The best of Italian Modernism

Fortunato Depero - "Neighing at Speed"

The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in Canonbury is hosting a prestigious collection of modernist works in its exhibition  “From Morandi to Guttuso: Masterpieces from the Alberto Della Ragione Collection“.

The collection, comprising around 40 works, offers a comprehensive overview of Italian modernism.

Several pieces are widely regarded as some of the most significant art to be produced in Italy in the early twentieth century. They represent the Europe-wide return to more traditional subject matter that took place in the inter-war years.

The broad range of work on display means there is something for every level of appreciation. On a quiet Wednesday morning there were a lot of serious aficionados discussing the art in hushed, almost reverent tones, but it was enjoyable for a novice like myself as well.

The Futurist works displayed in Gallery 3 were most impressive. Giacomo Balla’s The Hand of the Violinist is striking and humorous, while Umberto Boccioni’s Modern Idol, is vibrant and grim, almost frightening.

The space, spread over six galleries, is used very well. The walls are not overcrowded but feature various paintings and sketches.

Each gallery contains one or two small sculptures; Marino Marini’s Small Horse is a standout piece. This exhibition could be recommended as a gentle introduction to art and art history, but really is suitable for anyone.

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square.

Opening hours: 11am to 6pm Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 8pm Thursday and 12pm to 5pm Sunday.