Tullio Crali- The Need for Speed

Just like a good box of chocolates, I feel I should ration the amount of wonderful paintings I want to share from my Italian sojourn. So here is La Forza della curva from 1930-a truly beautiful work:


The gallery label had this to say and it is almost as poetic as this gloriously dynamic piece of futurist inspired canvas.

Aeropainter and lover of speed, Crali translated the dynamism of modern transportation into an almost abstract dimension, furrowed by trajectories indicating the direction of movement and lyrically transfiguring the sensations of the dynamic experience.  The automobile symbolizes the enchantment of mechanical speed and power. In his choice of title, the artist shifts our attention from the object in itself to the movement it describes in space: the abstract forms developing from the stylized nose of the speeding car are lines of force expressing its dynamic energy. 

Gino Severini, Cannoni in azione 1915

Anyone who knows me will know how much I love the period 1910-1920 and I am bowled over by this wonderful work by Severini that I found in Rovereto.

Immediately, I knew it had to be the companion to one of my most favourite paintings of all…drum roll… CRW Nevinson’s La Mitrailleuse.  Wouldn’t you agree?

La Mitrailleuse 1915 by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson 1889-1946

La Mitrailleuse 1915 Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson 1889-1946 Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1917 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N03177


Painters of Light – Italian Journey

Rovereto, Trento, Italy: a Tuesday and one of the best exhibitions my journeys have taken me to!

40mins from Verona, Rovereto is a picturesque town that clearly loves its art and culture.

The Museo d’Arte dear Rovereto-Trentino was a surprise in itself:

This review of the exhibition describes it much better than I can, so is worth a read first.



The way this exhibition guides you chronologically through the impact of Divisionism through to the frenetic Futurists was informative and it also introduced me to a number of artists I had not come across before. The first quote you see from a letter Segantini wrote in 1887 fits beautifully:

If modern art is to have a character it is that seeking light in colour.

The early exponants were inspired by the most advanced scientific research on light and colour and you see this in the works of Segantini, Angelo Morbelli, Baldassare Longoni and, Vittore Grubicy de Dragon, to name a few.  Their works used the divisionist technique, with meticulous brushstrokes combining with the idea of colours complimenting each other, to produce works that glowed on canvas:

The realism of the works, combined with symbolism were ripe for this new technique.  The view of Verona by Longoni, fully embraced the pontillist style and the way in which light is portayed in the Morbelli painting of the patients of the hospice was truly magnificent.  Morbelli was attempting to “illuminate the melancholic passing of time. His works fully embrace that melancholy and he is worth exploring further:

Angelo Morbelli – Italian Divisionist

Of course, Segantini and I have met before at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and also in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. More on him on another day, I think!   This work sits in the realistic realms but is also symbolic.  The old woman returns home at the end of the day, her early tracks in the snow lead her back home again.  This is a task she undertakes daily and represents the relentless pursuit of a living within nature.  Segantini’s depiction of light is stunning and it was here I found out that he used gold and silver filaments in his work.  In this example, the light reflects off the snow due to the dense interweave of silver, blue and white filaments.

This work by Carlo Fornara, who was greatly influenced by Segantini, was one of the standout pieces due to its sheer brilliance of light contasting with the weary figure in the foreground:


L’aquilone (1902-1904)

This ‘revolution of light’ led to the avant-garde movement and with the combined technique of decompostion of forms and the way in which society was moving and changing at a rapid pace, you can see how the Futurists came into being.

The Futurist works that stood out for me were:

The permanent collection will have to wait for its own post, as the works at MART were truly stunning.  So pleased that I was able to get to see such an amazing collection in a beautiful setting, and to make the connections – it’s all starting to make sense now!!