16 October 2019 / 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Marino Marini chose the nude as one of his favorite subjects: while in the Thirties he focused primarily on the male nude, in the Forties his attention shifted to female nudes. During the Thirties, in Italy, the artistic discussion on the theme of the nude–with a focus on sculptural nudes in particular–was defined mostly in dialogue with ancient sculptures; archaeologists highlighted the artistic and moral superiority of the male nude versus the female nude. However, during World War II and in the immediate post-war period this paradigm of values changed rapidly. The female nude was now deemed more suited to the representation of pure forms that came to fashion with the triumph of abstract art; moreover, its anti-heroic condition, in which sensuality and tenderness met, appeared almost as an allegory of the human condition after the tragedy of the war. This talk examines Marino Marini’s evolution in the years between 1930 – 1950, focusing on his nudes–male and female–and putting into dialogue his research on this subject with the Italian and international context within which he worked.

Flavio Fergonzi was born in Pavia in 1963. He teaches the History of Modern Art at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. His research interests include the sculpture of the nineteenth century (Rodin and Michelangelo. A Study of Artistic Inspiration. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1997) and of the twentieth century (L’arte monumentale negli anni del fascismo. Arturo Martini e il Monumento al Duca d’Aosta. Turin, Allemandi: 1992, with Maria Teresa Roberto). He has also worked on the history of twentieth-century art criticism (Lessicalità visive dell’Italiano. La critica dell’arte contemporanea 1945-1960. Pisa: Scuola Normale Superiore, 1996), and on Italian twentieth-century Avant-Garde (The Mattioli Collection: Masterpieces of the Italian Avant-Garde. Milan: Skira, 2003; Filologia del 900. Modigliani Sironi Morandi Martini. Milan: Electa, 2013). He is currently studying Jasper Johns’ influence on Italian Art of 1950s and 1960s.