Giacometti – Fontana. The search for the Absolute at Palazzo Vecchio Museum

Giacometti-Fontana. The Search for the Absolute at Palazzo Vecchio

Two 20th century artistic masters are joined together in one exhibit to explore their interpretations of life’s greatest mysteries

Seeking the absolute. The work of two artists come together in one space in hopes of raising questions about the past, present, and future, between the natural world and cosmic space to understand the infinity of life itself. The Giacometti-Fontana. The Search for the Absolute exhibition is being displayed in the Palazzo Vecchio from March 4 – June 6, 2023.

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), a swiss painter and sculptor, whose art works reflect his desire to strip the idea of beings to its simplest form: the soul. Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) was an Argentine-Italian painter, sculptor, and theorist. Fontana was fascinated by the concept of understanding what is between the physical world and the universe. He is known as the founder of Spatialism, an artistic movement which combines elements of time, space, and movement into artwork.

The Giacometti – Fontana exhibition. The search for the absolute, curated by Chiara Gatti and Sergio Risaliti, demonstrates the similarities and differences between each artist. Although the artists carried out different lives and attitudes, they share a common thread of expressing truth in their work. Both artists attempt to show transparency and material in its most raw form. Giacometti is known for his tall, slender, mysterious figurines while Fontana is known for his cuts on canvas. Included in the exhibit are Fontana’s spatial concepts appearing like meteoroids or lumps of matter.

“For the first time two giants of the twentieth century meet and touch each other. This is not the usual ideal dialogue without scientific basis, as often happens in the world of exhibitions. Giacometti and Fontana touch each other in history, work in the same years, cite the same masters (Giotto among all), travel the same routes and, above all, look in the same direction: towards the void, the invisible, the sacred, the physical and mental elsewhere” says Chiara Gatti, Director of the MAN of Nuoro and curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition is displayed in the Sala delle Udienze and in the Sala dei Gigli, where the famous Giuditta by Donatello is located. Giacometti’s L’objet invisible (1934-35) and Fontana’s Signorina seduta or Seated Lady (1934) are placed besides Donatello’s Giuditta. Both sculptures depict two women with their hands in front of them holding what seems to be nothing. However, the question being raised is how can the sense of void be nothingness? This juxtaposition is bound to evoke emotion and addresses the overwhelming theme of the search for the absolute.

This exhibition project was born from a dream. A journey into the most remote time and the most distant future. Fleshed human figures, reduced to essence, drained but erected standing or walking on a corrugated plane like a planet still in the process of formation. And on this ground small and large volcanic forms similar to large meatballs, wrinkled, shaped by original forces, in their endless journey in the cosmos before landing like meteorites at the foot of those antediluvian bodies, hominids on the threshold of life and death, day and night. Waking up I recognized in those figures works known to me by Alberto Giacometti and Lucio Fontana. L’Homme qui marche, the great Femme debout, the Spatial concepts in bronze or terracotta. Many years have passed since that day. But the dream has not ceased to question me, to solicit me until today. Finally the imaginary rejoins its dreamlike matrix in the concreteness of the exhibition. The works of Giacometti and Fontana are now together, juxtaposed in the exhibition Giacometti – Fontana. The search for the absolute inside the rooms of Palazzo Vecchio and invite us to question ourselves on the poetic sense that emerged with these combinations.  A rediscovered poetic sense.

explains Sergio Risaliti, Director of the Museo Novecento and creator of the exhibition.

Until June 4th

Museo di Palazzo Vecchio

Piazza della Signoria

Opening times: 
Mon – Tue – Wed – Fri – Sat 9am-7pm;
Thursday 9am-2pm

Tickets: Full €18.5, Reduced €16

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