Latest additions to the contemporary art collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The Collezione Farnesina expands with new works: Gastone Novelli, Sabrina Mezzaqui and Emiliano Ponzi join the collection in the contemporary art gallery housed in the halls of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
The ‘Tre Onfali’ will be added to the section devoted to the great masters of 20th century Italy: created by Gastone Novelli (Vienna, 1925 – Milan, 1968) for the 1968 Venice Biennale, the work is a rare example of sculpture by the artist. As an expression of the last phase of the artist’s career, the work consists of three geometric solids in synthetic resins which, both in form and in the subtle marks on the surface, recall the Greek omphalos. The artist was one of the leading figures of Italian Informalism. After approaching the literary avant-gardes of the early 1960s and investigating the pictorial sense of writing, he discovered the existence of a universal language linked to mythology and characterized by magical dimensions.
The new trends in the collection, forms of expression and languages of contemporary art, include the work ‘Untitled II’ (2006) by Sabrina Mezzaqui (Bologna, 1964), a diptych composed of eight hand-carved papers mounted in two diagonal frames. Mezzaqui exhibited her work in major Italian museums (GNAM, MAMbo, MART, Museo del Novecento in Milan) and abroad (Dhaka, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Rabat, Tunis, Hong Kong).
The Bologna-born artist works with meticulous and patient dexterity to reinterpret elements of our cultural heritage. Her paper cut-outs, which display extreme technical expertise, transform an element of everyday life, such as paper, into another material full of resonance and tradition: lace. In so doing, she recaptures the primordial essence common to the things that are intimate and familiar to us.
Finally, the creations by Emiliano Ponzi (Reggio Emilia, 1978) are a welcome addition to the section dedicated to graphics and illustration. His illustrations have appeared in some of the most important magazines and newspapers in the world, from the New York Times to Le Monde. Ponzi is also the winner of prestigious awards such as multiple medals of honour from the “Society of Illustrators New York”.
‘Chronicles from the red zone’ (2020) is a series of 16 illustrations on the theme of how Italians experienced the lockdown, created for the US newspaper The Washington Post.
Through different stylistic approaches and a discreet gaze, Ponzi captures the sense of emptiness and suspension that characterized those days, focusing on some iconic moments, such as Pope Francis’ walk, or on the everyday life of millions of Italians as they queue at the supermarket or they look out of their windows or stroll through the empty city streets, which are crossed only by lone delivery riders.
For more information on the Collezione Farnesina, visit collezionefarnesina.esteri.it