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POP / BEAT - Italy 1960 - 1979. Free to dream


Vicenza, Basilica Palladiana


From 2nd of March to 30th of June 2024

The holders of the admission ticket to the exhibition have the right to access at a reduced price to the Gallerie d'Italia - Vicenza until 7 April 2024.



The exhibition, organised by the Municipality of Vicenza and Silvana Editoriale and curated by Roberto Floreani, is dedicated to Italian art from 1960 to 1979 and takes a brand new look at Pop Art and the little-investigated Italian Beat Generation. The exhibition, conceived and curated by Roberto Floreani, is scheduled to take place at the prestigious Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza from 2 March to 30 June 2024.

The aim of the project is to highlight the proactive uniqueness and absolute stature of Italian Pop Art at European level, and also to emphasise its substantial differences and autonomy with respect to the American movement. Italian artists displayed a less exclusive focus on the consumer products of mass society amplified by advertising, also developing identity traits linked to their own historiography, nature, politics - amplified by the movement of Sixty-Eight - and maintaining clear references to Futurism, the first historical avant-garde of the 20th century.

A selection of large works, together with documents, music and original videos give visitors to the exhibition the chance to immerse themselves in a journey summarised by the slogan “free to dream”, which accurately reflects the underlying sentiment of that particular historical period between 1960 and 1979.

The start of the itinerary is dedicated to some of the forerunners, such as Enrico Baj and Pino Pascali, represented by works belonging to the Bank's collection. The exhibition continues by giving space to all the key figures in Italian Pop Art, simultaneously presenting some of the most significant developments of the “Beat” world, which involved music, literature and the performing arts.

The utopia of those years was to move towards the progressive drift of the collectivist experiences at Parco Lambro in Milan in 1974-1976 and at the Festival della Poesia di Castelporziano in 1979, precise signals of the tragic arrival of the “Years of Lead”, as well as of the involution of movementism and the massive spread of hard drugs.