From 1935 – when Italy invaded Ethiopia – until World War II, the Italian government sent across the Atlantic a series of exhibitions of contemporary art serving a diplomatic mission in offsetting Fascist Italy’s belligerent image in American public opinion. This article addresses the group show of twenty-nine young painters that in 1935 set the guidelines of subsequent Italian art policy in the United States. It follows the itinerary of the exhibition in some of its venues across the country, and assesses its multifaceted reception in a fluctuating intercultural terrain in which the cultural imperatives implicitly assigned to Italian painting – with their economic and ideological underpinnings – negotiated meaning with the American public’s expectations, critical paradigms, political preconceptions, fascination or suspicion for Mussolini, and local community values. Ultimately, Italian propagandistic ambitions remained largely frustrated. Art itself – its aesthetic quality – remained invisible, obscured by the catchwords of both Italian and American critical discourses. Local critics proved uncomfortable at handling the work of artists outside the Parisian school; alternatively, Italian art was understood through the paradigm of American regionalism. Indeed, the Italian shows, engineered to disseminate the “Italianness” of contemporary Italian painting across America, prove an indicator of the state of the art of American criticism of the time, especially beyond the East Coast, and illuminate how the cultural Other was acknowledged in a period of increasing nationalist self-retrenchment in art and politics.
|Titolo:||Tele mai viste. Pittori italiani e miti fascisti attraverso la Scena Americana (un caso di studio sulla ricezione)|
|Anno del prodotto:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|