The catalogue, from a concept by Barnaba Fornasetti, Art Director at Atelier Fornasetti and Valeria Manzi, cultural project consultant, accompanies the exhibition to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Palazzo Altemps Museum.
Fornasetti’s art finds a congenial showcase for its inspiration at Palazzo Altemps. The museum, with its masterpieces of antiquity, Egyptian statues and marvellous Renaissance frescoes, creates a theatrical counterpoint to the works on display. Room after room, this felicitous juxtaposition presents the permanent collection at Palazzo Altemps – museum and erstwhile aristocratic residence – and the startling creativity of Fornasetti in a constantly changing light. Piero Fornasetti stands out among Italian designers thanks to his passionate, almost obsessive, mission to alter and rework decorative motifs, often taken from classical antiquity, the Renaissance or the Baroque periods. His extremely original style unites elements of the Classic Age with Surrealism in a trans-historic vision, now enhanced and reinterpreted by his son Barnaba. Founded over 70 years ago, the Atelier Fornasetti continues to challenge and create daring new visual ciphers. The catalogue’s wealth of quality illustrations traces the harmonious dialogue between Palazzo Altemps, its permanent collection and the 800 plus objects exhibited. It is a precious guide to “a dialogue where history becomes a reflection on the present and a projection of the future; a dialogue we hope will awaken an idea of what we have been, what we are and, perhaps, what we might become in the future,” writes Barnaba Fornasetti. The volume contains interventions by the curators, Silvana Annicchiarico, Director of the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, and Alessandra Capodiferro, Director of the Palazzo Altemps Museum, together with an introduction by Daniela Porro, Director of the Museo Nazionale Romano and an essay by Marcello Fagiolo on Fornasetti’s Classicism.