Rendering War: The Murals of A. G. Santagata
Rendering War focuses on the Italian Novecento artist Antonio Giuseppe Santagata’s large-scale studies for mural paintings created in the 1920s and 1930s for buildings of the Association for Disabled and Invalid War Veterans (Case dei Mutilati). Chief among these are the artist’s studies for frescoes in the assembly hall and courtyard of the Casa Madre dei Mutilati (1928–1936), the national headquarters of the association, on the banks of the Tiber River in Rome. Commemorating and celebrating Italian soldiers in the First World War, Santagata’s imposing renderings offered a counter-narrative to the devastating realities of Italy’s actual experience in the war. These works not only express the heavily politicized aesthetic outlook of the Italian state, which promoted public art that would restore a sense of national pride and unity after the humiliations of the war, but also reflect the fierce debate taking place around the relationship between new architecture and visual culture.
Rendering War is part of Rebirth of Rome, a series of exhibitions highlighting Italian art and design from the interwar period. Rebirth of Rome is made possible by the Italian Consulate General Miami, the Italian Cultural Institute New York, the United States Consular Agency Genoa, and the Wolfsoniana–Fondazione Regionale per la Cultura e lo Spettacolo in Genoa, to mark the Year of Italian Culture in the United States. Additional support from Gucci, Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., the Poltrona Frau Group Miami, the Funding Arts Network, the Leon Levy Foundation, Aprile SpA, and Ansaldo Energy Inc. We would also like to thank Mitchell Wolfson, Jr., Marcello Cambi in Genoa, and the Wolfsoniana–FRCS for their generous loans to the project.
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