'De Chirico in Ferrara. Metaphysics and the Avant-Garde'
14 November 2015 – 28 February 2016
“Hyper original,” to Salvador Dalí, moving to the point of tears, for René Magritte: Giorgio de Chirico’s painting won over some of the greatest surrealist artists and was enormously influential on twentieth century art.
De Chirico was the brilliant inventor of metaphysical painting, one of the most important artistic trends in the modern period, in which the mysteries that permeate existence take form through suspenseful atmospheres plunged in disquiet. De Chirico’s work shifted radically with his arrival in Ferrara in 1915, when, following the outbreak of World War I, he left Paris for three and a half years of military duty in Ferrara. Swept up in the beauty and renaissance myths of the Emilian city, De Chirico painted a surreal world filled with wonders: timeless city squares invaded by fantastic sunsets or secret rooms with dizzying perspectives act as backdrops to the enigmatic objects discovered on his walks through the narrow streets of the Ferrarese ghetto, or they become the stage for tailors’ mannequins and silent faceless characters. Ferrara was the place where the artist met Carlo Carrà and began calling his painting “metaphysical,” and it was the birthplace of the paintings—true emblems of modernity—that exercised a profound influence both on the Italian art of the time and on international movements like Dada, surrealism, and the New Objectivity.
For the centenary of De Chirico’s arrival in the city of Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti will celebrate this vital moment in the story of 20th century art with a large exhibition. An large proportion of paintings created by De Chirico during the Ferrara period will be complemented by metaphysical-inspired paintings by artists such as Carlo Carrà, Giorgio Morandi, and Filippo de Pisis, as well as masterpieces by some of the greatest artists of the European avant-gardes, from Raoul Hausmann to George Grosz and from René Magritte to Salvador Dalí to Max Ernst, all of whom were fascinated with his unique style and ability to reveal the impenetrable mystery of things on canvas.
Exhibition curated by Paolo Baldacci and Gerd Roos, organized by Fondazione Ferrara Arte and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart