Historical Commercial Posters Are Celebrated As Art At NYC Modern Italian Museum
By Alexa Heah, 13 Mar 2023
Everywhere we go, there are commercials. From posters at bus stops to television advertisements or radio jingles, it’s certainly a challenge to avoid being confronted with promotions at every corner. Some may even find being constantly surrounded by advertisements a bother.
But what if we considered the creativity that goes into each commercial or display? That’s what the latest exhibition at the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) plans to do, as it examines the blurred lines between avant-garde art we marvel over and the commercial posters we see daily.
Dubbed From Depero to Rotella: Italian Commercial Posters Between Advertising And Art, the exhibition showcases how posters in the country have become a “visual and communicative force” of artistic expression in their own right.
With myriad iterations of lithographic techniques, photomontage, and typography, it certainly rings true that the advertisements we often ignore could be viewed as a reflection of an era’s socioeconomic and philosophical interest—and as an art form.
Starting in 1926, the year Depero first displayed a Campari painting at the Venice Biennale and ending in 1957, during which the television advertising show Carosello first aired on Italian public television, the showcase traces how the designs have changed according to the times.
While artists sometimes shun corporate entities, Nicola Lucchi, Executive Director of CIMA, explained to Hyperallergic that Depero’s advertisements had set off a trend that lasted over three decades.
Some of the big names in the industry, who were more socially minded, even encouraged artists to participate in these business projects to give “capitalism a humane character.” Hence the creation of Modernist and Futurist designs promoting everything from hats to typewriters.
Visitors will be able to take a look at over 30 posters from major Italian names alongside several private collections from the United States. Some of the artists featured have worked for familiar brand names that are still relevant today, such as Barilla, Fiat, Campari, Olivetti, and Pirelli.
Head here for more information about the exhibition, which will run from now till June 10, 2023.
[via Soho’s Center For Italian Modern Art / Shore Fire Media (Featured with permission)]
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