THE GRAND ITALIAN VISION: THE FARNESINA COLLECTION
OF CONTEMPORARY ART HITS SINGAPORE SHORES
FOR ITS INTERNATIONAL DEBUT
SINGAPORE, 13 January 2023 — What is art, if not an exploration of the imaginary to create its own vision? Pushing the boundaries of the tangible, The Grand Italian Vision: The Farnesina Collection, is an Italian art exhibition curated by Achille Bonito Oliva from the Collezione Farnesina – an extraordinary collection of contemporary Italian art housed in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Rome. Set to make their first ever international stop in Singapore from 7 to 25 February 2023 at The Arts House Singapore in partnership with the Embassy of Italy in Singapore, the upcoming exhibition spotlights the grandeur of Italian art from the 20th century till today through over 70 meticulously curated works.
From the heart of Italy to the heart of Singapore
Featuring a broad collection of the most important art works of the Farnesina Collection, the exhibition will be brought to Singapore in a bid to delve into the rich cultural heritage it brings along from Italy. Looking to bring Singaporean visitors onboard an enthralling journey through the history of Italian art, the dynamic project stars avant-garde works of sculpture, mosaic, painting, photography, and installations seeking to redesign the story of Italy where art has become reflective of civilisation and lifestyle.
Singapore as a Global Art Capital
The exhibition making an unprecedented international debut here marks a key step forward in bilateral relations between Singapore and Italy, this time embedded in cultural diplomacy. At a time where Singapore is looking to become a global art capital, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs begins their journey of sharing Italian contemporary art to the rest of the world right here, where innovation pervades our society.
Apart from the main exhibition in The Arts House, a venue rich in historical and cultural significance to Singapore, selected pieces will also be displayed in the new exhibition space in the Embassy of Italy in Singapore.
As part of the partnership, the National Art Council (NAC) will be supporting the Embassy of Italy in Singapore through lateral programmes involving local universities and art and cultural stakeholders. This includes a seminar which will be held at The Arts House on 1 February 2023 at 5pm. The event is conducted with the involvement of the National Art Council and in collaboration with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. It will also be held in the presence of the Founder Director Prof. Ute Meta Bauer and Dr Anna Lovecchio, Assistant Director, Programmes with the support of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).
“Italian art is the expression of our unmistakable identity, it confirms the vitality and creativity of our culture, but at the same time it is a vehicle for communication and dialogue with other cultures. In this sense, strengthening our relations with the multi-faceted cultural reality of Singapore is one of the most qualifying aspects of our mission in this City-State, and is made more original by Italian creativity, which sinks its roots in a centuries-old tradition, while always showing new capacity for innovation.” — Mario Andrea Vattani, Ambassador of Italy to Singapore and Brunei
Documenting the Identity of Italian Art
True to its name, The Grand Italian Vision: The Farnesina Collection places emphasis on the visionary. Here, the documented history of Italian art seeks to bring visitors on a grand tour to understand the Italian artistic identity fundamentally rooted in creativity through iconic pieces such as Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, a Futuristic bronze sculpture by sculptor Umberto Boccioni which has been displayed in notable museums across the globe, as well as L’etrusco, a gilded bronze version of the renowned Etruscan statue by Michelangelo Pistoletto, standing at a massive height of 194cm. This continual search for new forms continues to connect the history of the country’s artistic endeavours to its future, where discovery and innovation remains a constant goal.
The exhibition is intricately structured to allow the differences between the various artists to condense fluidly. The journey begins with Futurism which documents the dynamism pervading the Italian artistic identity in the 20th century. This leads up to the suspension of time, represented by Metaphysical Art citing classicism as an aspect of Italian art that has been prominent since the Renaissance. Dadaism and Surrealism soon break into the exhibition in a calm and balanced way, escaping the romantic tabula rasa that instead accompanies these movements in other European countries.
The genius loci of various generations of artists therefore prevails, escaping the permanent simplification of references to summarise a dialectical participation in the history of the art work. In this way the sections comprising Futurism, Metaphysical Art, Informal, Pop Art and Kinetic Art, Conceptual, Arte Povera, Transavantgarde, provide a return to painting and new experiments up to Digital Art, overall marking the unstoppable vitality of art across the various sections.
The balance of the different forms of expressions is maintained through the adoption of a thematic curation rather than a chronological one. Presented to an international audience, which now includes Singapore, the exhibition aims to incite a range of visions from history to geography, from a 20th century sensibility to the push towards modernity, from intimism to confrontation, from environmental emergencies to migrations and new forms of poverty, and finally, from dialogue to encounter.
“Art is always the fruit of imagination that knows no barriers. Italian art is the clearest proof of this. From the Renaissance to the present day, it has always operated under the sign of renewal and memory.” — Achille Bonito Oliva, Italian art critic, Historian of Contemporary Art, Curator of The Grand Italian Vision: The Farnesina Collection
Carla Accardi – Afro – Getulio Alviani – Matteo Basilé – Vanessa Beecroft – Elena Bellantoni – Domenico Bianchi – Umberto Boccioni – Alighiero Boetti – Agostino Bonalumi – Danilo Bucchi – Alberto Burri – Loris Cecchini – Mario Ceroli – Sandro Chia – Sarah Ciracì – Francesco Clemente – Pietro Consagra – Enzo Cucchi – Sabrina D’Alessandro – Gino De Dominicis – Nicola De Maria – Fortunato Depero – Gianni Dessì – Irene Dionisio – Tano Festa – Giuseppe Gallo – Alberto Garutti – Mimmo Jodice – Jannis Kounellis – Felice Levini – Sergio Lombardo – Piero Manzoni – Marino Marini – Arturo Martini – Fabio Mauri – Mario Merz – Marisa Merz – Mirko – Maurizio Mochetti – Liliana Moro – Nunzio – Luigi Ontani – Mimmo Paladino – Giulio Paolini – Pino Pascali – Luca Maria Patella – Achille Perilli – Benedetto Pietromarchi – Alfredo Pirri – Vettor Pisani – Michelangelo Pistoletto – Piero Pizzi Cannella – Fabrizio Plessi – Arnaldo Pomodoro – Daniele Puppi – Mimmo Rotella – Pietro Ruffo – Alberto Savinio – Mario Schifano – Marco Tirelli – Grazia Toderi – Giulio Turcato – Grazia Varisco – Gilberto Zorio.
ABOUT THE EMBASSY OF ITALY IN SINGAPORE
The Embassy of Italy is the diplomatic mission of the Italian State in Singapore, led by current Ambassador, Mario Andrea Vattani who serves as the Ambassador of Italy to Singapore and Brunei. The Grand Italian Vision is an exhibition organised by the Embassy of Italy in Singapore in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of the Foreign Affairs and curated by Curator Achille Bonito Oliva.
The Embassy of Italy is located in 09 Raffles Place, #33-01 Republic Plaza, Singapore 048619 and has a space called “Sala Italia” that have recently hosted an art exhibition during the Singapore Art Week with some Italian and Singaporean artists.