AN ITALIAN COLLECTION. MERLINI COLLECTION
Springtime at Fortuny Palace
The themes of collecting, the reasons and passions that underlie the creation of a private collection, are at the centre of an exhibition dedicated to the Giuseppe Merlini collection. According to Walter Benjamin, every collection is suspended between two opposing poles: order and disorder, and it is the figure of the collector that gives it meaning, far more than the objects that compose it. The Merlini collection of sculpture, drawings and above all painting – exclusively Italian art except for some rare exceptions – traverses the entire twentieth
century from the earliest decades with works that date back to the founding moment of modernism.
It includes drawings by Amedeo Modigliani, paintings by Filippo de Pisis and, then, works by Adolfo Wildt, Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Savinio, Mario Sironi, Gino Severini, Giorgio Morandi and Massimo Campigli, up until the period of Italian abstractionism and Arte informale, with important works by Mario Radice, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Piero Dorazio, Giulio Turcato, Roberto Crippa, Alfredo Chighine and Piero Ruggeri.
The collection therefore offers a very broad overview of twentieth-century Italian art, and at the same time prompts a major question: what energies drive the continuing desire to collect? What kind of intellectual curiosity and which casual encounters orient choices that contribute to giving each collection its own physiognomy and the impetus that makes it accessible to the public?