After enormous success in Paris and Milan, the Netter Collection has now arrived in Rome. Works from artists living in the so-called “Golden Years” in Parisian neighbourhood Montparnasse are waiting to be explored. Modigliani, Soutine, Utrillo, Valadan, Kisling and others (all Jews) would never have become known if not for their talented patron, Netter (also Jewish).
Over 120 works in the Palazzo Cipolla are depicting seemingly monothematic portraits, considered as monstrosities when they were first produced. The bohemian mixture of Central and East European immigrant vibes that caused a revolution in the art world is overwhelming. Sketched female faces on lazy thin necks, nervous lines and depressive colours are not the stuff of nightmares, but the effect of a host of influences. Do not try to play an art critic and guess whom they most resemble. There is no shelf with a convenient title on which to place this art. The eclectic and diverse inspiration of renaissance or African art, cubism, symbolism or expressionism pushed the artists to think outside the box. On the other hand, the context is not complicated – the depiction is highly reduced and the attention concentrates on the person. While heads seem to be sculpted with every perfect detail, eyes are often frightening without pupils. Blurred lines combined with sharp, emotional shapes send a thrill down your spine. No matter how eccentric it may seem, this exhibition brings you to realise how the ugliness of faces is reality, and worth facing.
Till 6 April 2014
Fondazione Museo Roma (Palazzo Cipolla)
Via del Corso, 320
Mon 2.30-8pm; Tue-sun 10am-8pm
Entry fee €11-13