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© 2013 Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo

Classicism, Realism, Avant Garde: Italian Painting in Between Wars


Tadeu Chiarelli, director

One of the indexes that singularize a university museum is that the concern with its collection are not only those regarding its conservation and exhibition. In fact, among such important procedures, there is another one, equally vital: scholarly research. It is through the study of the works that conform it, the investigation that involve analysis, not only formal and/or stylistic, but also physical of the works, the meanders of their former history and the mecahnisms that drove them to enter the museum's collection that will mark their relevance.

Such methodological, deep researches when done succesfully, reach the final aim to conservate, investigate and exhibit public collections: through them, society can recognize itself.

In this sense, the exhibition Classicism, Realism, Avant-Garde : Italian Paintings in Between the Wars fulfill all of its objectives. The show is the result of meticulous studies realized by curator Ana Gonçalves Magalhães and her team of undergraduate and graduate students about the significant collection of Italian paintings of the interwat period, belonging to the collection of MAC USP.

While reflecting the physical particularities of the works in the collection, their formal singularities and the project behind their acquisition by Ciccillo Matarazzo and Yolanda Penteado, the exhibition extrapolates the limits of the history of the collection of MAC USP. Such a situation occurs, for the exhibition points to the need of a profound revision of the historiography of modernisms in Brazil, key issue so that we can understand what, in fact, we desired for Brazil in the 1940/50s (period of creation of the collection now on show) and the country that it has become today.