Dolce vita? Italian decorative arts 1900-1914, from Liberty to Industrial Design
Paris, Musée d'Orsay from 14 April to 13 September 2015
The exhibit, housed at the Musée d'Orsay, intends upon presenting to the French public the extraordinary wealth of decorative arts in Italy in the first decades of the Twentieth Century for the first time.
In the Italy of the Twentieth Century, the decorative arts were the heirs of an important craftsmanship and artistic tradition and, at the same time, they were able to interpret the desire of progress of a nation that had just been unified. Cabinet makers, ceramicists and master glassmakers worked in close collaboration with the greatest artists of the era, thus giving life to nothing less than a true “Italian style”.
This period of extraordinary creativity is presented by means of a chronological itinerary that is composed of approximately one hundred works of art. The so-called “Liberty” style, which was affirming itself at the beginning of the century, is already perceptible in the creations of Carlo Bugatti, Eurgenio Quarti and Federico Tesio, in dialogue with the works of the Divisionist painters. A second section of the exhibit is dedicated to Futurism, whose aesthetic values, inspired by progress and speed, extend to all the spheres of life.
Later, the return of Classicism, articulated in Italy in a multitude of forms, is expressed in the ceramics of Gio Ponti or in the glass of Carlo Scarpa, before finding its home in the severe language of the Twentieth Century. At the same time, the Rationalist style is destined to now characterise the birth of modern “design”.