On the centenary of the birth of sculptor Giacomo Manzù (1908–1991), the MAT – Museo Arte Tempo in Clusone is putting on an exhibition dedicated to the great artist from Bergamo in collaboration with GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea. The exhibition runs from 13 July 2008 to 8 February 2009. Curated by Maria Cristina Rodeschini, one of the directors of GAMeC, and Marcella Cattaneo, an art historian, the exhibition is centred on raising awareness of Manzù’s work during the years he stayed in Clusone. This occurred during the dark years of World War II, when he took refuge with his wife Tina and son Pio in the home of his friend Attilio Nani in the small town in upper Val Seriana, in the province of Bergamo.

The exhibition in Clusone attempts to give a deep look at a particular moment within the broader sweep represented by the exhibition that will be held at GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea from 1 October 2008 to 8 February 2009. This latter show will display sixty or so of the artist’s most representative works.

A series of works painted between 1940 and 1945 – conceived and executed during a difficult period of Italian history – will be exhibited in the MAT in the lovely Palazzo Marinoni Barca, construction of which originated in the seventeenth century. They are mostly portraits of women, one of Manzù’s favourite themes, which demonstrate the acuteness of his interpretation. This is at times anguished, at others gently languid, but always combined with a certain and uncommon formal daring. Another of the sculptor’s favourite themes was the world of children, with his own often being his subjects. He particularly liked to catch and fix in bronze the innocence of their everyday behaviour, with the realm of play being well represented. By concentrating on this last aspect, so steeped in poetry, the sculptor not only succeeded in instilling in the matter one of the fundamental components of the children’s development, he did so with a freshness of expression that is both strongly innovative and participative.