15 Apr 2015

The Gallarate Award and the story of World War II

MAGA - Museo Arte Gallarate

The exhibition presents a series of winners of the Gallarate Award, established in 1949 to revitalize the Italian territory that had been ravaged by war. These works document the various stances that artists took, in the fifties and sixties, on the problem of war, how to talk about it, and what to say.

The Drama of the War
Paintings of Reality and Narration. This section documents the search for artists who demonstrate a strong interest in "realism" as a cultural and aesthetic approach to the reality and pain of war. In that regard, the painter Ernesto Treccani wrote: "Art is not a realistic contemplation of reality, but a realization."

In the work of Sironi, a soldier appears as part of a broader and dramatic story that communicates "the inner tension, the agonizing journey of his soul in anguish" C. Gian Ferrari

It is a balanced composition: the lightness of the clear blue water and sky is interrupted by the presence of solid and barren brown mountains.

The composition is orchestrated around the man, with figures emerging from a dark background. The context is non-existent, because attention is focused on the suffering and misery of the people.

The strength of this work comes from painting as history, from the desolation of the suburbs, the violence of war, and the invaded city, like Milan during WWII.

A New Synthesis of Reality
Abstract painting and militancy following the Second World War. Realism is not the only expressive language through which one can recount the story of the war. The use of pure and expressive shapes and colours that are separate from the reality we see with our eyes is also a tool for representing the complex pain and violence of the Second World War.

In this painting, the abstract language characteristic of Radice and the dramatic return to figuration linked to the outbreak of war converge with balance and chromatic harmony.

Behind an apparent Cubist abstraction, geometric forms built around wildly oblique axes that divide the picture recount the drama of World War II.

For the artist, the painting must be able to express the dramatic complexity of reality, its stratification, and the inability to achieve a singular vision or feeling.

Monnet first arrived in Milan in 46. The confrontation with the vitality of town, grappling with preliminary reconstruction projects, was of profound inspiration for the composition of construction.

MAGA - Museo Arte Gallarate
Credits: Story

The exhibition, curated by Alessandro Castiglioni and Emma Zanella, composed from the works of the museum's collection. The texts are extracted and processed from the book "Guide to Collections of the MA * GA, Electa, 2010.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions (listed below) who have supplied the content.
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