Art | February 26, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of Palazzo Blu

The Avant-Gardes
Palazzo BLU, Pisa
September 28, 2023 – April 07, 2024

The fall exhibition at Palazzo Blu – running from September 28, 2023, through April 7, 2024 – showcases the masterpieces of the avant-gardes of the early twentieth century, with an extraordinary sequence of paintings and sculptures from the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is internationally renowned as a leading museum and exhibition hub.

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Image courtesy of Palazzo Blu

The Pisa exhibition, orchestrated by Matthew Affron, curator of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with expert input for the Tuscan staging from the art historian Stefano Zuffi, will afford a one-off opportunity to admire an array of works by the most acclaimed European artists of the early decades of the 1900s; indeed, the rooms of Palazzo Blu will play host to works by Chagall, Dalì, Duchamp, Kandinsky, Mirò and Picasso. These will be complemented by works by Matisse, Mondrian, Klee, Ernst and Gris – artists who have never previously been exhibited in the “palace of art” overlooking the River Arno. Moreover, it will also provide a unique occasion to chart some of the salient moments of the “short century,” leveraging the sensitivity towards international history that has marked out the initiatives of Palazzo Blu Arte e Cultura for several years now.

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Image courtesy of Palazzo Blu

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a touchstone for the American and international art scenes, boasting globally celebrated collections and exhibitions in which the works of the European avant-gardes are particularly prominent. The credit goes to the collectors, under whose direction the Philadelphia Museum of Art continued to grow throughout the twentieth century, particularly during the three decades in which Fiske Kimball was at the helm. Marcel Duchamp himself, commissioned to conduct a survey of the main North American museums with a view to identifying the finest location for twentieth-century art, selected the Philadelphia Museum of Art as the most appropriate site.

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Image courtesy of Palazzo Blu

The exhibition route at Palazzo Blue gets underway, significantly, with a Self-Portrait by the twenty-five-year-old Picasso. The young painter grasps the palette and, literally, rolls up his sleeves: this was his first, conscious step towards becoming the most important artist of the entire century. The route then moves on to offer a rich timeline in which the works are accompanied by visual, audio and multimedia installations, positioning the art within the sequence of historical and cultural events starting from the sunset of the “Belle Époque” and leading through to the outbreak of the Second World War. The exhibition features a final section in which the intensity reaches a crescendo, with an immensely evocative work of great symbolic value: Chagall’s 1940 Crucifixion.

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Image courtesy of Palazzo Blu

The opening of the exhibition – produced and organized by Fondazione Palazzo Blu and MondoMostre, with the contribution of Fondazione Pisa – coincides with the completion of a remodelling of the spaces of Palazzo Blu; a project that has seen the lighting and services of the historic building being upgraded.


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Image courtesy of Palazzo Blu
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Image courtesy of Palazzo Blu

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