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Prada Rong Zhai presents ‘Roma: 1950−1965’

Prada Rong Zhai presents ‘Roma: 1950 – 1965’ An exhibition organized by Fondazione Prada

Curated by Germano Celant, the exhibition “Roma 1950-1965” explores the fervent artistic and cultural climate that developed in Rome during the period immediately following World War II, and continued into the early 1960s. 

During these years Italy and the rest of the world were dealing with the devastation wrought by that conflict, taking the rubble of war and using it as a raw material with which to lay the foundations not only for the 1960s economic boom and quick-paced industrialization, but also for artistic movements characterized by a radical renewal of the languages of art.

In November 1950 the artist Mario Ballocco published an article titled “Gruppo Origine” in the magazine AZ, in which he promoted and defined the program of the group of the same name he formed together with Alberto Burri, Giuseppe Capogrossi and Ettore Colla. The group's inaugural exhibition would be held in January 1951 in their gallery. Burri's presence was key for affirming a tension aimed at consolidating a conception of art that referenced an ideal and secular human model. His canvases, starting in 1948, became covered with abrasions and lacerations, pieces and holes, patches and mold, scars which, once stitched back together again, formed an eroded skin.

In the same manner, Ettore Colla believed in the force of materials that came from “below,” discovered amid industrial relics. He used them in his sculptures in order to liberate a power of image.

The generation that followed Burri and Colla was the Forma group, founded on March 15, 1947 in Renato Guttuso's studio in Via Margutta 48 in Rome.

Studios, especially those that cropped up alongside one another in Via Margutta and Villa Massimo, provided key meeting places for these artists.

Bars and cafés like Il Caffè Rosati in Piazza del Popolo became symbols of an exchange of ideas between artists and intellectuals.

During these years, Rome was a city bursting with a desire to live life to its fullest and enjoy life's beauty, a sentiment well represented by Federico Fellini's 1960 film La Dolce Vita. This environment attracted not only artists and intellectuals like Alberto Moravia, Ennio Flaiano and Pier Paolo Pasolini (who would also write movie scripts for films produced in Italy's Hollywood, Cinecittà), but also actors, directors and major international film productions.

“Roma 1950-1965” at Prada Rong Zhai is open to the public from March 23rd to May 27th, 2018. Entrance tickets are RMB45. A unique QR code is assigned to each ticket, which is a only valid for the selected time slot.  A limited number of visitors can access the exhibition spaces in one time.

ALBERTO BURRI
Rosso plastica
(Red Plastic)
1962

Plastic, acrylic and polyvinyl
acetate glue on canvas
81 x 100 cm
© Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello – by SIAE 2018

Carla Accardi
Scissione Orizzontale 
(Horizontal Split)
1961

tempera and casein
on canvas
110 x 150 cm

Afro Basaldella
Cronaca nera 
(Crime news)
1951

mixed media
on canvas
144.5 x 174.5 cm

Mirko Basaldella 
Sacerdote 
(Priest)
1967

wood
84 x 34 x 34 cm

Pietro Consagra 
Colloquio romano
(Roman Conversation)
1958

Bronze
30.5 x 35 x 3 cm

Ettore Colla 
Rilievo legno e ferro
(Wood and Iron Relief)
1961

Wall-mounted assemblage of iron and wood
121 x 95 x 20 cm

Nino Franchina
Ala rossa
(Red Wing)
1951

Polychrome sheet
metal
380 x 60 x 60 cm

Gastone Novelli
House of Flowers
1963

mixed media
on canvas
200 x 200 cm

Antonio Sanfilippo
Nucleo
(Nucleus)
1957

tempera on canvas
70 x 61 cm

Toti Scialoja 
Impronte nere
(Black Marks)
1960

oil and sand
on canvas
130 x 160 cm