We picked up this leaflet at the IAT (Tourist Information Office) in Corinaldo, and thought it looked interesting.
Ripe is our neighbouring town; it’s part of the comune of Trecastelli, i.e. the towns of Ripe, Castel Colonna and Monterado, all which have fine Rocche or castles.
We already knew something about Nori de’ Nobili’s work, as her pictures used to be in Corinaldo, but they have been given a fine new home in Ripe
which we tried to visit, but was, of course, chiuso (shut).
When I’m in Italy I often think of the old man in “The Return of the King” (vol 3 of JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”) who says gloomily “The way is shut” and then falls dead. (Chapter 3 page 71 of my mother’s Allen and Unwin hardback edition, which I adopted many years ago.) But I digress.
The Museum was certainly open for the inaugurazione and buzzing with life and visitors. Again we were grateful for the local custom of not having a private view, but inviting all and sundry (that’s us) to the launch. As we approached, we saw that reproductions of Bentivoglio’s work were being projected on to the façade of the museum.
From the projections you can get a good idea of the artist’s work; she is a “visual poet” and uses sculpture as well as 2-D work to create her poems. Many of her works are jokey puns or visualisations, like this one:or this one:
The mask is the letter B, the first letter of Bentivoglio, and the strings are “entivoglio”, the remaining letters of her surname.
Here are photographs of two of her sculptures.
The egg broke on 28 October 2004. Thanks to the website Eugubini nel mondo for the information.
I leave it to you to decide what they mean.
Bentivoglio is a committed feminist; she organised an all-women exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 1978. Hence her work is appropriate for the Museo Nori de’ Nobili, which is “dedicated to the documentation of women’s creativity in the twentieth century”. (Quote from the exhibition leaflet.)
In due course the guests assembled for the speeches. All the women were smartly turned out, as usual.
After the speeches we were invited to partake of the buffet, which consisted of wine, soft drinks and small eats. The bottles of wine were just there and you could help yourself. No-one got drunk.
The curatrice, Simona Zava, gave a guided tour of the exhibition to those who were interested. I thought this was a good idea and one that English organisers of private views would do well to follow. Certainly her explanations helped one to spot hidden (to me, anyway!) gems within the works.
At the entrance/exit of the exhibition was a poster with a photograph of the artist herself. As we walked out past Bentivoglio, we felt amazed and impressed that the works of a world-class artist were on show in a small provincial town.
Nori de’ Nobili (1902-1968), the permanent collection of whose work is exhibited upstairs, could not be a greater contrast to Bentivoglio. Poor woman, she had a tragic life. Having spent much of her childhood in Brugnetto di Ripe, in 1924, when she was 22, the family moved to Florence, where, accoding to the Museum’s website, she moved in artistic circles, associating with the Macchiaiolo (Florentine artistic movement not dissimilar to the Pointillistes) Ludovico Tommasi, and the “Strapaese” artists Ottone Rosai and Mino Maccari, and developing her own work. Her parents, perhaps concerned about her lifestyle and her lack of interest in marriage to a “suitable” man, suddenly removed her from this environment, which removal upset her so much that she was shut up in a “clinic” in Bologna. She spent the rest of her life locked away in one clinic after another, until she died of cancer in 1968. In these clinics she continued to paint, mostly self-portraits and occasionally paintings of the other inmates. For more detail see the Museum’s website.http://www.museonoridenobili.it/nori-de-nobili/
Really there’s nothing more to say after that.
I particularly like the photo of the young Nori’s self-portrait.