Carlo Carra, neorealism and high fashion

  • 2000-02-03
  • By Vineta Lagzdina
RIGA - The top floor of the fashion center Palazzo Italia courts a Mediterranean atmosphere where Carlo Carra's first exhibition in Latvia, "From Avant-garde to Myth," fits like a dream. Culture Minister Karina Petersone opened it Feb. 1 in the absence of Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga whose husband personally delivered greetings and congratulations to this noteworthy exhibition.

The Italian ambassador, Felice Catozzi, was visibly proud to announce the exhibition as "the largest exhibit of an Italian artist to date in Latvia. Without the sponsorship of Palazzo, who also published the artist's catalogue, it would have been impossible."

Culture and high fashion fit most elegantly as one ascends the escalator, casting an enviable eye across body beautiful attire for both genders, to finally reach the master Carra's gallery. Carra was born in 1881 and known as one of the founders of futurism in Italy. A unique thinker, he then founded the school of "metaphysical" painting with painter Giorgio de Chirico, producing a style akin to surrealism but using private symbols and commonplace objects to elicit a sense of the extraordinary, sometime the sinister, in every day life. His later works of the 40's and beyond shifted to neo-realism, and some fine paintings from this period and many drawings can be seen at the exhibition.

As director of Palazzo Guglialmo Serrara explained, these are internationally highly respected art works,

"Carre saw into the future, even before the Soviet system changed" he said, "and international exhibitions of his work have been staged the world over from New York, Los Angeles, Asia and throughout Europe."

Having come after exhibiting in St. Petersburg and Moscow, "From Avant-garde to Myth" will continue its tour to Austria after Riga.

The comprehensive coffee table art catalogue, with Latvian translation, will be available at less than cost at 3 lats, and money collected will be donated to charity as advised by Latvia's president, declared Serrara.

Entrance is free. Carlo Carra Exhibition is open daily (except Sundays) on 6th floor, Palazzo Italia, Kr. Barona 2 Riga from Feb 1 to 29.