The MART is twenty years old. And it starts again from Giotto – Trento

Carlo Carrà, Lot’s daughters1919. Mart, VAF-Stiftung Collection

Trent – It was December 15, 2002 when the MART opened to the public for the first time under Mario Botta’s glass and steel dome. A collection of 20,000 works and over 150 years of art history found a home at the foot of the Dolomites, in an avant-garde space devoted to experimentation. Since then, major exhibitions, cultural projects, activities designed for all audiences have enlivened the Trentino museum, illuminating from ever new perspectives a heritage that ranges from Futurism to Metaphysics, from Abstract to Arte Povera, up to the most recent artistic experiences.

A few days before the anniversary, the MART is preparing to celebrate its first twenty years with a full program of appointments. Among the most awaited guests there will be the archistar Mario Botta, creator of a then futuristic architectural project, the Golden Lion director Alexandr Sokurov, who will present a preview of his latest film fairy tale, and together with them the numerous professionals who in two decades have contributed to translating an initially visionary idea into reality. But above all there will be visitors, the soul of an open museum that has always been focused on relationships, to whom free guided tours, workshops, evening openings and a toast in the square with a huge birthday cake will be dedicated.

Josef Albers, Study for Homage to the Square – Still Remembered, 1954-1956. Mart, private collection

From today, Tuesday 6 December, a major exhibition anticipates the twentieth anniversary celebrations. Scheduled until next March 19, Giotto and the twentieth century celebrates in a new and solemn way that link between ancient and contemporary which has always been part of the DNA of MART. After the exhibitions on Antonello da Messina, Caravaggio, Raphael, Botticelli, Canova, the Rovereto museum puts the spotlight on the master who revolutionized medieval painting to explore his legacy in 20th century art. Testifying Giotto’s influence and inspiration among 20th-century artists are Made in Italy masterpieces such as those by Carlo Carrà, Giorgio De Chirico, Mario Sironi, Gino Severini, Giorgio Morandi, Lucio Fontana, but also works by international masters such as Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, Yves Klein, up to prominent figures of the contemporary scene such as James Turrell, Chiara Dynis and Tacita Dean.

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Red), 1968. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection, bequest of Hannelore B. Schulhof, 2012

“Art that contains a truth is always modern. This is why Giotto is as modern as Cézanne”, Edward Hopper once said, who was a fervent admirer of the medieval master. For some of the artists exhibited in Rovereto, Giotto’s truth is in the form, for others in his representation of the essence of an important artistic tradition, and for still others in the colour. As for Yves Klein, who was inspired by the painter from Vespignano in the creation of his famous blue. “What is blue? it is the invisible that has become visible”, explains the author of the anthropometry. And for Lucio Fontana, color is no longer a paint applied to an object, but an otherworldly space overlooked by his famous perforated canvases.

Henri Matisse, Icarus. Panel from the album Jazz, Tériade, Paris, 1947. Library of the Cariparma Foundation – Corrado Mingardi Donation, Busseto

Nourished by 200 works – 50 masterpieces from the MART and then loans from major museums such as the Uffizi Galleries, the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome, the Vatican Museums, the Museo del Novecento in Milan, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Civic Museums of Venice – the homage to Giotto curated by Alessandra Tiddia is made even more spectacular by a large immersive installation born from the collaboration with the Civic Museums of Padua which, through high-definition projections, reconstructs the frescoed jewel of the Scrovegni Chapel and virtually visitors inside.

Giorgio De Chirico, Piazza d’Italia – Afternoon of Ariadne, 1972. Mart, Domenico Talamoni Collection

Read also:
Giotto and the twentieth century, a story to discover at the MART

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