Marino Marini at the Italian Cultural Institute


Beginning in March, the ICI will be celebrating the work of Marino Marini (1901-1980), one of the greatest Italian artists of the 20th Century.  Though known primarily for his peerless sculptural work—most famously, perhaps, for his The Angel of the City in Venice’s Peggy Guggenheim Collection—he nonetheless proved an exceptional artist in other media as well.  The Italian Cultural Institute will have the privilege of displaying not only two of Marini’s sculptural masterpieces and a bust of the famous Modernist architect Mies Van der Rohe, but also thirty of Marini’s sketches, etchings, silkscreen prints, and lithographs.  Very much an internationally respected artist, Marini was an undeniable force in 20th Century art, and his work was exhibited around the world throughout his lifetime: his work continues to figure prominently in art collections of major cities throughout the world, and a museum dedicated entirely to this master’s work was opened in Florence in 1988.

True to their mission, the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago celebrates the Italy-U.S. link, examining Marini’s role in the American art scene between the 1950s and 1970s, and introducing a new generation of art lovers to Marini’s most iconic creations: “Pomone,” a female figure in bronze, and the magnificently modeled “Knight.”  The themes of female archaic divinities (pomone) and of horsemen were constants for Marini, whose artistic vision was informed by his early study of Tuscany’s famous Etruscan artwork.  The work shown at the ICI is on loan from the city of Florence’s Marini Museum collection, the Marino Marini Foundation of Pistoia, and Prime Realty Group Trust.  The exhibition is made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Marino Marini Foundation of Pistoia.

The Marino Marini exhibit at the Italian Cultural Institute will be running from March 4th to May 7th, with an opening reception on March 4th at 6pm.  Gallery hours are 9am-1pm and 2-5pm, Monday through Friday, and the address is 500 N. Michigan Ave., #1450—conveniently located just north of the Wrigley Building in the heart of the Loop.  For more information, see the ICI’s website at www.iicchicag.estri.it, or contact the ICI via phone (312.822.9545) or email (iicchicago@esteri.it).

The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago (ICI), founded in 1985 and directed by Tina Cervone, is the cultural office of the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago, and one of five cultural agencies of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the United States. Conveniently located on the Magnificent Mile, it showcases Italy’s classic and contemporary heritage with particular reference to art, music, cinema, design, architecture, science, technology, and language.  Seeking to foster a mutual understanding of Italian and American culture, the ICI has adopted a line of reciprocity, alternating guests such as Roberto Benigni, Umberto Eco, Gianni Vattimo, and Dacia Maraini with various American artists in some way connected with Italy like Nancy Genn, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Felice Frankel.