Mario Sironi and Margherita Sarfatti: Between avant-garde and modern classicism

08 November 2018 / 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

CIMA is pleased to present an evening with art historian Rachele Ferrario on the incredible relationship between artist and critic Mario Sironi—one of the protagonists of the 2018-2019 exhibition Metaphysical Masterpieces—and Margherita Sarfatti, the well-known art patron, journalist, and founder of the Novecento group.

Both Sironi and Sarfatti held pivotal roles in shaping the history of Italian modern art, particularly in the short period that marks the crucial passage from Futurism to metaphysical art, and eventually to the so-called “Return to Order” at the beginning of the 1920s. After initially meeting in Milan during the first half of the 1910s, while Sironi was still engaged in the futurist movement, their friendship deepened in 1916, the unstable year of Umberto Boccioni’s death during World War I. From this moment on, this pair moved in parallel paths, working towards their shared goal of promoting Italian art both nationally and internationally, despite the considerable constraints placed on those years by the fascist regime.

As demonstrated by their prolific correspondence, Sironi was Sarfatti’s most important artistic interlocutor in years 1919 to 1926. Their letters shed light on their deep connection and demonstrate the ways in which Sironi inspired Sarfatti’s writings and ideas, particularly those concerning the birth of the Novecento movement. At the same time, the archive also serves as a testament to the influence Sarfatti had on Sironi’s artistic practice.

Later on in the 1950s, Margherita Sarfatti described Sironi’s talent to her friend Bernard Berenson as follows: “He is able to depict a human feeling just painting a pile of barrels or a bicycle: and that’s art!” Join us for this special night dedicated to this unique and important friendship.

Art historian and critic Rachele Ferrario teaches at the Accademia di Brera, Milan. She publishes regularly in the Corriere della Sera and has written several books, including Margherita Sarfatti: La regina dell’arte nell’Italia Fascista (2015 and 2018); La regina di quadri, the first biography of Palma Bucarelli (2010 and 2018), which has been just rereleased with a new preface; Le signore dell’arte (2012), a group portrait of Carol Rama, Carla Accardi, Giosetta Fioroni and Marisa Merz; and Les Italiens de Paris, sette artisti alla conquista di Parigi (2017).

Missed the program? Watch the video here.

Please note: CIMA will be live-streaming the program on our Facebook page.

Program schedule:

6pm: Viewing of Metaphysical Masterpieces

6:15pm: Program begins, followed by audience Q&A

8pm: Evening concludes