One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind
Exactly fifty years after the landing of the first man on the moon, over 60 works including paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings and design objects tell the influence of the silver star on art and artists from the nineteenth century to 1969 . The exhibition, curated by Luca Beatrice and Marco Bazzini, is organized in collaboration between Palazzo Madama - Civic Museum of Ancient Art and GAM - Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Turin , with the contribution of the Piedmont Region.
Half a century has passed since man arrived on the moon: a fundamental objective, in some ways incredible, pursued since ancient times. A goal, a dream, an impossible mission, yet also faith in progress and in the future. Oriana Fallaci wrote: At 4.57 am on 21 July 1969 man set foot on the moon. Thus began a new era in human history: the conquest of other worlds, the ascent to celestial bodies, the assault on space. No longer a prisoner of his own planet, man has projected himself towards unknown landings. With the end of space prehistory, we entered the cosmic era. Like her, millions of people have thought so.
The Moon is in fact the celestial body that more than any other has always inspired great adventures, fantastic and literary explorations, ranging from Luciano di Samosata to Dante, from Ariosto to Leopardi, from Verne to Calvino. In 1865 Jules Verne's book, From the Earth to the Moon , was published, giving the exhibition its title: one of the most famous accounts of an imaginary journey to the Moon. Since then, books, novels, comics, toys and gadgets have spread that have the silver star as their subject.
In this regard, on display we find a full-bodied nucleus of one of the most important international collections of these materials, belonging to Piero Gondolo della Riva, from Piedmont, in an environment he cared for as if it were a "room of lunar wonders".
It is from the nineteenth century that the theme of the lunar journey takes hold in art, intertwining with themes of exoticism, the progress of nations, colonialism even if, for the moment, the Moon remains a place that can only be reached with the imagination. The romantic painters, in particular, interpreting the melancholy and dreamy gaze of man in front of the mystery, decline the theme of the moonlight, and among these the Piedmontese De Gubernatis, Bagetti and Carutti di Cantogno with the 1911 painting The Moon Rises .
After this debut, the exhibition continues with works by the historical avant-gardes: the fairytale atmospheres of Marc Chagall, the rigorous metaphysics of Felice Casorati, the meticulous calligraphy of Paul Klee, the surrealism of Max Ernst and Alexander Calder.