A visit to “Réclame” – the exhibition organized by Gorizia’s Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, open until October 20, 2013 – will remind you of the evocative words of English writer Norman Douglas, who believed “You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertising”.
Sketches, tin signs, lithographic stones, posters, tables and books: the exhibition allows you to dive into the colorful world of advertising that between 1800s and 1900s took over Udine’s Passero-Chiesa lithography shop, one of the most important in Northern Italy.
Cesare Simonetti, Antonio Bauzon, Pietro Antonio Sencig, Luigi Spazzapan, Tullio Crali, and Gino de Finetti were only a few of the artists who put their talent at the service of the posters, large and small, that Italian and foreign companies and organizations commissioned to the printers in Udine.
Section after section, the exhibition tells the story of how styles evolved from Art Nouveau to the new “persuasive” codes of advertising, and how Italian society changed from the light heartedness of the Belle Époque to the propaganda and political engagement of the Fascist period.
Marinetti once stated that “advertising has but one reason to exist: to capture the audience’s curiosity with the most originality, synthesis, dynamism, simultaneity and global scope”. The works selected for the exhibition are a testimony to all of these features… and perhaps to even more. After all, as Marshall McLuhan has said, “advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century”.