The exhibition, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero and created in collaboration with the Mario Schifano Archive, presents more than 50 of his artworks created between the 1960s and 1990s. Some of the masterpieces on display are part of the Intesa Sanpaolo Collection, others on loan from important cultural institutions, such as the Museo del Novecento in Milan and the Galleria Internazionale d'Arte Moderna Ca' Pesaro in Venice, and also from national and international art galleries and private collections.
Mario Schifano began his career between the late 1950s and early 1960s. His research was initially characterised by a dense, monochrome painting, with clear references to his work as a restorer of ancient works in the museum of Etruscan art and archaeology of Villa Giulia in Rome, where his father had steered him. The exhibition itinerary begins with these early, and extremely rare, monochrome works, some of which come from the Luigi and Peppino Agrati Collection, now part of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group's artistic heritage and brought together for the first time on this important occasion. The exhibition also deals with the theme of signs, represented in the exhibition by important works such as Grande pittura of 1963 and iconic paintings dedicated to Esso, Coca Cola and the street signs that characterised Schifano's research in the early 1960s.
The exhibition continues with some masterpieces dedicated to great Italian landscapes such as Ultimo autunno , a key work from the Intesa Sanpaolo Collection, followed by a small masterpiece entitled Futurismo rivisitato, dedicated to the masters of that movement, such as Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini and Carlo Carrà, which introduces the theme of movement of the human figure.
On public display for the first time will be a series of works from the 1970s called Paesaggi TV: creations which, by revisiting painting using the camera and emulsioning the canvas with colour, re-propose news, art and adverts.
The Toledo Room on the ground floor will host large-format works representing the last three decades of Mario Schifano's artistic production, the 1970s, 80s and 90s. These last demanding works clearly illustrate the artist's creative happiness in his mature phase, expressed in the colossal yet festive form of what critics call the extraordinary canvases of international contemporary art.