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  Italian edition

Giorgio de Chirico. Gioco e gioia della Neometafisica


Campobasso Giorgio de Chirico. The Delightful Playfulness of Neometaphysical Art
Curated by Lorenzo Canova
Fondazione Molise Cultura, Palazzo Ex Gil, Campobasso
20 December 2014 – 6 April 2015
The exhibition presents 68 paintings, drawings and lithographs from the collection of Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico. It represents one of the most complete exhibitions ever held of the artist’s Neometaphysical period (1968-1976) since the first, fundamental show in San Marino in 1995. Neometaphysical Art has since achieved worldwide recognition with recent exhibitions in Paris, San Paolo, Frankfort, Athens, Tokyo and New York.
The exhibition is intended as an occasion for reflection on the last ten years of de Chirico’s artistic production, or Neometaphysical period, when he rediscovered a fertile vein of creativity through the re-elaboration and transformation of the vast iconographic repertoire of his early metaphysical period and the years immediately after. The works created were not mere replicas but rather fresh and imaginative innovations. In this highly creative season, de Chirico painted images free from all conditioning, works of splendid quality in which he reconfigured his previous subject matter with astonishing inner clarity that is reflected directly on the canvas.
Neometaphysical painting is the result of the artist’s playful, ironic and lucid vision of his own imaginative world. As such, it crosses new frontiers and thus provides further proof of the depth of the philosophical and cultural content that has always distinguished his work: from Nietzsche to Greek Tragedy, from Heraclitus to Mythology, in which the splendid subtlety of the composition somehow conceals the true complexity of a universe rich with secrets still to be discovered.
As the great dechirician scholar Maurizio Calvesi wrote in his fundamental study on Neometaphysical Art (republished in the present exhibition catalogue): “his characters, mannequins, objects and architecture have actually become toys, and the meaning of play – which was indeed secretly inherent even in his early Metaphysical paintings – now triumphs in a new, creative key, vitalised by a total awareness of freedom and control of his poetic and psychological universe, which he is no longer subject to but of which he has become the enlightened conductor, or rather, the puppeteer of a show full of surprises and the magician of well-know secrets.”
Following along the line of Nietzsche’s Eternal Return and of circular time, de Chirico rediscovered his mannequins, archaeologists, piazzas and incongruent constructions in a new vortex of ideas. The painting process was subject to a purposeful and intellectual quality of “low definition”, which foresaw the conceptual dimension of a younger generation of artists, who in de Chirico would find a fundamental point of reference.
Much of the artist’s imagery finds common ground with the landscapes and historical context of the Molise region, from its archaeological sites right up to the modernist architecture the Ex Gil complex, a masterpiece of that specific Italian style inspired by de Chirico’s “constructed metaphysics” that became widespread in the architecture of the time and is recognisable in Domenico Filippone’s solemn use of space in the building’s design.
On show: 26 paintings; 8 watercolours; 24 drawings executed for the 1972 special edition of Hebdomeros, Carlo Bestetti Editore, Rome 1972; 10 litographes on the Mysterious Baths theme for Jean Cocteau’s Mythologie, Paris 1934
paginaInv. 81

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Metaphysical Vision of New York, 1975 oil on canvas, 105×80 cm (inv. 81)

Muse of the Opera, 1973

oil on canvas 69×49.5 cm (inv. 33)

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Ulysses’ Return, pencil and charcoal on paper, 46.5×35.2 cm (inv. D165) Centaur Family, pencil, charcoal and watercolour on paper, 48×33 cm (inv. D161)
Fondazione Molise Cultura
Palazzo Ex GIL, via Gorizia, Campobasso
20 December 2014 – 6 April 2015
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 am-1:00 pm / 5:00-8:00 pm
Information: / tel + 39 0874 314807
Website exhibition - Press review

Catalogue: Regia Edizioni, Campobasso 2014 (in Italian, 202 pages)

Essays by Lorenzo Canova, Maurizio Calvesi, Elena Pontiggia, Katherine Robinson and Flavia Monceri, together with a selection of written work by de Chirico.

On cover: Gladiator in the Arena, 1975, oil on canvas, 90×70 cm, Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico
 Organised by Fondazione Molise Cultura and Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico