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.)