Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, until July 3 Monster Mattioli / Caravaggio. THE LIGHT FRUIT

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan hosts an unprecedented comparison of works by Carlo Mattioli (1911-1994), one of the Italian masters of the twentieth century, and The fruit basket by Caravaggio, preserved in the Milan Museum.

The exhibition, entitled Mattioli / Caravaggio. The light fruitconceived and organized by the Carlo Mattioli Foundation of Parma, with contributions from SCIC Italia, UniCredit Wealth Management, Graphic Arts Castello, presents twenty oil paintings which promotes the knowledge of the Emilian painter’s work and creative process through the deep dialogue with the Caravaggesque masterpiece and will make you feel the contemporary echo of the original, four hundred years after its creation. “Mattioli / Caravaggio. The light fruit at Pinacoteca Ambrosiana – he says Marcella Mattiolichairman of the Carlo Mattioli Foundation and daughter of the artist – is the first step in the journey that the Foundation has decided to take by re-reading Mattioli’s work through new forms of communication and a series of monographic exhibitions with original paintings and multimedia technologies “.” This initiative – adds he Anna Zaniboni Mattioli, Vice President of the Foundation – he confronts the past, but with the contradictory, clear and neurotic gaze of today’s people, making the desire to “show” the contemporary demands of Carlo Mattioli more open. “

“Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana – he declares Archbishop Alberto Roccadirector of Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, welcomed this project, in the knowledge that art knows how to establish a dialogue that knows no time limits, even speaks different languages ​​as different, but of the same size, may be the works of Caravaggio and Mattioli “.” We are honored to be a part of this project – he says Maria Costanza Marconi Fornari, Marketing and Communications Manager for SCIC Italia – and to be able to pay tribute to Mattioli’s work, with whom we share the same territorial and cultural roots. It will be interesting to see the comparison between Mattioli’s material and abstract painting and one of the most representative paintings of Caravaggio’s work ”. The courage to confront an absolute master like Caravaggio and one of his most iconic works underlies a cycle of paintings and drawings that Mattioli wanted to present at the Venice Biennale in 1968, but which remained visible only on the day of the inauguration, due of the social and political competition that developed in that year and which also involved sectors such as culture and the arts. THAT Basket from Caravaggio by Carlo Mattioli thus returned to the silence of the studio where they were born.

The exhibition itinerary, divided into three spatial and exhibition thematic areas, is proposed as a narrative that develops through Mattioli’s contemporary proposals. The analytical theme and the creative process are set up in the first two spaces within seven showcases, giving a suggestive view of the materials the painter uses. The building theme is concentrated in the third room in direct dialogue with Caravaggios Canestra and is taken from an evocative setting based on undressing suspended in the room’s dim light. The conceptual theme, in the fourth room, proposes the vision of the latest works concerning Canestra and, slightly separated, a video section, which tells the development of Mattioli’s exploration process.

Mattioli tackles the ambrosian genre and model that remains in a personal limbo, suspended between a figuration that will never be complete and an abstraction that cannot be completely abandoned. The relationship with the model becomes a long filtered studio with the image of a pile of boxes and leaves resting on a perch in his studio. Mattioli approaches the model from the seventeenth century and rejects it first in an in-depth study linked to volume and light, and then enlarges the details, where the curve becomes the focal point that all his research revolves around.

The title, The light fruitsuggests playing on the double vision and the perception of the light that illuminates the fruit basket, but through the filter of delicacy (joy), almost as if it were an intimate, closed and unified space. In the film sequences that accompany the exhibition itself, the works are gathered in an unreal space, a silvery space as a daguerreotype. This visual grammar aims to highlight the basic elements that the artist used, without placing the didactic details of the document at the center of the discourse. Quotes, shadows, light and an obsessive theme to reject his own language, in addition to Caravaggio’s work. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog (published by Tacuino) with an unpublished text by Professor Claudio Strinati and a valuable contribution by Roberto Tassi.

Biographical notes

Carlo Mattioli was born on May 8, 1911 in Modena, into a family of artists. His father Antonio, who is a drawing teacher, moves with the whole family to Parma, where Carlo can follow regular studies at the Institute of Fine Arts. After graduating, he immediately begins teaching in Istria, in Arezzo, in Parma, at the academy. of Florence and finally to Bologna. Meanwhile in Parma participant and portrays the young intellectuals who then went on to the city’s lively cultural circles: Ugo Guanda, Oreste Macrì, Pietrino Bianchi, Mario Luzi, Attilio Bertolucci and others. Very reserved and jealous of a private and lonely dimension of his work, however, Mattioli manages to stay up to date on developments in contemporary art and to cultivate the study and love of ancient art of which he is a deep and careful connoisseur.

Since the late 30s, Lina, married in 1937, has been the absolute protagonist of his paintings; is first courses Nude pictures and the first Portraits who is joined by the only daughter Marcella. The season off graphics who then will have other extraordinary parentheses, such as the numerous illustrations of the sixties, testimonies of his never-dormant interest, and his deep knowledge of European literature. They see the light Vanina Vanini and Chartreuse de Parme by Stendhal (from 1961), ie Reasoning dell’Aretino (from 1960 to 1964), the Short stories del Sermini (1963), den Belfagor of Machiavelli. It culminated in 1968 Songbooks del Petrarca and Venetian.

However, the graphics gradually make room for prominent space painting. To nakedstanding or lying, from 1960 to 1963, they are added new Portraits, (famous are those dedicated to Giorgio De Chirico, Roberto Longhi, Carlo Carrà, Giacomo Manzù, Giorgio Morandi and Renato Guttuso), who will appear from time to time throughout the decade and a little further on. Since 1962 still life flanks and then gradually replaces naked, and recedes again from 1967 for studies regarding Basket from Caravaggio, destined for the troubled Venice Biennale in 1968. Born from the frequency of Roberto Longhi, “Cestini” stretches in a complex reflection that also relates to the beloved Titian, until 1974, when views of cathedral of Parma put on the city roofs. Back to the exhibitions, from 1943 it is the first solo show, at the request of Ottone Rosai, at the Galleria del Fiore in Florence. Since 1948, Mattioli has been regularly present at the various editions of Venice Biennale where in 1956 he received the Venice City Award for an artist from the commission led by Roberto Longhi. That same year, he also won the Rome Quadriennale. In the early seventies, the famous ones show up nocturnal, sometimes adorned with one tree or as a sky alone, crossed by clouds and illuminated by the presence of the moon; or as a sky high above the back of the cathedral, or beyond a hedge; or again, as a night that darkens one Beach; or finally, night enclosing a reclining female naked, curved like the profile of a hill.

In the mid-1970s in Landscapes, which also took the whole of the following decade, opened up hitherto unpublished tones for him: le beachesie fields of poppies and of lavenderthat torsethat dead eyesthat treesthat Versiliathat the hills of Castrignanothat Birnam forestsie forests. From 1974 to 1985 portraits by his niece Anna mixed with the new colors of the landscapes. In 1982 walls and the beams of the cycle to a crucifixiondark preparation for the great Crucifixes. But also sacred art, as evidenced by the numerous works created and donated to churches and religious institutions since the 1950s, it is a deeply relevant chapter in his production. In 1983, Lina died. That same year, the big donation to the University of Parma takes place. The majestic 1984 anthology at the Palazzo Reale in Milan inaugurates a very large number of exhibitions in prestigious locations in Italy and abroad. In 1993 he performs the last oil paintings, badlands and the Apuan Alps at night. So the last series of tempera on old book covers.

He died in Parma on July 12, 1994.

MATTIOLI / CARAVAGGIO. The light fruit

Milano, Ambrosiana Art Gallery (piazza Pio XI, 2)

May 7 – July 3, 2022

Schedules: From Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-18.00

From May to the end of September 2022: Thursdays until 22.00

Monday closed To access the museum, you must wear a mask.

Tickets (Pinacoteca + exhibition): full € 15.00 / reduced € 10.00

Catalog: Tacuino

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Information: Tel. 02.806921; contacts@ambrosiana.it

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