m.a.x. museo


The exhibition is part of the theme of 20th century masters and focuses on the creative collaboration between the Swiss scholar Gilbert Clavel and the Rovereto-born futurist Fortunato Depero: in particular, it examines their contribution in the context of the artistic colony formed in Capri and Anacapri from the 1550s known as “Artopoli” and actively frequented by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Benedetta Cappa, Enrico Prampolini, Francesco Cangiullo and Julius Evola. Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau were also frequent visitors for a brief period, not to mention Michele Semenov, Sergej Djaghilev and the dancer Léonide Massine. The exhibition focuses on Depero’s pictorial and intellectual research, starting with the illustrations he produced for Clavel, and then moving on to the pinnacle of his theatrical experimentation, which culminated in the Balli Plastici.
Fortunato Depero (Fondo, 30 March 1892 – Rovereto, 29 November 1960) is one of the great protagonists of Futurism. Painter, illustrator, set and costume designer, he worked to create a language of experimentation. In 1916 he met the scholar Gilbert Clavel (Kleinhüningen, 29 May 1883 – Basel, 6 September 1927) in Rome, with whom he formed a deep friendship that gave rise to innovative projects.

Central was Depero’s relationship with the Torre di Fornillo, a striking building owned by Clavel, a place of art, poetry and experimentation. In 1917, the Balli Plastici were born from their collaboration.

On display in the halls of the m.a.x. museum are more than two hundred works including sketches, studies, sketches, paintings and wooden puppets, tapestries, a maquette, vintage photographs, letters and documents (some of which have never been seen before) that highlight the intense relationship between Clavel’s aesthetic conception and the artistic contribution of Depero’s work.
The exhibition is held in collaboration with the Mart Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto and boasts the synergy of prestigious lending institutions, including the Basel State Archives; loans from valuable private collections are also essential.

Exhibition curated by Luigi Sansone and Nicoletta Ossanna Cavadini.


Image: Clavel Gilbert – portrait,1918, Tempera and pencil on cardboard, 47.2 x 38.8 cm; MD 0029-b; Mart, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, Depero Fund; © Mart Photographic Archive and Media Library; copyright © 2023, ProLitteris, Zürich