Liberty in Italia
Directed by Francesco Parisi and Anna Villari
The liberty style was the Italian version of Art nouveau, which took shape in painting as well as in epic architectures, as in the thermal baths of Salsomaggiore. This catalogue, that accompanies a retrospective regarding the palace of Magnani in Reggio Emilia (until 14 February 2017), shows the extreme diversity of the productions grouped together under this denomination. Next to large decorative paintings of which many samples have disappeared, such as café Gambrinus in Milano or café Faraglia in Rome - but there is still the hotel Villa Igea in Palermo -, decorative arts still hold an important role. The idea of a home-work of total art guides architects such as Basile and d’Aronco and nourishes the inspiration of master glassmakers (Galileo Chini), ceramic artists (Valerio Bertelli and his Marquess of Casati with the head of Medusa) and sculptors. Nude women are numerous and are often poisonous like in the pictural production of Lorenzo Viani or Camillo Innocenti. The landscape, which also dedicates a large place to the graphic aspects: movies, advertising and publications largely found their inspiration in the Liberty style, from the Panerai drops from Livorno to the covers of books by Gabriele D’Annunzio.
Review published in the newsletter #454 - from 22 December 2016 to 11 January 2017