The thirty works in the exhibition date from the 1930s to the 1950s, a period when Miranda Visonà immersed herself with great enthusiasm in the artistic life of Venice. As well as a series of Venetian capricci, there is a self-portrait, a portrait of her by Bortolo Sacchi and a rare portrait of Berto Morucchio, one of most important art critics in the Venice of the day and a great admirer of Visonà’s work.
Born at San Martino di Lupari (Padua) on 2 November 1912, Miranda Visonà would pass her childhood in Bassano del Grappa, where she began studying piano and painting.
Around 1935 she became a pupil of Bortolo Sacchi, beginning an association with him that would be fundamental in her artistic career. Having abandoned her piano studies, she dedicated herself entirely to painting and moved to Venice, where she took a studio in the San Samuele area. Immersing herself enthusiastically in the city’s artistic life, she began frequenting such artists as Guido Cadorin and Astolfo De Maria, who were part of Sacchi’s circle of friends and colleagues.
Following upon her association with Sacchi, Visonà would move on to something closer to Magical Realism, developing a very imaginative artistic language that eschewed traditional schema and played upon a sort of oneiric counterpoint. When it seemed that there was nothing more to say about a Venice which had been depicted by centuries of artists, Visonà managed to restore the city to its status as a place of enchantment, in dream-like paintings that hovered between the real and the unreal.
From 1938 to 1943 she would exhibit her work at the Bevilacqua La Masa exhibitions and at the various “Painters’ Guild” shows organised in the Veneto and throughout Italy. She also presented work at the 22nd Venice Biennale in 1942. After the War she would, in 1948, again exhibit work with Sacchi in Cortina and at the 24th Venice Biennale.
A 1955 exhibition at the Milan Galleria Montenapoleone would contain a series of drawings that revealed the artist exploring new forms of expression. As always, Visonà had maintained her enthusiasm in her response to the ideas emerging from the various avant-garde movements; however, she in no way turned her back on her previous work, managing instead to combine it with the new direction in her art. The first abstract works were exhibited at Bevilacqua La Masa in 1957, and would be followed by exhibitions in Italy and abroad (with the artist’s work gaining recognition at San Remo, Düsseldorf, Leverkuesen, Graz, Bergamo and Milan).
In a one-woman show held at Bevilacqua La Masa in 1959, Visonà exhibited her abstract works alongside the Depositions series, figurative paintings of austere drama.
At the height of her artistic powers, she would in 1962 decide to return to Bassano del Grappa, where – in the large studio that had seen the beginning of her career – she would continue to paint and sculpt works of tragic intensity. She died in Bassano in 1989.