ry a little to imagine the following situation: Virginia Woolf embroidering the back of a seat with some stitch or other, copying a design by Duncan Grant while her sister, Vanessa Bell, draws the cover for The Waves for her, and, between one Blast and another, Percy Wyndham Lewis paints the portrait of Edith Sitwell, photographed with her brothers by Cecil Beaton. The three Sitwells have the Villa di Montegufoni frescoed by Gino Severini; after which all drop down on their knees to rummage around the left-over balls of wool to make socks to send Alec Guinness at the Front. But what is this? A prank, the set for a pièce? No, it’s all true.
Picturing a blend of illustrious figures and individual pranskters is sufficient to give only a very approximate idea of one of the unusual aspects of the 20th century that is still unknown.
Reconstructing all this is the task of an exhibition planned by Lea Vergine at the Mart di Rovereto: “Another time. Between the Decadent movement and Modern Style)”, from 22 September 2012 to 13 January 2013. Through about one hundred bizarre and bold works, the exhibition highlights one of the most interesting artistic and cultural phenomena of the 20th century.
“Another time” includes sculptures, paintings and drawings and also everyday objects, published papers, books, photographs and furnishings.
These items are almost wholly unknown outside the UK, and above all are displayed here for the first time.
The interest of these works lies not in their artistic value so much as in their capacity to evoke emotions and sensations that are indeed from “other times”: these are unique, often eccentric objects compared to the canons of the figurative arts. Seeing them brought together in an exhibition offers the visitor the opportunity for some exciting discoveries. “An exhibition is not arranged merely to look and scrutinise, but also to know”, writes Lea Vergine: the goal of “Other times” is to make the public aware of a world never hitherto considered by the history of art and in part lost today, in which the links between artists are often surprising.
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