Masterpieces of 20th century
Creating a museum of excellence
Established and developed thanks to the generosity of Milanese private collectors and philanthropists, the Collection of the Museo del Novecento is one of the important 20th century Italian art selections. The exhibition gathers approximately 400 works displayed in chronological order. The initial date is 1902, the year of the Quarto Stato (The Fourth Estate) by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, to whom is dedicated an entire hall along the free access helical staircase.
The Collection then begins with a tribute paid to international avant-garde movements, with paintings from the early 1900’s by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Paul Klee, Kandinsky, and Amedeo Modigliani. The exhibition continues with Futurism, represented by a nucleus of artwork unique the world over, displaying Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Fortunato Depero, Gino Severini, Carlo Carrà, and Ardengo Soffici. The Twenties and Thirties, moving between the Novecento movement and Abstract Art, develop through a sequence of solo art show ‘islands’ devoted to Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Arturo Martini, and Fausto Melotti.
On the third floor is a hall devoted to Alberto Burri and Art Informel by major Italian masters: Emilio Vedova, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Gastone Novelli, Tancredi, Carla Accardi, and Osvaldo Licini. The exhibition devoted to the Fifties and Sixties displays artwork by Piero Manzoni and the artists from the Azimuth group, from Enrico Castellani to Agostino Bonalumi. The top floor of the Palazzo dell’Arengario is devoted entirely to Lucio Fontana. The Fontana Hall was designed as an environmental immersion work. The protagonists are the landmark Ceiling from 1956, initially created for the dining room of the Hotel del Golfo on the Island of Elba and granted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities; the Neon owned by the Fondazione Fontana; and the Spatial Concepts from the 1950’s.
Walking on the suspended footbridge that connects the Museum to Palazzo Reale, visitors access the final section focusing on the Sixties and the experiments of Kinetic and Programmed Art, beginning with the sculpture by Bruno Munari entitled “AconaBicombì”. The last halls exhibit artwork by the T Group and large format paintings from Italian Pop Art and Analytical Painting.
The exhibition concludes with a hall devoted to some of the major exponents of Italian Arte Povera (literally poor, basic art), from Luciano Fabro to Mario Merz, and from Gilberto Zorio to Giuseppe Penone. In this same wing of the palace, a ‘museum within the Museum’ is set up in three dedicated halls, with a core of sculptural works by master Marino Marini.
Choose your thematic itinerary to discover the masterpieces of the Museo del Novecento.