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For its 2019–2020 season, the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) in New York, is ready to present the first U.S. exhibition devoted to the nude sculptures of Marino Marini (1901–1980), curated by Dr. Flavio Fergonzi. Opening in CIMA’s luminous SoHo space on October 17, 2019, this focused exhibition includes approximately 30 sculptures created between 1932 and 1949. 

Seen together, all these works will illuminate Marini’s creative process as he developed a fresh and Modernist vernacular of the female nude while looking at precedents in the pre-classical and classical eras. Indeed, his approach to surface, mass, and form helped to bring a new aesthetic to the very nature of sculpture.

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"Marino Marini: Arcadian Nudes" is the first exhibition in the United States to bring together the greatest examples of the artist’s nudes. The curator, Dr. Fergonzi, notes: “Marini’s exploration of the female nude was both formal and thematic, at once highlighting and eroding classical forms. "Marino Marini: Arcadian Nudes" examines how Marini used the figure of the female nude to explore the history of the nude in modern sculpture from Edgar Degas and Aristide Maillol to Henry Moore.”

 

Susanna (Susanna), 1943, cast 1946-51  Bronze  28 7/8 x 21 1/8 x 10 5/8 in. , 68 lb  (73.3 x 53.7 x 27 cm, 30.8 kg)  
Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Photography by Lee Stalsworth. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  

 

CIMA President Laura Mattioli said: “As an artist, Marini takes the point of view of an innocent—an eternal youth who, with fresh eyes, can see the world as a child would. His nudes represent timeless, eternal, women—an Arcadian ideal of a harmonious, bountiful nature. These figures represent fertility, beauty, happiness, and motherhood in a broad sense and possess an identity and power that speaks to the ideal of the feminine today. We are grateful to Flavio Fergonzi for this new look at an area of Marini’s work that has not been adequately studied until now.”

The sculptures on view in "Marino Marini: Arcadian Nudes" will highlight Marini’s astonishing attention to the details of pose, shape, and modeling. Indeed, like Giorgio Morandi’s treatment of the objects in his still lifes, Marini simultaneously highlights both the continuity of classical forms and the various ways in which they may be undermined by the treatment of their surfaces. The project is the result of an intense collaboration between important institutions as Fondazione Marino Marini, Pistoia, Italy; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

 

Nudo (Nude), 1947 Bronze 31 11/32 x 10 19/32 x 7 3/16 in. (79.6 x 26.9 x 18.2 cm). Fondazione Marino Marini - Pistoia

 

More about Marino Marini...

Marino Marini completed his formal artistic education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence in 1917, where he studied painting and sculpture, and later developed friendships with Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Giacometti, and Henry Moore. After launching his career with sculptures that explicitly referenced pre-classical and Etruscan styles, Marini took up the theme of the female nude, seeking a universal, eternal vision of women. Yet while he continued to find inspiration in prehistoric and antique sources, including ancient matriarchal societies, he approached the female nude with a modernist sensibility.

"Marino Marini: Arcadian Nudes" | Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) New York, USA | October 17, 2019 - June 13, 2020

Cover image: Piccolo Nudo (Kneeling Nude), 1945, Bronze, 16 9/16 x 10 13/16 x 13 1/16 in. (42 x 27.4 x 33.2 cm), Cincinnati Art Museum, Gift of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, 1953.63

 

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world. 

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