MISS WELBY

RADICAL LIGHT – Italy’s Divisionist Painters 1891-1910. National Gallery, until 7 September 2008

In ARTS, ITALY, RADICALS on 01/09/2008 at 1:50 PM

Luigi Russolo (1885-1947), 'Lightning', 1909-10

This exhibition explores the complex relationship between Italian Divisionism and the emerging Futurist movement in the early years of the 20th century. It is the first of its kind to be organised outside Italy. Centred in Milan, Divisionism was arguably the most significant art movement to emerge in Italy during the last decades of the 19th century. Dissatisfaction with modern civilization led Divisionist painters to explore Symbolism. Their aim was to represent political concerns and make their art into an instrument for social change. The movement also sprang from research into optics and the physics of light. Inspired by French developments with pointillism, and fuelled by a desire to increase the luminosity and brilliance of their paintings, artists developed new techniques applying paint in a variety of dots and strokes. This exhibition features around 60 paintings, including works by the main protagonists of Divisionism: Vittore Grubicy de Dragon, Giovanni Segantini and Gaetano Previati. It will also display works by the Futurist artists Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni and Carlo Carrà. Radical Light is a unique opportunity to explore a lesser-known, yet undoubtedly important movement, offering a link to the National Gallery’s great historical collections of Italian art.

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