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museo di arte moderna
e contemporanea
di trento e rovereto

  • Alighiero Boetti - Afghanistan, 1988-89
  • Marcel Duchamp - L'envers de la peinture, 1955 ca. - Milano, Collezione Calmarini
  • Giulio Paolini - Lo spazio, 1967 - Courtesy l’artista
  • Chiara Dynys - Great expectation, 2005 - Rovereto, Mart, VAF-Stiftung
  • La parola nell'arte - sale espositive
  • La parola nell'arte - sale espositive

The word in art
20th-century avant-garde research
From Futurism to the present day seen through Mart’s collections

Mart Rovereto
10 November 2007 / 06 April 2008
Written, drawn, declaimed, thought, cancelled, the word has played a fundamental role in the experimentation of the historical avant-garde movements, and its presence has accompanied every significant change in the artistic poetics of the 20th century.

rom Futurism to Dadaism and Surrealism to Fluxus and the contemporary scene, the relationship between word and image has given life to the boldest expressive forms, making an original innovative contribution both to painting and to the more traditional forms of written, poetic, literary and artistic text.
With alternating fortune, now rare, now dominant, writing has appeared throughout 20th-century art, and even today the ambiguity of its relationship with the image is as never before at the centre of interest for young artists.
"The word in art" explores this important relationship, opening up fresh avenues of enquiry into artistic work of the 20th century. Thanks to the presence of paintings of the highest quality, drawings, posters, manuscripts, literary works, collages and large installations, with over 800 works on show the exhibition provides an overview of 20th century art from a new critical stance, based not on “fine painting” so much as on “the sublime hybrid of the cross-fertilisation of the languages of art”.


The exhibition is divided into 11 section, in line with a thematic and chronological itinerary, planned to enable further investigation and transverse comparisons with the panorama of contemporary art generally. Following a “prologue” focusing on the first avant-garde movements of the 20th century, the exhibition presents a rich documentation of all of 20th-century art, ending with the latest experiments which find in the relationship between word and the visual arts a fertile terrain for new approaches and interpretations of the contemporary aesthetic experience.

Academic committee: Giorgio Zanchetti, coordinator, Gabriella Belli, Achille Bonito Oliva, Andreas Hapkemeyer, Nicoletta Boschiero, Paola Pettenella, Melania Gazzotti, Daniela Ferrari, Julia Trolp.
The exhibition has been realised in collaboration with: Museion – Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Bolzano