Live! From the Autobiographical to the Philosophical: Alberto Savinio’s “Vita dell’uomo”

09 April 2018

A U.S. Premiere with Luciano Chessa and Luca Valentino

PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT TAKES PLACE AT THE ITALIAN INSTITUTE OF CULTURE, 686 PARK AVENUE. RSVP IS REQUIRED.

RSVP HERE

In 1951, five years after Alberto Savinio completed Vita dell’uomo, the work premiered at Milan’s La Scala Theater in a production designed by the author himself. Although intended as a key to unlocking the artist’s personal history, the ballet ironically illustrates the life cycle of an “everyman”—from birth to education, love to disillusion, and, lastly, dream to death. Throughout, the protagonist encounters characters from the artist’s earlier paintings and plays, including animal-headed businessmen and the parents in the form of “Armchair-Mama” and “Armchair-Poppa,” as seen in CIMA’s current exhibition. What might it have meant for Savinio to bring these significant figures to life on the stage?

This evening will feature the U.S. premiere of the ballet’s main scenes, performed on piano by Luciano Chessa. A slide show with a selection of Savinio’s costume designs and stage sets will provide visual context, while insightful commentary on the overall production will be provided by Savinio theater expert Luca Valentino. Expanding the discussion beyond the work itself, Valentino and Chessa will situate Vita dell’uomo in an international context, offering the audience an in-depth vision of Savinio’s idiosyncratic post-WWII poetics of music and theatre.

Note: This program takes place at the Italian Institute of Culture. It is the second of two evenings organized, in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Culture, by the Center for Italian Modern Art on the occasion of its Alberto Savinio exhibition. Click here for more information on the first half of the program, presented at CIMA on Friday, April 6.

FREE: RSVP required at the Italian Institute of Culture.

Luciano Chessa is a composer, conductor, performance artist, pianist, and music historian specializing in 20th-century Italian and 21st-century American repertoire. His compositions include the experimental opera Cena oltranzista nel castelletto al lago—a work of over 55 hours of fasting that was entirely livestreamedand A Heavenly Act, an opera commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, with original video by Kalup Linzy. In New York alone, Chessa has been commissioned multiple times by the Performa Biennial, and in 2014 he presented three concerts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as part of the exhibition Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe. Chessa is the author of Luigi Russolo Futurist. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult (2012), the first monograph dedicated to Russolo and his “Art of Noise.” In 2009, his Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners (OFNI) was hailed by the New York Times as one of the best events in the arts; it continues to tour internationally. He is currently preparing the edition of Julius Eastman’s Second Symphony, and will conduct its world premiere in September 2018.

Live! Exploring Alberto Savinio’s Theater

06 April 2018

Exploring Alberto Savinio’s Theater Work with Luca Valentino

Alberto Savinio experimented with every theatrical genre available to him throughout his career, working as a composer, costume and set designer, playwright, librettist, stage director, and theatre critic. In discussing a selection of this eclectic twentieth-century master’s theater productions, operas, and radio dramas, Luca Valentino will shed light upon the creative process behind this highly-original artist’s combinations of sound, image, and word. Featuring excerpts from original radio performances, this presentation will begin with Savinio’s involvement with the Parisian avant-garde milieu before WWI, touch on his critical-yet-cautious public production during the Fascist Ventennio, and culminate in his post-WWII resurgence, manifested by his works for the Italian National Radio and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival, as well as Milan’s Piccolo Teatro and Teatro alla Scala.

Note: This is the first of two evenings organized, in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Culture, by the Center for Italian Modern Art on the occasion of its Alberto Savinio exhibition. It will take place at CIMA, at 421 Broome Street in SoHo. Click here for more information on the second half of the program, to be presented at the Italian Institute of Culture at 670 Park Avenue on Monday, April 9.

FREE; RSVP required.

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Luca Valentino is Professor of Performing Arts at the Conservatory of Music of Alessandria, Italy, where he is also Artistic Director of Scatola Sonora, an international festival of small-scale opera and musical theater named after a collection of Alberto Savinio’s writings. Over the course of his three decades directing for the stage, Valentino has established himself as an international expert on Savinio—writing numerous essays on the artist and adapting his works for performance on stages around the world. Amongst other accolades, his book on Savinio’s theater, L’arte impura (1991), received the Premio Silvio D’Amico from Italy’s National Drama Institute.

NY-AREA ART HISTORY FELLOWS NETWORK GATHERING

03 April 2018

Are you an art history fellow in the New York area? Register here for our meet up in and tour of CIMA’s Alberto Savinio exhibition on Tuesday, April 3. Come meet your colleagues from organizations like the Frick Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library, the Museum of Modern ArtColumbia University.

Join the NYC Art History Fellows Network LinkedIn group!

DIOSCURI: Ryan and Trevor Oakes in conversation with Brett Littman

29 March 2018

ARTIST TALK

DIOSCURI: Ryan and Trevor Oakes in conversation with Brett Littman

 

When they were young, brothers Giorgio de Chirico and Alberto Savinio, while not actually twins, thought of themselves as two halves of one mind and called themselves the Dioscuri—the Greek name for Castor and Pollux, the twin brothers of Greek and Roman mythology.

Trevor and Ryan Oakes are identical twin brothers and artists who have developed a collaborative practice. They too feel like two halves of one mind. Being mirror-image twins (one is right-handed, the other left-handed), their strengths tend to be complementary, similar to the way the right brain and left brain contribute differing approaches to cognition.

The Oakes’ creative collaboration centers on an investigation into human perception of light and space. In the process they’ve created an entirely new method for depicting the act of seeing that uses the binocular collaboration of the two eyes in an innovative way. Their spherically concave drawings and paintings echo the curvature of the eye. Lawrence Weschler in The New York Times called their art “one of the most intriguing breakthroughs in the depiction of physical reality since the Renaissance.”

Join us for an evening with the Oakes Twins, in conversation with Brett Littman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center, to reflect on modes of seeing, brotherly collaboration, and the art of Alberto Savinio.

Students and CIMA members free; $10 with code DRAW.

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Program schedule:

6pm – registration and viewing of Alberto Savinio

6:20pm – conversation program, followed by Q&A

7:30pm – program concludes, viewing of exhibition

8pm – doors close

 

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Drawing Night at CIMA

20 March 2018

Join us for a special Drawing Night and Aperitivo, led by artist Beatrice Scaccia. CIMA’s opens its unique setting to artists of all levels to analyze and draw from works on view by Alberto Savinio. These paintings, conceived over just a few years in the late 1920s and early 1930s, nevertheless traverse a wide range of techniques.

Pencils have been generously donated by Blick Art Materials and paper has been provided by the legendary Italian papermaker Fabriano, which recently celebrated the 750th anniversary of papermaking in Fabriano, Italy.

All skill levels welcome!

Limited to 30 participants.

General Admission: $15
FREE for CIMA Members. 

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About the artist: Beatrice Scaccia is a visual artist and writer living and working in New York City.  Originally from Italy, Scaccia studied Fine Art at the Fine Art Academy in Rome and Writing at the Minimum Fax Editor (Rome) and the Holden School (Turin).  In 2006 she co-founded the non-profit art spaceINART with renowned artist Gino Marotta, where she was the Director and educator for five years.  Located in Piazza de Spagna, INART’s programs included both instruction and exhibition of the intersectionality between visual, performing and written arts. Scaccia’s practice has long been an amalgamation of the written word and visual language. Her work has been featured on Artnet News, Flash Art, The Art Newspaper, Domus, Marie Claire, Arte Mondadori, Drome Magazine, InsideArt, Art Fuse, Sole24Ore, Exibart, Atribune.

 

*Please note that guests are allowed to bring their own supplies but only sketching materials are permitted. No water media, ink, or solvents are allowed in the galleries.

Refreshments have been generously donated by:

 

 

 

 

Tell Me Something Good: Joanna Pousette-Dart, Sarah Sze, and Lisa Yuskavage

08 March 2018

Tell Me Something GoodA book launch and conversation with Joanna Pousette-Dart, Sarah Sze, and Lisa Yuskavage, moderated by Jarrett Earnest and Lucas Zwirner

Since the inception of the Brooklyn Rail of twenty years ago, co-founder and artistic director Phong Bui and the Rail’s contributors have published over four hundred interviews with artists. This panel—a conversation between writer Jarrett Earnest, editor Lucas Zwirner, and artists Joanna Pousette-Dart, Sarah Sze, and Lisa Yuskavage, focused on their respective practicesillustrates the insight that can be gained from these intimate dialogues. All three artists are included in Tell Me Something Good, which contains sixty Rail interviews in total. While each chapter offers a specific perspective on the life and work of an artist, collectively they tell the story of a journal that has grown during one of the more diverse and surprising periods in visual art. There is no unified style or perspective; the Brooklyn Rail’s strength lies in its ability to include and champion difference. Selected and coedited by Jarrett Earnest, a frequent Rail contributor, with Lucas Zwirner, the book includes an introduction to the project by Phong Bui, as well as many of the hand-drawn portraits he has made of the artists he has interviewed over the years. This combination of verbal and visual profiles offers a rare and personal insight into contemporary visual culture.

SOLD OUT!

Become a CIMA member to be the first to learn about upcoming programs!

Please note: Zwirner will be live-streaming the program on their Facebook page.

 

Program schedule:

6pm: Doors open; Alberto Savinio exhibition viewing

6:20pm: Program starts, followed by Q&A with audience

7:30pm: Program concludes; book signing and Alberto Savinio exhibition viewing

8pm: Evening concludes

 

Speaker biographies: (more…)

CIMA TURNS FOUR!

21 February 2018

To celebrate our birthday, join us for special by-donation open hours of our acclaimed Alberto Savinio exhibition.

On February 21, 2014, we launched CIMA into the world with a series of presentations devoted to the art and legacy of Fortunato Depero. That inaugural Study Day served as inspiration for a large Depero exhibition organized in Madrid the following year. With many of the CIMA papers published in the accompanying catalogue, the Depero project achieved for the first time CIMA’s goal of serving as an incubator of ideas for other arts institutions.

We’ve since organized in-depth programs on Fabio Mauri, Medardo Rosso, Alfred and Margaret Scolari Barr, Postwar Italian Art, Giorgio Morandi, Giorgio de Chirico and Giulio Paolini, and Postmodernism in Italian Art. Our 10th Study Day, dedicated to Léonce Rosenberg, takes place Saturday, February 3, from 2pm to 6pm.

To date, CIMA has hosted 24 remarkable fellows, two of whom will be presenting at this first of two Study Day programs held to coincide with the Alberto Savinio exhibition season. We are proud to have supported the research of these young scholars, many of whom have gone on to hold teaching positions at esteemed universities such as Cooper Union, to be curators at major museums such as the Boschi di Stefano in Milan, and to assume research fellowships at prestigious institutions such as the Biblioteca Hertziana in Rome.

Help us celebrate their accomplishments and ensure years to come of great programming and scholarship by making a donation!

BOOK YOUR ANNIVERSARY VISIT NOW!

 

Drawing Night at CIMA

13 February 2018

Join us for a special Drawing Night and Aperitivo, led by artist Jen Mazza. CIMA’s opens its unique setting to artists of all levels to analyze and draw from works on view by Alberto Savinio. These paintings, conceived over just a few years in the late 1920s and early 1930s, nevertheless traverse a wide range of techniques.

Pencils have been generously donated by Blick Art Materials and paper has been provided by the legendary Italian papermaker Fabriano, who recently celebrated the 750th anniversary of papermaking in Fabriano, Italy.

All skill levels welcome!
Limited to 30 participants.
FREE for CIMA Members. 

BOOK NOW!

About the artist:
Jen Mazza was born in 1972 in Washington D.C.  Mazza received her B.A. in Visual Art and Spanish Literature from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia (1994), and an M.F.A. in Visual Art from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (2001).

Significant awards include residencies at Yaddo (2005), the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2004, 2005, 2006), Blue Mountain Center (2006), and the Jentel Foundation (2004, 2008). Mazza was also granted a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellowship to attend the Millay Colony in 2004 and returned again to the Colony in 2013.

In 2001 and again in 2008, the artist received Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and in 2008 she was selected to be Artist in Residence at the Newark Museum.  Her work is in the permanent collection of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

Since 2001, Mazza’s paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally including a one-person show at the Jersey City Museum. She is represented by Tibor de Nagy Gallery and currently teaches at the New School of Design and the Pratt Institute.

 

*Please note that guests are allowed to bring their own supplies but only sketching materials are permitted. No water media, ink, or solvents are allowed in the galleries.

Refreshments have been generously donated by:

 

 

 

 

Alberto Savinio and his Other: Nivasio Dolcemare

08 February 2018

A multifaceted and versatile artist crossing the boundaries of disciplines and genres, Alberto Savinio also multiplied his own self in autobiographical novels and stories through the invention of innumerable masks of his own persona. Among his many fictitious characters, however, one stands out: Nivasio Dolcemare. Nivasio is not only an anagram of his nom de plume, Savinio (itself a surreptitious name to distance himself from his brother de Chirico); it is also Savinio’s doppelgänger, a fictive character who shared his own childhood in Greece, his avant-garde friendships in Paris, and his career and marital life in Rome, but cannot be fully superimposable on his author. Nivasio is one of the keys to Savinio’s metaphysical enigmas. His recurrent presence in Savinio’s stories dissolves the contrasts between autobiography and surrealism, and between fiction and memory, with irresistible comic effects.

Franco Baldasso (Bard College) will introduce Savinio’s fascinating literary inventions and his many doubles, commenting upon excerpts from Savinio’s texts read by the poet Sara Fruner.

Free; RSVP required.

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Rosenberg Apartment Study Day

03 February 2018

Léonce Rosenberg was one of the most influential dealers of modern art in Paris during and after World War I. The eldest son of the art dealer Alexandre Rosenberg, he and his brother Paul inherited their father’s business and divided it between them, with Léonce starting his own business in 1910 focused on the haute époque (antiquities from the Far and Middle East, Old Masters). In 1918 Léonce established the Galerie L’Effort Moderne, which specialized exclusively in modern art (or Cubist art). It became during the 1920s a crucial hub of support for avant-garde artists such as Fernand Léger, Juan Gris, Gino Severini, Giorgio de Chirico, Francis Picabia, and many others. In 1928 he rented a new apartment on the rue de Longchamp and commissioned a number of his favorite artists to realize decorative schemes for the various rooms—including both Giorgio de Chirico, subject of CIMA’s 2016-17 season, and Alberto Savinio, subject of CIMA’s current 2017-18 season.

With this program CIMA devotes an afternoon to exploring the history of this apartment and the artists who contributed artworks to it—including de Chirico, Savinio, Picabia, Léger, Herbin, Metzinger, Valmier, Severini, Ernst— looking in particular at how Rosenberg’s vision of the art dealer as a modern form of patron translated into the decoration. Beyond the still striking differences that characterize the artists involved and their practices, is it possible to identify any shared themes, visually or on the level of subject matter? “Modern antiquity” can be read as a common thread through most of the rooms, and there is also the idea of “transparency” and layered images in the works produced by Picabia, Savinio, and Ernst. What different history of Modernism can Rosenberg’s apartment tell?

 

Program Schedule

1:30pm – Registration opens; viewing of Alberto Savinio exhibition

2pm – Welcome by Heather Ewing, executive director of CIMA

2:15pm – Giovanni Casini, 2017-18 Hilla Rebay Fellow, Guggenheim Foundation, and former 2016-17 CIMA Fellow, on Léonce Rosenberg as a dealer, the evolution of his taste in modern art, the apartment project, and an introduction to the public reception rooms

2:45pm – Matthew Affron, Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, on Fernard Léger

3:15pm – Giovanni Casini on Giorgio de Chirico’s Hall of Gladiators and contributions by Jean Metzinger, Auguste Herbin, and Georges Valmier

3:45pm – coffee break

4:00pm – Alice Ensabella, 2017-18 CIMA Fellow, on an introduction to the Rosenberg apartment private rooms and Gino Severini

4:30pm – Anne Umland, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), on Francis Picabia

5pm – Alice Ensabella on Alberto Savinio

5:30pm – Q&A roundtable discussion

 

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