The result of several years of research, the exhibition follows the publication of a volume with the same name. Here, numerous essays and a selection of 182 textile artifacts explore the diverse Italian artists and contexts which created tapestries and carpets during the 20th century, hence leading to today’s Italian Fiber Art movement.
More than 100 unique textile artworks, including tapestries and carpets, are exhibited together for the first time. Such artifacts were produced by different manufacturers, in collaboration with the great artists of the century. The purpose of the exhibition is to let visitors visually experience the creative wave which permeated Italian textile art throughout the twentieth century.
The exhibition displays textile works created by Italian futurists: tapestries by Fortunato Depero and carpets by Giacomo Balla; the most important textile creations shown at the Biennale in Monza and at the Triennale in Milan; some of the tapestries produced by the Scuola di Arazzeria in Esino Lario, based on designs by Gianni Dova, Atanasio Soldati, Alfredo Chighine, Franco Alquati, Umberto Lilloni, Giuseppe Ajmone; tapestries woven for big Italian ocean liners. Furthermore, tapestries from the Ugo Scassa’s workroom, based on designs by Corrado Cagli, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Umberto Mastroianni, Mirko Basaldella, Renato Guttuso, Emilio Tadini, Mario Sironi, Luigi Spazzapan, Renzo Piano; works of the Arazzeria Pennese, based on designs by Giacomo Balla, Afro Basaldella, Enrico Accatino, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Marcello Avenali, Diana Baylon; tapestries by MITA based on sketches by Emanuele Luzzati, Enrico Paulucci, Aldo Bosco; tapestries and carpets created by Elio Palmisano, based on designs by Oscar Kokoschka, Beppe Caturegli, Piero Dorazio, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Ugo Nespolo, Mario Radice, Mauro Reggiani, Ettore Sottsass, Gillo Dorfles, George Sowden, Luigi Veronesi, Gianfranco Ferroni, Tihamer Gyarmathy. A brief look at tapestries and carpets by the main Sardinian manufacturers, tapestries embroidered by Niki Berlinguer based on the works by Corrado Cagli, Renato Guttuso, Lucio Fontana, Enzo Brunori; as well as those by Marina Zatta, based on paintings by Renzo Vespignani, Giulio Turcato, Enrico Baj, Toti Scialoja, Emilio Tadini, Mario Nigro complete this artistic overview of the century.
The exhibition also briefly showcases works by some of the main protagonists who characterised Italian Fiber Art from the '70s on, such as Paola Besana, Paola Bonfante and Marialuisa Sponga; as well as tapestry manufacturers which still cooperate with contemporary artists today.
Tapestries and carpets represent an extraordinary occasion to shed a new light on the Italian artistic scene of that time, especially by discovering the connections between pictorial and textile art.