press release

From Luca Cambiaso to Alessandro Magnasco, the exhibition The splendour of Genoa. Paintings from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in Palazzo Bianco’s collection will gather together some fifty works of the most relevant Genoese painters, who were active when the city was expanding most and who coincided particularly with the splendour of Baroque Art. The exhibition is of paintings which come from the Galleria di Palazzo Bianco in Genoa, one of the most renowned museums in Italy, and organised by its curator, Clario Di Fabio, the exhibition will open the way to the discovery of the exceptional quality of these painters, who the general public know little of. Some of the most outstanding are Luca Cambiaso, Andrea Ansaldo, Giovanni Battista Paggi, Bernardo Strozzi, Gioacchino Assereto, Domenico Fiasella, Anton Maria Vasallo, Valerio Castelo, Domenico Piola, Gregorio and Lorenzo de Ferrari and Alessandro Magnasco, whose work affords an ample view of the artistic splendour and the important collections of the former Genoese Republic. By way of an interchange, the Bilbao Art Museum will send a selection of thirty works from its collection, under the title of Bilbao to Genoa, la cultura cambia le cittá (Genoa, Palazzo Ducale, 10th. October, 2003 / 11th January, 2004) together with the collaboration of the County Council of Bizkaia and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, whose contributions will make for a more ample exhibition, which will show the transformations in town planning which Bilbao has undergone in the last few years together with its cultural and artistic activity. The project, under the direction of Germano Celant and set up by Gae Aulenti, forms part of the events which will take place in 2004 on the occasion of Genoa being chosen as the European Cultural Capital.

Exhibition’s Catalogue (Shop / Publications)

Guided Tours (Education / Activities / Temporary Exhibitions) 20 October 2003 - 18 Jaunary 2004 La alacena. Antonio López THE GUEST WORK THE GUEST WORK is a programme which has been devised by the Bilbao Art Museum whose intention it is to bring the public closer to exceptional works from other museums and collections. Attached as he is to the so-called “Madrid realism”, Antonio López is one of the most personal artists on the post Civil War Spanish scene. Since the 1950s, his work has included drawings, engravings, painting and sculptures, which have gone towards creating an air of timelessness and great technical virtuosity centred on the realist representation of human beings and objects. His iconographic repertoire always starts from the reality of what is visual and varies between the spaces of intimacy and external immensity – portraits, still life, interiors and domestic objects and vast panoramas. La alacena (The cupboard), an oil painting on wood, 200x100 painted in 1963, is one of Antonio López’s most emblematic works. Technically, the painting is dense and the painter incorporates some resources which are taken from surrealism and informalism, such as the stains, scrapings and even added bits of material: marble dust, which was later burnt, can be found in La alacena (The cupboard). With this procedure the agglutinating agent of the oil painting, i.e. the oil, disappears or is reduced and the painting on wood acquires a dry, rough appearance, which is at times similar in appearance to a mural. For the theme and its resources, it belongs to a group of works, often described as being somewhat surrealistic, in which fantasy and emotion burst into everyday life. Disturbing objects which entice one to reflect are added to the taste for representation of what is real -a set of objects of everyday use laid out on a piece of furniture-. In this way, a female bust suspended in the top left hand corner -a portrait, in actual fact, of his wife- appears as a tutelary presence which, as in classical tradition or popular votive offerings, serves to protect the domestic microcosm from chaos. The lighted candle, also suspended in the air, gives added strength and incorporates a hint of fleetingness, which also appears in the flowers and the fruit. This concurrence of the supernatural and everyday life creates a relationship between these works and Spanish baroque style and, as in Sánchez Cotán’s still life paintings, the painter’s intense, concentrated look at objects gives the work a supernatural halo and prompts the admirer to immerse himself in reflexive, engrossed contemplation. The use of light or, to be more exact, the use of half-light in which the objects are bathed and which reinforces the sensation, often present in Antonio Lopez´s work, of silence and the absence of time, greatly contributes to this air of metaphysical fantasy, of a suggestion of the invisible through the visible.

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The splendor of Genoa
Paintings from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries in Palazzo Bianco’s collection
Kurator: Clario Di Fabio

Werke von Luca Cambiaso, Andrea Ansaldo, Giovanni Battista Paggi, Bernardo Strozzi, Gioacchino Assereto, Domenico Fiasella, Anton Maria Vasallo, Valerio Castello, Domenico Piola, Gregorio de Ferrari, Lorenzo de Ferrari, Alessandro Magnasco ...