July 18, 2019

From the Earth to the Moon, an exhibition at Palazzo Madama in Turin

Exactly fifty years after the landing of the first man on the Moon, Palazzo Madama presents from 19 July to 11 November the exhibition From the Earth to the Moon/Dalla Terra alla Luna, curated by Luca Beatrice and Marco Bazzini, created in collaboration between Palazzo Madama – Museo Civico d’Arte Antica and GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Turin, with the contribution of the Piedmont Region. On display over 60 works: paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings and design objects, which tell the influence of the silvery body on art and artists from the nineteenth century to 1969.
Half a century has passed since man arrived on the moon: a fundamental goal, in some ways incredible, pursued since ancient times. Target, dreams, impossible missions, yet also trust in progress and in the future.
The Moon is in fact the celestial body that more than any other has always inspired great adventures, fantastic and literary explorations, ranging from Luciano di Samosata to Dante, from Ariosto to Leopardi, from Verne to Calvino. In 1865 the book by Jules Verne was published, From the Earth to the Moon, which gives the title to the exhibition: one of the most famous accounts of an imaginary journey to the Moon. Since then, books, novels, comics, toys and gadgets that have as their subject the moon have spread.

It is from the nineteenth century that the theme of lunar travel become popular in art, intertwining with themes like exoticism, progress of nations, and colonialism -even if at that moment the Moon remains a place only reachable with fantasy. The romantic painters, in particular, interpreting the melancholy and dreamy gaze of man in front of the mystery, decline the theme of moonlight, and among these the Piedmontese De Gubernatis, Bagetti and Carutti of Cantogno with the painting of 1911 Sorge la luna.
After this debut, the exhibition continues proposing works of the historic avant-gardes: the fairy-tale atmospheres of Marc Chagall, the rigorous metaphysics of Felice Casorati, the meticulous calligraphy of Paul Klee, the surrealism of Max Ernst and Alexander Calder.
In the second half of the twentieth century, space represents a real obsession in art: looking beyond, touching other surfaces, imagining something further from us. It is not by chance that the most famous works by Lucio Fontana are called Concetto Spaziale. Giulio Turcato, on the other hand, defines the lunar surfaces with his monochromes Superfici Lunari, produced with anomalous materials, while Robert Rauschenberg realizes the series of multiple Stoned Moon in 1968 near the landing and Mario Schifano reports the vision, in a pop key, through television, with Paesaggi TV.
On display, in addition to other more important authors such as Yves Klein, the symbolist painter Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach, Emilio Isgrò, Arturo Nathan and the Dutch conceptual Van Hoeydonck whose work was literally brought to the Moon and left there by the Apollo 12 mission. Also presenting some images of NASA and design objects from the 1960s by authors such as Vico Magistretti, Achille Castiglioni, Piero Fornasetti.
Arriving at 1969, the exhibition ends its journey with a sculpture by Fausto Melotti because, having arrived on the Moon, mankind awaits exploration of other spaces and new adventures.

The works on display come both from Turin museums and insititutions and private collections: GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Fondazione Accorsi-Ometto, Pinacoteca Albertina and National Museum of Risorgimento, Royal Palace of Naples, Correr Museum of Venice, Certosa of San Giacomo of Capri, Mart of Trento and Rovereto, Intesa SanPaolo Collection, Fondazione Marconi and Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan; Fondazione Barilla, Parma; Gastone Novelli Archive, Rome.
Mazzoleni is happy to announce that a silver Fontana from their collection will be on display.

From the Earth to the Moon
Dalla Terra alla Luna

19 July – 11 November 2019
Palazzo Madama, Corte Medievale, Turin
Wed/Mon, 10am – 6pm

Image: Marc Chagall, Dans mon pays, 1943, detail