RITRATTI DI CITTA’. URBAN SCENERIES, a project of City of Como, steered by Flaminio Gualdoni, investigates and puts on show more than a hundred years of art, social and cultural history in an exhibition that is the first of its kind to look at the city through the eyes of artists who continue to draw on it for inspiration and to interpret what it means to live there and to share the urban experience itself.
With the very generous collaboration of collectors and institutions from all over Italy and Switzerland, it has been uniquely possible to bring together in Como works from foundations, archives and private collections. Some of the works have never been seen in public before and one of the sculptures, the Pietrarubbia Group – il Tutto, was created especially for the exhibition by the great sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro.
There are over 60 works on show including paintings, sculptures and photographs that take the visitor on a journey from the futurism of Boccioni, Balla and Depero, through the dream world of the metaphysical works of De Chirico, the poetic perplexity of Sironi the architectural abstractions of Soldati and Galli to the post Second World War avant-garde (Cavaliere, Merz, Schifano, Tadini, Adami and Rotella), to the master of “architectural painting”, like that of La Pietra, Cantafora, Ico Parisi and Francesco Somaini and authors such as Fontana, Basilico, Ghirri and Galimberti, thanks to whom photography too becomes a medium of intellectual and poetic interpretation of place. Finally, then, on to the most recent generations of Chiesi to Costa, Guaitamacchi to Presicce and other young artists for whom painting and photography forcefully express the current crisis of the image of the city.
Ritratti di Città. Urban sceneries is a unique occasion of its kind to view a broad spectrum of styles and representations of the city, some analysing its meaning, some describing visionary flights on its significance and an existential unease in the face of the subject of Urban sceneries on show in Villa Olmo to narrate and mirror the history, the society and the life of the city all through the twentieth century and up to the present day.