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Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution 1968–2008


Whether embracing classical roots or breaking away from traditions, Italian artists active during the past 40 years are at ease with the realities of social transformation. Reflecting the idiosyncratic paths carved by Italian artists and resisting the artificiality of groupings and movements such as arte povera, the project attempts to counter a tendency within Italian culture to curb individuality and experimentation.

This exhibition, copresented by the MCA and the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, explores Italian art and creativity from the late 1960s to the present. It offers an unprecedented look at the artistic production of a country where cultural change has often been defined by the persistence of the past, revealing a deep sense of originality and vitality on the part of numerous artists whose work spans all media.

Including work by more than 75 Italian artists, Italics is not just an exhibition about art made in Italy but, more importantly, demonstrates how these artists have forged new identities from deep roots blossoming in many different directions.

This exhibition is guest curated by Francesco Bonami.


Italics: Italian Art Between Tradition and Revolution 1968–2008 is coorganized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy - the François Pinault Foundation. Generous support for the Chicago presentation is provided by the Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson Foundation, Andrea and Jim Gordon, Nancy Lauter McDougal and Alfred L. McDougal, Terry and Cynthia Perucca, Sara Szold, the Kanbar Charitable Trust, and Marilyn and Larry Fields. Special thanks to the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Chicago for its support.

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