for its excellence in fashion, design, and the culinary arts, but until very recently Italian modern and contemporary art has been largely overlooked. Our goal is to serve as an incubator for new discourse, scholarly debate, and increased public appreciation of 20th-century Italian art, in all its variety and complexity,” CIMA’s executive director Heather Ewing said in a statement. “Through our coordinated installation and fellowships, and our related programming, we hope to inspire, support, and stimulate new institutional and scholarly attention on the significant artistic movements of this time.”

CIMA’s inaugural installation devoted to Fortunato Depero will run February 22-June 28, 2014.


— Benjamin Sutton (@bhsutton)

(Images: Fortunato Depero installation at the Center for Italian Modern Art, New York, NY. Photo by Walter Smalling Jr.)

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  1. Sadly, in the recent months all the “news” researches about “Italy” on search engines gave information about the Italian political crisis, some famous models, …It seems that Italy is completely loosing the appela related to be one of the most interesting Countries speaking about art…

    It is interesting indeed to notice that if you search news about “Italian art” is more probable that you will read something about a Christie’s or Sotheby’s auction about Italian artworks than something occurring in Italy.
    We can say, in a simple analysis but maybe useful, that Italy is trying to destroy its greatest appeal and that the foreign Countries want that great appeal.
    What is this? Obviously art (and then style, design, etc, with art as the major expression of creativity).
    In the simplest economic terms: there is a big request for Italian art but the “Italian shop” is closed five days a week, and the remaining two can not assist foreign costumers.

    This problem is referred to art in general, not only artworks but also museums, art tourism and so on.
    It is really a pity, not only for Italy but also for all the persons abroad who would like to enrich their lives with Italian art.
    The exposure of contemporary Italian artists is poor too, compared to other Countries and to the quality of the contemporary Italian art: there are so many young but great artists in Italy who deserve to be discovered abroad!

    Many ask why Italian artists have “something more” compared to others. The answer is that every Italian grew up in an ambient full of beauty, full of different aesthetic styles (from ancient Romans times to Renaissance, to Futurism, to modern architecture, etc) that has filled their sensibility in a really variegated way, with different shades of different beauties.
    This is a “weight” too, because all these great beauties are there on every Italian artists shoulders and they could intimidate her or him, bringing to a lack of free creativity…But does this matter so much?
    We can think that it is reasonable to be intimidated by Caravaggio or Michelangelo, it is a good sign of humbleness that could permit to the best ones to create something really new without forgetting a great past that is not only in history books but in every Italian attitude towards life (starting from how she / he arranges the dining table to how she / he chooses the colors for a painting).

    We can say that in these years Italian artists are like “emerging artists” but with the difference that they have already maturity, solidity, etc: the only problem is that they are poorly known compared to British or Chinese artists for example.

    In terms of art-market it is sure that you can discover many Italian artists who could be a good investment for the following decades and you risk even to make a really big deal if you have a keen eye on art.

    You, as a foreign collector has a natural advantage: you will enter an hunting territory that is quite free of competitors.
    Here you can find great artists and great deals. More and more the foreign collectors will give attention to the Italian art scene, more and more it will emerge and those who came first will be the most lucky of all.

    (original article on )

  2. Well done!
    I agree

    “Say it loud, I’m Italian and I’m proud”
    When somebody tells about it , avoiding all stereotypes!!

    Thank you all for your commitment: “the boss” and his co-workers and subordinates
    it takes talent to do this too!!

    My job doesn’t permit me to be there in person ( i live in Italy ) but i’ll try to follow this enterprise by here
    [ a hint: a web cam for live look inside or , more simply, a visit/tour to the exhibition on youtube; could be a good idea for you? II have many others in this regard… ]

    All the best

    Iceman della Ca’ZenBluesBand

  3. I am interested in this new exhibition and scholarly venture in So-Ho.

    I would like to be notified of lectures exhibits and related information regarding contemporary Italian art and artists.

    It is exciting to hear about Italian culture and presence in a positive and non stereotypical fashion.
    As a first generation Italian American I have had numerous occasions in social settings to be confronted by derogeratve attitudes toward Italians. I am hopeful this venture will help to correct some prejudices.

  4. by Antonella Iurilli Duhamel

    The economical and political crise in Italy, should not undermine the sense of value given to the italian artistic heritage.
    There is a general crise of values and talents all over in the world and also in the artistic field.
    Italian should still be proud of their roots. What makes the great difference in our Art history, is that no country in the world has ever had that revolutionary humanistic period called “Rinascimento”; The Italistic Age.

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