Our love with the city of New York and it’s connections with Italy has been a long standing one over at Official Made In Italy. So when the Museo 900 posters came calling “New York New York,” we had to pop over to one of Milan’s iconic cultural hotspots to take a look and see what it was all about.
In reality the link between New York and Italy is sounded out even further when one reads the full title of the exhibition “New York New York. Italian Art: rediscovering America.” The museum synopsis detailing it further as the purpose of the exhibition being to demonstrate “…the stories of Italian artists who travelled, lived, worked and exhibited in the United States, particularly New York, or maybe who only imagined the new world; everybody in search of a more free spirit and in search of models different from the ones belonging to the old Europe.”
In reality, the exhibition can be divided into two clear sections, the first exploring New York’s role as the capital of art and how its image and the idea of the American Dream are represented in the works of Italian artists, touching on ideas also of icons such as John.F.Kennedy who stood as an embodiment of this ideal.
The second phase is represented clearly in a room containing a series of over 500 photographs taken by Ugo Mulas in New York in the 1960s. During these years, Mulas spent time meticulously documenting artists studios, galleries, collectors homes and new creative spaces across the city. The works culminate in describing a unique crossroads of disciplines, personalities and spaces that “characterize New York’s vibrant cultural scene.” In his works here Mulas’ critical process of investigation into artistic practices and their relation with the context of origin can clearly be seen. Mulas described his feelings of the complexity of the city vastly divided from the Old Europe he had come from , “I felt a bit like an astronaut on the moon when I was in New York, I didn’t speak a word of English and I was in a city that…is like no other in the world for its complexity….ethnically and socially, it’s a vast, beautiful, tough place.”
The world has moved on since the revolutionary period of the 1960s and Old Europe has taken steps forward into a modern world, but the vastness and complex beauty that Mulas describes as having found in New York remains and in some form the idea of the American Dream still continues. It leaves us only to say, New York, we love you and we look forward to seeing you in the Autumn when we embark on our pop-up tour of America!