Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Artist Behind that Famous Phallus - Marino Marini at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice

The Angel of the City by Marino Marini (1948) - Photo: Cat Bauer
(Venice, Italy) You know the statue. A rider with outstretched arms and an erect phallus astride a horse challenging the Grand Canal at the water entrance of Palazzo Venier dei Leone, also known as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. And now, thanks to an excellent exhibition at the Guggenheim entitled Visual Passions, you can learn more about the artist, Marino Marini (1901-1980), in the first retrospective dedicated to him.

Left - Etruscan art (early 1st century BCE)
Right - Portrait of Lucosius by Marino Marini (1935)
Photos: Cat Bauer
Marini was the most famous and admired Italian sculptor of the 20th century. Considered an "artist outside history," he was inspired by works from the ancient Etruscans and Greeks, to Eastern art, to Renaissance sculpture, to Auguste Rodin, to Henry Moore, to Pablo Picasso. By mounting selections of his works next to those of his inspirations, the exhibition illustrates how he went through different stylistic phases and accepted challenges from many diverse subjects.

Horse by Marino Marini (1942) - Photo: Cat Bauer
His development of the theme of a rider and a horse brought Marini international acclaim, and there are two galleries full of the dramatic equestrian wonders. When James Thrall Soby bought one Rider for the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1948, Marini was on his way.

Portrait of Igor Stravinsky, second version (1951) Photo: Cat Bauer
And Marini was not just about horses. He sculpted both male and female nudes, and loved creating portraiture of his friends and acquaintances, such as Igor Stravinsky.

Peggy Guggenheim next to Angel of the City, 1960s
©Fondazione Solomon R. Guggenheim
fotoArchivio CameraphotoEpoche
donazione Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia 2005

Marino Marini. Visual Pleasures is co-curated by Barbara Cinelli and Flavio Fergonzi, and runs through May 1, 2018. Go to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection for more information.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat Bauer
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. You know the statue. A rider with outstretched arms and an erect phallus astride a horse challenging the Grand Canal at the water entrance of Palazzo Venier dei Leone, also known as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

    ReplyDelete

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Ciao from Venice,
Cat