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museo di arte moderna
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Adalberto Libera


he Ideal City is the great exhibition project dedicated to one of the leading masters of twentieth century Italian architects, Adalberto Libera (1903–1963), exceptional designer of some of the most significant works of European Rationalism.

The exhibition studies Libera’s work further through the selection of some of the most significant projects, some surprisingly previously unpublished works, it intends to focus attention on the formative methods of a style.  Particular attention is given to his early formation and his beginnings: these were the years when there was a tendency to propose a modern and international language, through the interpretation of the ideas of European Rationalism.

Adalberto Libera.  The Ideal City presents 14 projects designed by Libera for architectural competitions (including Palazzo dei Martiri al Palazzo del Littorio, Rome 1936, and the Town Planning for Aprilia, 1935) and many projects for the set up of exhibitions (such as the Congress Pavilion at the Mostra delle Colonie Estive dell’Assistenza all’Infanzia al Circo Massimo, Rome 1937, and the solution of the Augustus Mausoleum as the War Memorial  193437).  In Fascist Italy the field of exhibition set ups was the only possible sector for Rationalist architects, whose avant-garde creative tendencies were carefully held at bay by the regime. In this field Libera very clearly expressed an architectural idea which was able to relate the historical context with the shapes of the modern city, as happened for example with the set up of the exhibition for the summer camps for children at the Circo Massimo in Rome in 1937.  He was gifted with an exceptional drawing ability, Libera presented his projects with masterful perspective views, nearly always of internal spaces, some kept and some lost which today only remain in black and white photographs.  These perspectives are particularly efficient in describing the architect’s work and therefore become “protagonists” of the exhibition.  There is also the presentation of original archive material for every project: sketches, photographs, publications and above all precious technical reports drawn up by Libera himself.  As well as the large projects, the exhibition is sub-divided into thematic sections: drawings, temperas, centrally-planned projects.