Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The Estorick Collection

 
Umberto Boccioni - Modern Idol, 1911
 
 
Set within a grand Grade-II listed Georgian townhouse in Islington the Estorick Collection was established by American collector Eric Estorick (1913-1993), who with his wife Salome built up the collection between 1953-1958. The Estorick collection is internationally recognised as important, and the Italian government and museums in the USA and Israel have made offers in attempts to purchase the collection. Having greatly enjoyed Italian Threads: MITA Textile Design 1926-1976, (the subject of my last post) on the ground floor of the Estorick collection, I made my way upstairs to reacquaint myself with the Estorick's permanent collection of Italian art. There were some undisputed gems on display by the greats of 20th C. Italian art, and a diverse array of media including painting, sculpture, drawing and an exceptional selection of Giorgio Morandi etchings in one of the top floor galleries. There follows a selection of some of the artworks I liked.
 
 
Luigi Russolo - Music, 1911

Giacomo Balla - The Hand of the Violinist, 1912
 
 
Gino Severini - The Boulevard, 1910-11
 
Carlo Carrà - Leaving the Theatre, c. 1910

Mario Sironi - Urban Landscape, c.1924
 
Umberto Boccioni - Study for 'The City Rises', 1910
 
Gino Severini - Quaker Oats - Cubist Still Life, 1917
 
Gino Severini - Dancer (Ballerina + Sea), 1913
 
Medardo Rosso - Impressions of the Boulevard: Woman with a Veil, 1893

Giorgio Morandi - Still Life, 1962
 
Renato Guttuso - Death of a Hero, 1953
 
Renato Guttuso - Landscape with Lovers, n. d.
 
Amedeo Modigliani - Dr François Brabander, 1918
 
Mario Sironi - Composition, 1947
 
Giorgio de Chirico - The Revolt of the Sage, 1916
 
Carlo Carrà - The Engineer's Mistress, c. 1940
 
Giacomo Manzù - Bust of a Woman, 1952
 
 
 Emilio Greco - Bust of a Woman, 1952
 
Massimo Campigli - The Belvedere, 1930
 
Marino Marini - Study for 'The Miracle', 1953-54, Pomona, 1943, Small Bather, 1945
 
Guiditta Scalini - Acrobats, 1950

Emilio Greco - Head of a Woman, 1953
 
 
Massimo Campigli - Six Women, 1945

Massimo Campigli - Two Women, 1943
 
 
Marino Marini -  Horse and Rider, 1949
 
Marino Marini - Quadriga, 1942






The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
39a Canonbury Square
London
N1 
 
(Please note that viewing hours for this collection have ended temporarily in light of the ongoing Tier 4 level lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic).

Friday, 1 January 2021

Italian Threads: MITA Textile Design 1926 - 1976

Enrico Paulucci delle Roncole (1901-1999), Barche (Boats) tapestry, c.1953


Happy New Year dear readers. Although the battle is far from over, somehow we managed to make it through to 2021. Let's hope for as swift a return to normal as possible this year so that good exhibitions like this can be enjoyed once again. It had been quite some since I had last visited the Estorick Collection in Islngton. Having been greatly influenced in my own work by Bauhaus textiles earlier last year (here) though, I was looking for further inspiration through fabric design. I was drawn (between lockdowns) then to return to the Estorick on this occasion for Italian Threads: MITA Textile Design 1926 - 1976, the exhibition of the archives of Italian textile company MITA (Manifattura Italiana Tappeti Artistici) currently on display. MITA (Italian Artistic Rug Manufacturer) was founded in 1926 by Mario Alberto Ponis in Genoa, who was interested in merging new technologies  with traditional Italian crafts in the manufacture of hand-knotted carpets. From the outset MITA was renowned for its innovative collaborations with the best of Italian artists and designers. These collaborations proved fruitful and read like a who's who of the cream of Italian creativity - Gio Ponti, Ettore Sottsass jr and Fortunato Depero. These artists and designers reflected modern, cutting edge trends in their designs for MITA coming from avante-garde movements such as Futurism, Rationalism and Novecento. Genoa is a port city and many of MITA's commissions were from shipping companies eager to have their luxurious ocean liners kitted out with the latest in a range of textiles. MITA exhibited their wares at major exhibitions such as world fairs, and as well as producing rugs their range included carpets, tapestries, printed fabrics and scarves all represented in this interesting and inspiring exhibition. On display are numerous textile designs, their developmental sketches, swatches and original artwork. The midcentury MITA textile designs from the 1950s and 60s were the ones which held my attention most. The large tapestries verging on complete abstraction were particularly impressive. Viewing this exhibition I was reminded of the wonderful exhibition of Josef Frank's textile designs seen at the Fashion and Textile Museum (here) a few years ago.


Italian Threads: MITA Textile Design 1926 - 1976, installation view
 
Enrico Paulucci delle Roncole - Alberi (Trees) fabric design, 1964
 
Antonia Campi & Ettore Sottsass Jr - entries for a MITA rug design contest, 1947

Flavio Constantini - Rosoni (Roses) fabric design, 1962

Eugenio Carmi - Fabric Design, 1954-55

Giocondo (Gophy) Faggioni - Design for Leaves or Autumn fabric, 1953

Eugenio Carmi - Design for Dubrovnik scarf, 1956-59
 
Italian Threads: MITA Textile Design 1926 - 1976, installation view
 
Emanuele Rambaldi - Amphorae fabric, 1948

Enrico Paulucci delle Roncole - Trees fabric, 1952
 
Gio Ponte - Chairs rug, 1935
 
Gio Ponte - Chairs rug, 1935 (detail)
 
Italian Threads: MITA Textile Design 1926 - 1976, installation view
 
Emanuele Luzatti - Knights fabric, c.1958
 
Giocondo (Gophy) Faggioni - Design for Leaves or Autumn fabric, 1953
 
Fortunato Depero - Design for Numbers rug, 1927
 
Fortunato Depero - Design for a rug, 1927
 
Fortunato Depero - Design for a rug, 1927
 
Fortunato Depero - Working drawing for a rug, 1927
 
Luigi Vietti - Design for Excavations rug, 1933 & Bice Lazzari - Rug design, 1954
 
Oscar Saccorotti - Design for Girls rug, 1929 & Alberto Bevilacqua - Design for Wrestlers rug, 1929

Gio Ponte - Design for Chairs rug, 1935

MITA Design for Rug no.1 & Rug no. 19
 
Italian Threads: MITA Textile Design 1926 - 1976, installation view
 
Michael Rachlis - Design for a tapestry for the ship Andrea Doria, 1952
 
Emilio Scanavino - Walls panel, early 1960s
 
Leo Leonni - The Textile Cart panel, 1961
 
Eugenio Carmi - Design for Abstraction fabric, c.1954
 
Enrico Paulucci delle Roncole - Design for Seagulls scarf, 1960 & Franca Luccardi - Design for Bunting scarf, 1961

Emanuele Luzzati - Fable tapestry, 1954
 
Emanuele Luzzati - Fable tapestry, 1954
 
Emanuele Luzzati - Fable tapestry, 1954 (detail)

Emanuele Luzzati - Fable tapestry, 1954 (detail)

Emanuele Luzzati - Fable tapestry, 1954 (detail)
 
Marco Biassoni - Clown scarf, 1959
 
Marco Biassoni - Design for Clown scarf, 1959
 
Emanuele Luzzati - Design for The Thieving Magpie tapestry, c.1968

Emanuele Luzzati - Design for The Magic Flute tapestry, 1966 & Enrico Paulucci delle Roncole - Design for Abstract Composition tapestry, 1966

Eugenio Carmi - The Cat tapestry, late 1950s
 
Arnoldo Pomodoro - Sculpture panel, 1962
 
 
Selection of MITA scarves





Italian Threads: MITA Textile Design 1926 - 1976
until 17th January 2021

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
39a Canonbury Square
London


(Please note that access to this exhibition has ended temporarily due to the current Tier 4 level lockdown restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic).