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Lo sguardo di Michelangelo

Antonioni e le arti

Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti

10 March 2013 – 9 June 2013


Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) is recognized as one of the fathers of modern cinema. His works pushed the boundaries of this seventh art. Deeply influenced by visual arts, his work has a huge impact on past cinematography, and continues to be significant today. In celebration of this Ferrarese master, there will be a major exhibition organized by Ferrara Arte and the Gallerie d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Ferrara-Museo Michelangelo Antonioni, in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna.

The exhibition traces the creative arc of Antonioni’s career, putting his work alongside that of great artists such as De Chirico, Morandi, Rothko and Pollock, and presenting a new and stimulating dialogue between film and painting, literature and photography. The show, curated by Dominique Païni – former director of the Cinémathèque Française and the Department for Cultural Development at the Centre Pompidou – will be held from 10th March to 9th June 2013. Like Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni contributed to the transition in Italian cinema from realism to being thought-provoking, as seen in Story of a Love Affair, The Lady Without Camelias and The Cry. These films are distinctive for their cinematographic style composed of breaks, ambiguities and disintegration.

The black and white trilogy of L’avventura, La notte and Eclipse; the experimental colour-fiction Red Desert; and masterpieces from his maturity like Blow Up, Zabriskie Point, The Passenger and Identification of a Woman form an enduring constellation of works. In these films, he probes the human soul with a modern eye, analyzing the anxieties of the contemporary world without ever abandoning elegance and charm. His extraordinary career will be narrated through works, objects and documents left in legacy to the Comune di Ferrara: his films and documentaries, original screenplays and set photographs; his library, vinyl collection and other personal and professional effects that cumulatively present a well-rounded portrait of his passions.

Also included is his correspondence with other major figures in the cultural life of the last century, such as Roland Barthes, Luchino Visconti, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Giorgio Morandi. A wide selection of these resources will be presented together with the works of other artists and various documents, creating a multifaceted exhibition that uses images, sound and words to present the themes and polarities that mark the poetics of the master. The legendary fogs of the Po Valley that appear in his early films are evoked in counterpoint by the arid dusty deserts in the films of his maturity. In turn, visions of the modern metropolis, often inspired by the suspenseful atmosphere typical of metaphysical paintings, alternate with lucid premonitions of ecological disasters and financial, social, and ideological crisis that weigh upon a consumeristic society. The two poles of Antonioni’s feminine ideal are represented in his films by Lucia Bosè’s dark brooding beauty and Monica Vitti’s radiance, while his indolent male protagonists are in opposition to the rebellious vitality of the younger generation. The director’s passion for the image is a common thread running through the exhibition, whether it captures a detail of reality, as in his documentary films and photographic enlargements, or an imaginary reinvention, like his series of watercolour paintings, Enchanted Mountains. What emerges is a well-rounded portrait of the life of one of the greatest filmmakers of the Twentieth Century. The great wealth of material throws new light upon his work and offers a living testimonial to his creative force and the enduring relevance of his poetics and output.

Curated by

Dominique Païni

Organized by

Ferrara Arte e Gallerie d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Ferrara, in collaborazione con Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna

Enti promotori

Comune di Ferrara e Provincia di Ferrara


Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Regione Emilia-Romagna, Ferrara Terra e Acqua e Università degli Studi di Ferrara

Supported by

Fondazione Teatro Comunale di Ferrara

Con il contributo di

Istituto Luce-Cinecittà

Eni partner unico della mostra e del progetto didattico “Guardare il mondo con altri occhi”

Works on show

Press release

Palazzo dei Diamanti

/ Lo sguardo di Michelangelo. Antonioni e le arti


Lo sguardo di Michelangelo.
Antonioni e le arti

Percorsi didattici

«Guardare il mondo con altri occhi»

Libro per bambini

Ciak, il cinema! Lo sguardo di Michelangelo

Retrospettiva integrale

Retrospettiva integrale dei film e dei documentari

La mostra in Europa

Eye Film Institute, La Cinémathèque française, BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts

Centenario della nascita di Antonioni

Un ricco calendario di iniziative

Omaggio ad Antonioni

Iniziative nel decennale della sua scomparsa

Archivio Michelangelo Antonioni

L’universo intellettuale, estetico e affettivo del regista

Blow Up: Antonioni e la fine della Swinging London