Un altro tempo. Tra Decadentismo e Modern style


September 22 – January 13, 2013

Mart - Corso Bettini, 43 – Rovereto

Try a little to imagine the following situation: Virginia Woolf embroidering the back of a seat with some stitch or other, copying a design by Duncan Grant while her sister, Vanessa Bell, draws the cover for The Waves for her, and, between one Blast and another, Percy Wyndham Lewis paints the portrait of Edith Sitwell, photographed with her brothers by Cecil Beaton. The three Sitwells have the Villa di Montegufoni frescoed by Gino Severini; after which all drop down on their knees to rummage around the left-over balls of wool to make socks to send Alec Guinness at the Front. But what is this? A prank, the set for a pièce? No, it’s all true.Picturing a blend of illustrious figures and individual pranskters is sufficient to give only a very approximate idea of one of the unusual aspects of the 20th century that is still unknown.Decades possessed by the New and Modern: Paris, London and Italy as favoured crossroads for the inventions of language in all the arts.

The years between the two wars saw, perhaps for the last time, the appearance in the West of a cultural and social phenomenon that saw the meeting of initiatives by poets and painters, but also of “divine socialites”, of eccentric cosmopolitans, of artists who were patrons of their own colleagues.

Through about one hundred bizarre and bold works, the exhibition highlights one of the most interesting artistic and cultural phenomena of the 20th century.

Image above: Roger Fry, Chair with embroidered seatback, 1913, wood, lacquer, leather and wool, 105,3 x 54,2 cm


Dora Carrington

Lytton Strachey, 1916

oil on panel

50,8 x 60,9 cm


Cecil Beaton

Edith Sitwell. Multiple exposure, 1962

printing on gelatin silver

29,2 x 24,2 cm


Cecil Beaton

Nancy Cunard. Multiple Exposure, 1929

printing on gelatin silver

20,2 x 15,4 cm


Henri Gaudier-Breszka

Busto, 1914


25,2 x 98,2 x 77 cm


Duncan Grant

Self-portrait with turban, (1909)

oil on canvas

20,2 x 12,7 cm


Percy Wyndham Lewis

Portrait di Ezra Pound, 1918

charcoal on paper

36 x 25,5 cm


Alvin Langdon Coburn

Vortograph of Ezra Pound, 1917

gelatin silver print on paper

20,4 x 15,4 cm