three exhibitions in Ferrara to reread modernity -

three exhibitions in Ferrara to reread modernity -


Two exhibitions at Palazzo dei Diamanti and one at the Estense Castle conceived by Vittorio Sgarbi

Three exhibitions to understand which side modernity is (or was) on. Ferrara with the (two) exhibitions at Palazzo dei Diamanti (Guido Harari. Dating. 50 years of photographs and stories; Agostino Arrivabene. Thesaurosboth until 1 October) and with the first retrospective dedicated to Gabriele d'Annunzio's favorite sculptor (Arrigo Minerbi: the true ideal between liberty and classicism, until December 26 at the Estense Castle) proposes a change of perspective on the three artists. Because in appearance Minerbi (1881-1960) with his monumental sculptures (The cry of the flower, 1922) who cite the symbolism, magical realism and classicism of the various Chini, Previati, Casorati, Sironi, Oppi, Funi seems hopelessly to look at ancient (or at least codified) models. While the portraits of Harari (1952) seem to want to tell (Patti Smith, Villa Arconati1996) an eclectic modernity the chamber of wonders invented by Arrivabene (1967) a contemporaneity in progress (Angel of Effusion III2016).

The three exhibitions (organized by the Ferrara Arte Foundation and the Art Museums Service of the Municipality of Ferrara, animated by Vittorio Sgarbi) instead re-read the works (sculptures, plaster casts, paintings, photographs, documentaries, sculptures, painted stones) according to a new or at least different point of view. After the success (70,229 visitors in 122 days) of the exhibition on the Renaissance by Ercole de' Roberti and Lorenzo Costa which officially reopened Palazzo dei Diamanti after a complex restoration and redevelopment project, in the same rooms the anthology on Harari (over 300 works on display) goes beyond the limits of a glamorous representation of the myths of modernity to become a sort of private diary for images with an almost nineteenth-century flavor in the desire to accentuate the expressive power of the subjects (Fabrizio De André , Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Vasco Rossi, Kate Bush, Lucio Dalla). And again to the 19th century, the section seems to lead back to the idea of ​​being able to portray ordinary subjects as well Eyes of Ferrara: during the course of the exhibition, Harari will exhibit the portraits by reservation that he will make on the set set up in the Magic Cave (a print will be provided in real time to the subjects, another will be displayed in the exhibition to represent the views of the city).

The contemporary modernity of Arrivabene is also different, the modernity of those who - explains Vittorio Sgarbi - have always followed the path of the rearguard with conviction and courage. As immediately demonstrated by the choice of a title that mentions i thesaurusthe small buildings that were offered to the deities in the sanctuaries, which the author justifies as he considers his creations as votive gifts and artistic practice as a tension towards the divine. If Arrivabene's figuration brings him closer to his peers (or almost) such as Enzo Cucchi or Stefano Di Stasio, his modernity is once again different because he compares himself with the great masters (Jan van Eyck, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Albrecht Drer, Rembrandt).

But above all the discovery of the possible modernity of Arrigo Minerbi to surprise the most. The choice of the curator Chiara Vorrasi (the exhibition was born once again from an idea by Sgarbi) brought to the Estense Castle about eighty sculptures (including monumental ones), plaster casts, paintings, drawings that certainly tell the idealized and anti-modern classicism of his more mature production. Works like Spring morning (1919) instead testify how Minerbi was in any case linked to the artistic debate that would accompany the transition from modernism to tradition. In short, how close Minerbi's past was to modernity.

The exhibitions: dates and venues

The exhibitions Guido Harari. Dating. 50 years of photography
and stories
(from a project by Guido Harari himself) e Agostino Arrivabene. Thesauros (curated by Vittorio Sgarbi) are open until 1 October at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara. The exhibition Arrigo Minerbi: the true ideal between liberty and classicism (curated by Chiara Vorrasi from an idea by Vittorio Sgarbi) open until 26 December, still in Ferrara but at the Estense Castle. The three exhibitions were organized by the Ferrara Arte Foundation and the Art Museums Service of the Municipality of Ferrara (info:;

July 23, 2023 (change July 23, 2023 | 12:03)

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