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museo di arte moderna
e contemporanea
di trento e rovereto

  • Fortunato Depero, "Varese" (dettaglio), 1938, tempera su carta, Mart, Fondo Depero
  • Gianni Bertini, "Stilmec-Le amiche" (dettaglio), 1967, Mart, Collezione VAF-Stiftung
  • Andrea Crosa, "Suburban Gulliver" (dettaglio), 2006, Collezione dell’artista, Courtesy CACTicino
  • Mario Duse, Bozzetto pubblicitario per Pirelli (dettaglio), 1935-37 circa, Mart, Archivio del ‘900, carte Duse

Metallic Beasts
The 20th-Century Cult of the Automobile

Casa d'Arte Futurista Depero
03 March 2018 / 10 June 2018
"The back of a sixth car seems to me the powerful mask of a mechanized tortoise. Huge rear eyes with deep, protected pupils. Fenders like welded steel thighs, resistant to the most feline fangs. Seven bars guard the invisible face. Called “Blitz”, meaning ‘lightning’: a thunderous name that reveals propensity to attack."
Fortunato Depero, "Prospettive fiabesche di macchine rare", 1935

he force behind a profound transformation of the landscape and our collective lifestyle, the automobile is the focus of an exhibition exploring various moments in the history of 20th-century art.
Research on the holdings of Mart has shed light on the variety of artworks and documents that address this particularly theme, in a wide range of different perspectives and viewpoints. From Futurist myth-making about automobiles hurtling through space to the fascination for their aesthetics in paintings from the 1920s and 1930s, the exhibition reaches the present day with works by artists who have appropriated the image of the automobile, expressing interest or criticism.
The collages of Fortunato Depero, the urban landscapes of Mario Sironi, the reworkings of mechanical images by Gianni Bertini, the light-boxes of Andrea Crosa – all demonstrate the progressive shift in the perception of the automobile, which became increasingly popular to the point of being mass-produced.
The exhibition includes a selection of photographs, illustrations, advertisements and other printed materials from Mart Archivio del ’900. Noteworthy among the photographic portraits are those of Ernesto Thayaht, an auto enthusiast, immortalized standing next to cars he owned. Other photos of Benito Mussolini confirm the automobile as symbol of progress and power. Special attention is dedicated to the advertising work of Marcello Dudovich and Mario Duse, author of an important group of photomontages created for Pirelli.


Curated by Nicoletta Boschiero and Federico Zanoner

2018 exhibition programme

2018 exhibition programme