The Enchanted Room: Modern Works from the Pinacoteca di Brera at Estorick Collection
Small exhibitions are almost invariably the most charming, and the Estorick Collection in north London is a master at them. Set in an elegant townhouse with a beautiful courtyard garden, this small institution boasts both an important permanent collection and a programme of intriguing and carefully curated exhibitions.
The Enchanted Room brings together a significant selection of modern Italian works from the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. Pieces by some of the most important names in Italian art from the modern period sit side-by-side, with early works by Futurists and other game-changers such as Umberto Boccioni, Gino Severini and Mario Sironi.
There are some gems to be discovered here, such as a selection of Carlo Carrà’s metaphysical paintings of rooms filled with objects that initially appear ordinary, but which are imbued with intense emotional power through Carrà’s composition and handling of paint. Other highlights include two small portraits by Amedeo Modigliani, whose work is currently the subject of a large exhibition at Tate Modern.
Italian modern art is not, perhaps, as fashionable or as famous as it might be, but this exhibition goes a little way towards explaining its importance as well as the fascination it held for collectors such as Eric and Salome Estorick, and for Emilio and Maria Jesi, whose collection forms part of the Pinacoteca di Brera’s large holdings.
The Brera has never previously been in a position to show the institution’s modern art collection in the conditions it deserved, but by 2019 they hope to open a whole new wing of the museum to house it. In the meantime, the exhibition at the Estorick offers an unprecedented chance to see these works in the UK and in surroundings appropriate to the quality of art on offer.
Featured Image: Gino Severini, Le Nord-Sud, 1912,
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
The Enchanted Room: Modern Works from the Pinacoteca di Brera is at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art from 24th January until 8th April 2018. For further information or to book visit the gallery’s website here.