ANAMERICANA – American Academy in Rome

American Academy in Rome in collaboration with DEPART Foundation present ANAMERICANA. The exhibition, curated by Vincenzo de Bellis, features more than forty works from the DEPART Foundation collection and brings together artists from different generations working in various poetic and stylistic modes of expression and different media: painting, photography, graphics, sculpture, installation and video. Despite the variety of materials, all the works on display are marked by themes delving into the habits and traditions central to contemporary American society. 

The title of the exhibition plays with the meaning of the word “Americana”, which usually refers to manufactured objects, or a set of artifacts, that belong or relate to the cultural heritage, history, geography and folklore of the United States. Many types of materials fall under the definition of Americana: paintings, prints and drawings, license plates or entire vehicles, household items, utensils and weapons, statues, and so on. Patriotism and nostalgia are predominant themes. Often the term is used to describe the subject of a museum or collection, or property for sale.

The title of the exhibition AN-AMERICANA is deliberately ambiguous: on the one hand “An” can be read grammatically as an indefinite article that in this sense refers to a non-specific typology of the noun “Americana”. Alternatively, if “An” is read as a privative prefix, it negates the word that follows it. The works on display here reveal the tendency of contemporary artists to relate their works to history, as well as to the artistic and social traditions of the United States, while, at the same time maintaining a critical distance from them, underling in the process  the controversial aspects of an extraordinarily complex country.

American Academy in Rome  
October 3 – November 14 2013