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Arbasino, Alberto

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La Repubblica - Italy | 22/05/2006

Parisian exhibition 'Italia Nova' disappoints

Alberto Arbasino is unsparing in his criticism of the exhibition 'Italia Nova, An Adventure in Italian Art, 1900-1950' now showing at the Grand Palais in Paris. "Roundly criticised and sparsely attended (just a few elderly people and the occasional Italian visitor), the 'Italia Nova' exhibition seems to be quite a sad event. ... Without the necessary explanations linking it to the proper context and customs, one is unable to appreciate the value of the works. ... In this type of large-scale exhibition that assembles so many items, the works on display are certainly of general interest, but are almost always lesser-known. In this case, they cross-reference masterpieces by Balla, Boccioni, Severini, De Chirico and Savinio that are housed in major museums - such as MOMA in New York - or in collections. But those unfamiliar with these works find themselves face-to-face with a 'little Italy', comprised of good examples of second - and third-class works."

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