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Bizarre, novità e stravaganze nelle sete europee del XVIII

Bizarre, novità e stravaganze nelle sete europee del XVIII


Until March 31, 2019, the exhibition Bizarre, novità e stravaganze nelle sete europee del XVIII secolo will take place in the exhibition halls of Villa Sucota.

Opening hours
Monday to Friday: 10:0013:00 and 15:0018:00
Sunday: 14:0018:00
(last input 17:30)

Free entrance


The Exhibition

On 14th December 2018 at 6 pm, in the rooms of the ground floor of Villa Sucota, the Fondazione Antonio Ratti opened the exhibition Bizarre, novità e stravaganze nelle sete europee del XVIII secolo curated by Maddalena Terragni in collaboration with Gregorio Magnani. The exhibition, which runs from 15th December 2018 to 31st March 2019, presents an unprecedented dialogue between a selection of “bizarre” textiles, coming from the FAR and TGL collections, and the work of the artist Stefano Arienti.

The exhibition Bizarre, novità e stravaganze nelle sete europee del XVIII shows a contemporary and multidisciplinary perspective of a phenomenon in the history of Western Textiles. At the turn of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, European weavers invented unusual decorative motifs by mixing them freely and drawing on all the cultural references that came from the East, without worrying to produce realistic representations. It is exactly this approach in redesigning the forms that these productions and the contemporary have in common.

For the first time, following their own sensibility and interpreting the forms, the textile artisans could make free use of the repertoire of designs and create abstract patterns for their polychrome silks that wind and curve, mixing it with geometric motifs, grand imaginary inflorescences merged between depictions of baroque architecture and oriental buildings. The realization of such demanding drawings was made possible by the very high technical competence of the time, which could render the novelties, the extravagance and the refinement of the decorations, sometimes difficult to read.

This free approach, common to eighteenth-century and contemporary productions, is reiterated and emphasized by Stefano Arienti’s site-specific intervention. It is not the first time that Arienti’s work develops through an interaction with a historical collection – for example, we remember the recent exhibition Finestre Meridiane. Intersections with the collection of Villa Croce, Genoa (2017) or Quadri da un’esposizione, Palazzo Te, Mantua (2016) – but the work at FAR is unique for the pressing dialogue that is established with the textiles.

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