Palazzo Altemps, Rome stages spectacular Fornasetti show

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Palazzo Altemps, Rome, celebrates its twentieth anniversary with a stunning exhibition titled Citazioni Pratiche dedicated to the phantasmagorical galaxy of Piero and Barnaba Fornasetti. The exhibition runs until May 2018 and uses the twenty-seven rooms of the stunning museum, starting from the Courtyard of the Palazzo, to showcase poetical installations which mix Fornasetti sculptures, furniture, ceramics, even guitars, with antique sculptures and artefacts. The collection of sculptures and the spaces of the Palazzo respond to 800 dream-like pieces by the Milanese design studio. This tour de force exhibition is curated by Barnaba Fornasetti himself.

“Bringing here the fantasies and creations of my father and myself, exposing them to the gaze not only of contemporary visitors, but also of these great classical works, I felt it necessary to maintain a respectful distance and establish the exhibition in the space between familiarity and unfamiliarity which marks our relationship with the past of classical art, attempting to use this space to build a dialogue articulated across a spectrum of transgressions and respectful thoughts.“ Barnaba Fornasetti said of the concept of the exhibition.

In the Hall of the Maenad, a vast selection of designs by Fornasetti exploring themes of Cameos, Emperors and Nummus (“Coins”) surround the main central antique sculpture. The work responds to mid-first century BC classicist Roman tastes, and depicts one of the maidens who, according to Greek mythology, accompanied the procession of the god Dionysus, dancing to the music of flutes and tambourines.

The Chamber of Polyphemus is also transformed into a theatrical space: the animated video projections of the “Fondo Marino” (“Seabed”), with fish swimming along the walls, envelops the bust of the Cyclops and highlights the sailing ship, giving the room a dreamlike atmosphere.

 

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