Arabesques Antonio Ratti, il tessuto come arte

14 Mar – 20 May 2018

The ARABESQUES. Antonio Ratti, il tessuto come arte exhibition moves from Mantua’s Palazzo Te to Rome, revamped for the Great Halls of the Baths of Diocletian.
The exhibition focuses on the textile magnate from Como Antonio Ratti (1915-2002), who created the Ratti Group and the cultural foundation that bears his name.
The exhibition criss-crosses all the many facets of Antonio Ratti’s life: design and business, art and cultural promotion, the public and the private, in a rich and well-structured route featuring old and modern fabrics as well as contemporary artworks.
The intuition that steered Antonio Ratti’s thought as an entrepreneur, collector and creator of cultural projects was a knowledge of the great textile tradition and a passion for art in its many forms of expression. He shared his knowledge with the employees of his company – where he built the Palazzina dei Servizi Sociali venue for concerts and theatre performances – before also opening up to promising young art talents.
His life as a magnate and benefactor is conveyed in the exhibition via a selection from the extensive textile collection of the Fondazione Antonio Ratti, which originated as a private collection and a study and research aid for the designers and stylists of the Tessitura Serica Antonio Ratti company he founded in 1945.
Added to the ancient Coptic and pre-Columbian pieces, the cravates, the late-19th-century brocades, Antonio Ratti’s early designs (1934-40) and the fabrics collected in sample books are works by the artists who have played a part in the Foundation’s activities over the years.

Fifteen works, a mix of installations and videos by as many artists, appear in the Great Halls of the Ancient Roman baths, confirming the suitability of these spaces for large exhibitions. Inside are works by Rossella Biscotti, Julia Brown, Rä di Martino, Jimmie Durham, Mario Garcia Torres, Melanie Gilligan, Renée Green, Hans Haacke, Joan Jonas, Liliana Moro, Matt Mullican, Luigi Ontani, Giulio Paolini, Diego Perrone and Cesare Pietroiusti. There is also a modular structure by Yona Friedman with Jean-Baptiste Decavèle, part of No Man’s Land.

Completing the exhibition route are notes, documents and old photographs linked to the company and a video documentary flanks the Foundation’s archives and those of the Ratti Group.

Start date
Wednesday 14 March 2018

End date
Sunday 20 May 2018

Terme di Diocleziano
Viale Enrico de Nicola, 76,
00185 Roma

Opening times
9 am – 7.30 pm
Closed Mondays

Ticket office closes at 6.30 pm

Curated by
Lorenzo Benedetti, Annie Ratti and Maddalena Terragni

Promoted by
Museo Nazionale Romano with Electa

in collaboration with
Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Comune di Mantova and Centro Internazionale d’Arte e di Cultura di Palazzo Te