Motherhood, Femininity and the Female Form

Motherhood, Femininity and the Female Form

Quite simply, motherhood is a pervasive act synonymous with selflessness. Such is why with the “Beyond” keyword during the month of September; ExpoinCittà attempts to create the transcendent relationship between women and culture through The Great Mother exhibition. The exhibition is accurately named, as it’s a journey through the stories of women suffering, thriving whilst encountering life. 

With works of 127 international artists and a plethora of topics presented over 2,000 sq. meters, The Great Mother is the epitome of the celebration of what it means to be a woman. According to Fondazione Trussardi, the exhibition “analyzes the iconography of motherhood in the art and visual culture,” from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, early avant-garde movements to the present.

Each room of the Palazzo Reale’s majestic walls allowed for the progression towards the realization of a new awareness. The exhibition began with a selection of pieces from photographer Gertrude Käsebler. Käsebler’s influence began at the beginning of the 20th century as the first woman photographer to build a commercial career even when society frowned upon her doing so.

Käsebler portrayed motherhood as divine, synonymous with the heavenly bond between mother and child. In Adoration (1897), Käsebler attempts to recreate the Virgin Mary with Child in Christian iconography. This is the power of communication through visual language.

Showcasing feminism in Italy in a new light, performance artist Ana Mendieta envisioned the connection between the earth and the female body as sources of life and symbols of fertility. In Silueta (1973-1980) Mendieta used her own body to shape spaces in the natural environment portraying the tension between motherhood and motherland. “I have thrown myself into the very elements that produced me”, Mendieta wrote. Her purpose: to liberate herself from her selfhood and identity.

Italian artists Umberto Boccioni and Marisa Mori were key influencers during the Futurist movement. In the piece, Study of the head – The mother (1912), Boccioni presents dynamism of colors with a tension of volumes.

Similarly, Mori developed an aero futurist technique full of emotive visual language seen in The physical inebriation of maternity (1936). The impressive use of warm colors against a cool, blue background provides a celebration of both the female and organic forces rather than artificial.

Moving away from the portrayal of feminine divinity, the exhibition portrayed the themes of intimacy and eroticism in femininity, apparent in the exquisite photographs by renowned twentieth century artist Man Ray. Erotique Voilèe [Erotic Veiled] (1933).

Works by surrealists Salvador Dalì and Frida Kahlo immediately caught my eye based on their palpable techniques. Dalì’s Baby Map of the World (1939) & Kahlo’s The Wonderful Deer (1946) show mesmerizing colors and surrealist depictions of the human condition. Additionally, the synesthetic experience of Nari Ward’s Amazing Grace (1993) showcased a grand room filled with 280 discarded strollers whilst the song “Amazing Grace” played on loud speakers.

I left The Great mother exhibition pondering: What does it mean to be a mother? How does motherhood affect our femininity? Yet, the exhibition truly embraced the female form and showcased the feminine soul. 

All Articles
22 December 2016 Finalmente è Natale...Beato chi resta a Milano!

Tantissimi eventi in programma per allietare le vacanze e scoprire come è #BellaMilano!

 
Il pane della comunità 14 December 2016 Il pane della comunità

La ricetta è quella rigorosa del disciplinare della Camera di Commercio di Milano: materie prima selezionate, tempi di lievitazione lentissimi, tanta passione e pazienza. Un insolito punto di vista sul panettone milanese espresso da un panificatore artigianale, che definisce il dolce tipico del Natale come “pane ricco”.

10 December 2016 Brividi a Milano con Noir in Festival!

Approda a Milano Noir in Festival, l'appuntamento con il cinema noir che da venticinque anni tingeva di giallo le bianche valli di Courmayeur.

Diretto da Giorgio Gosetti e Marina Fabbri, il Festival sarà nelle sale milanesi dall'11 al 14 dicembre, dopo una prima tappa a Como.

7 December 2016 Donatella Brunazzi - Museo Teatrale alla Scala

A Parigi, nel  1911 i più importanti esponenti del mondo della cultura artistica e musicale milanese si unirono, sostenuti dal Governo e dal re Vittorio Emanuele III, con lo scopo di aggiudicarsi all'asta un lotto di cimeli musicali e teatrali di straordinario valore messi all'asta dall'antiquario Sambon. Tra loro vi erano figure illustri: il duca Uberto Visconti di Modrone Presidente del Teatro alla Scala, Giacomo Puccini, Umberto Giordano, Arrigo Boito, Ettore Modigliani, il tenore Enrico Caruso, gli editori Ricordi e Sonzogno. Grazie al loro impegno  e a questa prima acquisizione venne istituito il Museo Teatrale alla Scala, inaugurato nel  1913.

Dal 1 gennaio 2016 Donatella è la Direttrice del Museo Teatrale, le radici della sua vita professionale sono profondamente legate a due ambiti dell'eccellenza culturale milanese, apparentemente distinti ma in realtà molto vicini tra loro: la moda e il teatro.

Camera di Commercio

Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato e Agricoltura di Milano.
Tutti i diritti riservati.