“Il Modo Italiano”

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

SINCE WORLD WAR II no country has been more thoroughly identified with the lure of design than Italy. Curatorial attempts to consider the historical relationship between Italian design and art, however, have often proved disappointing. For example, the last North American treatment of the subject, Germano Celant’s “The Italian Metamorphosis, 1943–1968” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1994, was perhaps most memorable for its Ferragamo shoes and mannequins in Valentino evening gowns. By contrast, “Il Modo Italiano: Italian Design and Avant-Garde in the 20th Century,” co-organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (MART), and the Royal Ontario Museum, is striking for curators Giampiero Bosoni and Guy Cogeval’s thoughtful juxtapositions of developments in design with those of contemporaneous avant-garde art

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