FUTURO | Art and society from the Sixties to tomorrow


Gallerie d’Italia - Palazzo Leoni Montanari

Intesa Sanpaolo museum complex in Vicenza

3 October 2020 - 7 February 2021

Exhibition curated by Luca Beatrice and Walter Guadagnini


Vicenza, 2 October 2020 – From 3 October 2020 to 7 February 2021, the Gallerie d’Italia – Palazzo Leoni Montanari (Intesa Sanpaolo museum complex in Vicenza) will host the exhibition FUTURO. Art and society from the Sixties to tomorrow curated by Luca Beatrice and Walter Guadagnini.

The exhibition presents around one hundred works by Italian and international artists - including Boccioni, Fontana, Christo, Boetti, Rotella, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Schifano, and Hirst - from prestigious private collections and the Intesa Sanpaolo collection.

Michele Coppola, Executive Director of Art, Culture and Historical Heritage, said: “Talking about the future in this moment is more important than ever before, and doing so via the worlds of art and culture is perhaps the best way. The exhibition brings together masterpieces from the twentieth century and works by young artists, which tell us about the future in different ways while always looking ahead, constantly firing up the imagination. Once again, our collections of modern and contemporary art provide a starting point for reflection, alongside loaned works from Italian and international institutions and collectors. The Gallerie d’Italia museum in Vicenza relaunches its activity with our collection that speaks to the world, reconfirming its role as a reference point for the city where people can address and explore current themes and art.

The exhibition offers an incredibly contemporary reflection on the concept of “future” through artistic points of view, from the Sixties (decade of the economic boom, population growth, optimism and consumerism, which all translated into “pop art” and an explosion of young talent) up to a society which experienced a simultaneous turn of the century and millennium, events awaited with great expectations and a fair amount of fear.

Each era generates its own concept of “future” and our present is much more uncertain than it was some decades ago.

Contemporary art has interpreted and represented the vision of the future - on one hand, closely linked to the idea of progress, technology and innovation; on the other hand, related to the desire and need for change, to the impetus to improve society and ourselves, convinced that the world of tomorrow may be better than that of today.

In the current era, in a time that has seen the entire planet turned upside down in a moment, is art still able to grasp the changes and illustrate them?

The exhibition begins with a prologue dedicated to Futurism - the first European avantgarde movement, which revealed through its very name the desire to drive change - displaying works by Boccioni, Depero, Marussig, Zanini and with two key words, “space” and “time”: the first, viewed through the eyes of Fontana, Munari, and Klein; the second with the irony of Baj and the intuition of artists such as Boetti, Cattelan, Mari, Paolini, and Turcato.

Five exhibition sections introduce as many visions of the future. Acting as a backdrop, and providing a synopsis of the narration, is a series of large photographic images from the Publifoto Milano Archives (part of the Intesa Sanpaolo collection), which track the timeline of each decade and reveal the idea of future in society, especially Italian society.

The Sixties push the message that “The Future is the Present”, with an optimism - despite the looming spectre of nuclear conflict - that led to the conquest of space, even to landing on the moon, and introduced concepts of art that ranged from Spatialism to kinetic art, and from Pop Art to Op Art with works by artists like Rauschenberg, Rotella, Vasarely, and Fioroni.

The Seventies take the visitor into the realm of “The Future is the Politician” with words such as “utopia” and “revolution”, and movements ranging from visual poetry to Arte Povera, from feminism to activist art, with works by the likes of Christo, Indiana, Isgrò, Schifano, and Tilson.

“The Future is Success” takes visitors from the Eighties to the economic bubble, with the question “is the art market more important than the art itself?” and works by artists including Hirst, Kruger, Rosenquist, and Warhol. We then arrive in the Nineties with “The Future is Post-Human” where humans decide to transform themselves, starting with their own bodies, and works by the likes of Burson, Morimura, and Skoglund, as well as the “transhuman” models in portraits by Vintiner.

The exhibition ends with the major themes of the opening decades of the millennium: “The Future is the Environment” and the enormous challenge posed by conservation of the planet. Works on display here include artists such as César, Eliasson, Gilardi, Lai, and Najjar before arriving in the modern day, blasting into a new future to be read in a crystal ball by young artist Bufalini. And this future is a story still waiting to be written.

Many additional activities are proposed for visitors: art itineraries, themed itineraries, family activities, creative writing workshops and performances using new technologies, as well as educational tours for schools (free of charge).

The exhibition catalogue is published by Edizioni Gallerie d’Italia | Skira.





Intesa Sanpaolo

Media and Associations Relations

Media Office for Institutional, Social and Cultural Activities

Tel. 335.7282324




Open to the public

Venue: Gallerie d’Italia - Palazzo Leoni Montanari - Vicenza, Contra’ Santa Corona, 25

Tuesday to Sunday 10 am - 6 pm



freephone number 800.578875



Ticket prices: full price 5 euro, reduced 3 euro.

Free entry for the under-18s

Online booking recommended, on the Gallerie website