The Englishwoman looks at the work of Mirella Bentivoglio and Nori de’ Nobili at Ripe

We picked up this leaflet at the IAT (Tourist Information Office) in Corinaldo, and thought it looked interesting.

Mirella Bentivoglio exhibition

Mirella Bentivoglio exhibition

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.

Ripe piazza showing the Rocca

Ripe piazza showing the Rocca

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

Museo Nori de' Nobili

Museo Nori de’ Nobili

which we tried to visit, but was, of course, chiuso (shut).

Not very convenient

Not very convenient

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.

Projection of Bentivoglio's work on to Museo Nori de Nobili Ripe Projection of Bentivoglio's work on to Museo Nori de Nobili Ripe Projection of Bentivoglio's work on to Museo Nori de Nobili Ripe Projection of Bentivoglio's work on to Museo Nori de Nobili Projection of Bentivoglio's work on to Museo Nori de Nobili Projection of Bentivoglio's work on to Museo Nori de Nobili

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:

The obedient consumer's heart

The obedient [female] consumer’s heart. Thanks to the comune of Trecastelli.

or this one:

Mirella Bentivoglio mask and strings - or are they?

Mirella Bentivoglio mask and strings – or are they? Thanks to the comune of Trecastelli.

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.

L'ovo di Gubbio

L’ovo di Gubbio, 1976

 

The egg broke on 28 October 2004. Thanks to the website Eugubini nel mondo for the information.

Il libro campo or The field book

Il libro campo or The field book

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.

Speeches at the Bentivoglio exhibition launch.

Speeches at the Bentivoglio exhibition launch.

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.

Buffet at the back of the building at the Bentivoglio launch.

Buffet at the back of the building at the Bentivoglio launch.

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.

Guided tour of the Bentivoglio exhibition.

Guided tour of the Bentivoglio exhibition.

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.

Poster with photograph of Bentivoglio

Poster with photograph of Bentivoglio

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/

The young Nori

The young Nori

Three sad self-portraits by Nori

Three sad self-portraits by Nori

Really there’s nothing more to say after that.

About An Englishwoman in Italy

I have a holiday home in Corinaldo in the province of Ancona in the Marche region of Italy. I have been going there since 1993 and would like to share my love and experience of the area. I speak Italian. Ho una casa di villeggiatura a Corinaldo nella provincia di Ancona, Regione Marche. Frequento Corinaldo da 1993 e desidero condividere i miei affetto e esperienza della zona con gli altri. Gli italiani sono sinceramente invitati a correggere gli sbagli.
This entry was posted in 20th century art, 21st century Art, History of Art, Private Views, Vernici di artisti and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Englishwoman looks at the work of Mirella Bentivoglio and Nori de’ Nobili at Ripe

  1. Edward Fennell says:

    I particularly like the photo of the young Nori’s self-portrait.

    Like

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