Giacomo Manzù's made some of the greatest Italian sculpture of the twentieth century. His work was a beguiling blend of divinity and humanity; he was drawn to portraiture as much as he was drawn to religious iconography. Next January, the Estorick collection will celebrate the work of this remarkable artist, with a show made up of 50 sculptures, along with works on paper.
The self-taught artist was a Roman Catholic and close personal friend of the pope; the interpretation sacred imagery was a defining aspect of his work. His first commission was the decoration of a chapel of Milan's Catholic University, he had many commissions from the Vatican and his 'Door of the Dead' for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is one of his most famous works. In the 30s, Manzu began sculpting a striking series of cardinals, whose exaggerated ecclesiastical robes make them conical in shape. The artist's best known work, though, must be the series of bas reliefs depicting the Crucifixion of Christ. These works got him into terrible trouble, as they brazenly criticised the rise of Nazism and Fascism, by depicting Nazi generals as persecutors of Christ.
Despite his religious inclinations, Manzu was also fascinated by the carnal, and this Estorick Collection exhibition includes several of his more sensual works, including drawings of nudes and two of his sculptures depicting lovers in a clinch.
There is an indescribable calmness about Manzu's sculptures, a wholeness; you get the sense that they are entirely satisfied with their own weight. He is a true master; come and discover this underrated artist.
|What||Giacomo Manzu, Estorick Collection|
|Where||Estorick Collection, 39a Canonbury Square , London , N1 2AN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Highbury & Islington (underground)|
15 Jan 16 – 03 Apr 16, Practical information Opening times Wednesday to Saturday 11.00 - 18.00 Sunday 12.00 - 17.00. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
|Price||£5.00, Concessions £3.50 National Art Pass, £2.50 Free to school children and full time students with valid NUS ID card. Admission to café and shop free.|
|Website||Click here for more information|