Opening on 9 October 2020, the Museo del Novecento presents the first monographic exhibition to be dedicated by a public institution to Carla Accardi (1924-2014), six years after her death.
The project, produced by the Municipality of Milan|Culture, Museo del Novecento and Electa, is part of the program “Women’s Talents”, promoted and coordinated by the Department of Culture, which is presenting, until sping 2021, multidisciplinary initiatives – from the visual arts to various forms of live entertainment, letters, media, fashion and science – devoted to women as protagonists of the arts and creative thinking.
Curated by Maria Grazia Messina and Anna Maria Montaldo with Giorgia Gastaldon, the exhibition belongs coherently to a strand of research that distinguishes the Museum’s recent work: the renewal and reinterpretation of the achievement of women who played a leading part in Italian cultural life in the 20th century. It includes figures such as Margherita Sarfatti, Giosetta Fioroni and Adriana Bisi Fabbri, or the historical-artistic re-contextualization of others previously neglected but of primary importance in intermedial research in the second half of the 20th century, such as Marinella Pirelli, Amalia del Ponte and Renata Boero.
"Carla Accardi. Contexts" presents all facets of the artist’s achievements, offering a new interpretation of them. It differs from the thematic approach in the most recent monographs by being mainly focused on her repertoire of abstract-chromatic painting.
With approximately 70 works together with photographs and documents from the Accardi Sanfilippo Archive, the project restores to the center of the exhibition the panorama and the artist’s historical, social and political context. It reveals a vital visual horizon clustered with stylistic comparisons, often associated with younger artists, presenting the portrait of a courageous and experimental woman who, at a time when developments in painting were dominated by men, became the first internationally recognized Italian abstractionist.
The layout unfolds with a selection of works – paintings, sculptures (sicofoils) and installations – notable not only for their aesthetic qualities, but also as a record of her participation in important exhibitions.
Within the historical timespan, the layout is divided into thematic sections: her group debut within the Constructivism of Forma 1; her Strutture from the 1950s; her analytical reflections in Colori from the early 1960s; the early proposals with the Plastiche and Installazioni in the later 60s; the conceptual reduction of the Trasparenti and Telai from the 70s; and finally the return to painting in the large canvases produced from the 1980s on.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Electa, with essays aligned with the exhibition that help define the variegated socio-cultural setting in which the artist worked.
Cover photo: Luca Borrelli.