Homage to Umberto Moggioli (1886-1919)
11 September – 8 December 2020
Venezia, Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art
Curated by Gabriella Belli, Elisabetta Barisoni
with the collaboration of Mauro Zazzeron
Umberto Moggioli died in January 1919. During the spring of 1919, after the devastation of the First World War, the exhibitions of the Opera Bevilacqua La Masa in Ca’ Pesaro resumed.
The exhibition dedicated to Umberto Moggioli proposes to retrace – through a selection of twenty works, among oils, drawings and etchings of absolute qualitative level – that segment of production that best represents and identifies the painter in the collective imagination. His activity as a landscape artist, mostly inspired by the “minor” Venice, with the islands and lagoon sandbanks, is well documented by some paintings that thanks to the Ca ‘Pesaro youth reviews and the promotional action of Gino Damerini from the “Gazzetta di Venezia”, they met the taste of the public and the unanimous appreciation of the critics. The lagoon landscape and the islands of the estuary constitute the thematic core of the exhibition, which covers a temporal horizon limited to the four years of the artist’s stay in Burano (December 1911-March 1915).
The paintings presented by Moggioli at the exhibitions of Ca’ Pesaro, especially after 1909, highlight the most sentimental and synaesthetic aspects of “doing” painting, intended as an instrument capable of emotionally involving the viewer. The painter seeks in chromatic chords not only to render the atmospherical vibrations related to the seasons and to vary in the hours of the day, but also to stimulate the senses by relying on the allusive potential of the tones. Paradigmatic, in this sense, in addition to the well-known The green bridge, are some works exhibited at Palazzo Pesaro in 1912: Landscape in sunshine, From the sandbanks of S. Francesco del Deserto and on The Island of silence, the poetic component visually translates into the large serotine skies furrowed by clouds rich in lilac shades. The same lyrical resonances and the same attractive power are felt in the deco-ativism of whitish, sinuous and filiform cirrus, which occupy more than half framing in Twin cypress and Burano.
The exhibition itinerary includes works that are usually not visible to the public, coming from both public and private collections, most of which passed through the rooms of Ca’ Pesaro (the reference is to the exhibitions of 1912 and 1913 and the posthumous ones of 1919 and 1925).
For the first time it will be possible to admire, side by side, and after more than seventy years, the two images of the island of Burano observed from above, with the cultivated gardens lapped by the lagoon and its colorful houses illuminated from the twilight light. But it will also be a unique opportunity to see gathered Spring night – the “twilight picture” exhibited at the XI Biennale of Venice – with the other works with the subject Burano, seen from the nearby Torcello Island; all paintings not exempt from mitteleuropean cultural interference, which in enveloping linearity and in phytomorphic sinuosities declare the bonds in being with the symbolic fin de siècle culture, while the broad and flowing brushstrokes, merged in homogeneous backgrounds, are found, together with the suggestive cold gradations of cobalt, in the coeval Night at Mazzorbo and Saccagnana Canal, paintings belonging respectively to Omero Soppelsa and the doctor of Burano, Alfonso Abbruzzetti.
The exhibition therefore wants to be a dutiful tribute to a personality of absolute importance, not at all marginal, which despite its autonomous expressive path, has indissolubly linked his name with the avant-garde of Ca’ Pesaro, contributing to renewing the figurative landscape Venetian of the first two decades of the XX century.