Few artists have exerted such formative influence on their contemporaries and later generations of artists as the Italian Giorgio de Chirico. In his paintings, the artist developed a highly complex pictorial language whose ostensible representationality dissolves, on closer inspection, in a mysterious world full of symbols and allusions. De Chirico’s metaphysical painting phase began in Paris in 1911 and reached its conceptual culmination in Upper Italian Ferrara from mid 1915 to the end of 1918 where he met Carlo Carrà. The collaboration between de Chirico and Carrà in the Villa del Seminario can be considered the nascence of what was later referred to as the “Scuola Metafisica”. The Staatsgalerie is one of the few museums in Germany to have in its possession a masterwork by de Chirico dating from the period in Ferrara that would prove so seminal for the history of art. In 2016 – one hundred years after its making –this work now forms the point of departure for a major special exhibition in Stuttgart on pittura metafisica and it significance for the art of the European avantgarde.
In the exhibition, a large number of masterworks by de Chirico and Carrà will be shown side by side with paintings and drawings by exponents of Dadaism, Surrealism and New Objectivity and thus bear witness to the international reception of the unique pictorial language of the pittura metafisica immediately following its emergence. Motifs such as the faceless “manichino” or the “picture within the picture” turn up in numerous compositions by René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst or George Grosz and testify to theseartists’ profound exploration of de Chirico’s work.
Featuring some one hundred high-calibre paintings, drawings and prints from such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MoMA in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris or the Galleria Nazionale d’arte modernain Rome, this presentation at the Staatsgalerieinvites visitors to acquaint themselves with are markable artistic phenomenon that represent sone of the most important turning points in the development of the art of the twentieth century.