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Life & People
ANSA. Paluzza, February 12 - An Italian woman at the centre of a right-to-die battle that split the country was buried in a family grave on Thursday after a short religious ceremony without her parents. (Read the article)
LOS ANGELES TIMES. Because Nutella isn't just junk food with a European pedigree. It can be an obsession, a habit, even a cult. If you think this is foodie hyperbole, you're just not among the initiated. (Read the article by Amy Scattergood)
Businessweek. Criminal charges against four Google executives over an allegedly offensive video posting raise troubling questions about the liabilities of Web companies. (Read the article by Mark Scott)
TIMES ON LINE. Yesterday Italy hit back, delivering a blow in the broccoli wars that was sure to turn British growers green with envy. Politicians lined up to extol the virtues of the Italian greens with extravagant claims that broccoli could help you to lose weight and improve your life. Its very existence, they claimed, was proof that Italy was the world’s undisputed culinary superpower. (Read the article by Richard Owen)
GREEN PLANET.NET. Within the framework of the “BioBenessere” three-year project, the Italian association of organic producers Pro.B.E.R. is to promote the “great week of organic products” by organizing or attending three important events in USA, Russia and Japan with the aim of valorising Italian organic and typical products outside European borders. (Read the article)
Javno.com. Last Friday, doctor Umberto Chillo, the head of a transplantation team at the university hospital in Padova, decided that little David Krusvar can leave the hospital. This is a sign that mother Damjana and father Denis can finally relax. (Leave the article)
NASHIVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL. A new Olive Garden expected to create 165 jobs in Spring Hill will open Monday. The 7,539-square-foot, Tuscan-farmhouse-inspired restaurant is located at The Crossings, 1098 Crossings Circle. It seats 247 and is expected to attract diners from Maury and Williamson counties. (Read the article)
UPI.COM. Military Prosecutor General Fabrizio Fabretti said Wednesday the Italian Defense Ministry should intervene in the legal efforts to enforce European arrest warrants for the men, which have been issued without success so far, ANSA, the Italian news agency, reported. (Read the article)
Southbergenite. Before meeting Luke Rizzo, one might think of him as a typical guy from Carlstadt. He’s 27-years-old, Italian-American and he DJs. But after hearing the sounds he creates using a laptop computer and a pair of turntables, one would realize that "DJ" is a loose term. (Read the article by Corey Klein)
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Italy in NY Calendar
Perhaps more than any other painter, Sandro Botticelli (about 1445–1510) exemplifies the artistic achievement of Renaissance Florence in the 15th century. “Botticelli and the Search for the Divine,” organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary and Italy’s Metamorfosi Associazione Culturale, explores the dramatic changes in the artist’s style and subject matter—from poetic depictions of classical gods and goddesses to austere sacred themes—reflecting the shifting political and religious climate of Florence during his lifetime.
At the height of his career, Botticelli was supported by the powerful Medici family, headed by Lorenzo the Magnificent. Botticelli’s instantly recognizable style, characterized by strong contours, lyrical poses, and transparent flowing drapery, was influenced both by Antique models and the courtly preferences of his patrons. Two paintings from this period on view in the exhibition, Minerva and the Centaur (1481, Uffizi, Florence) and Venus (about 1490, Galleria Sabauda, Turin)—Botticelli’s reworking of his famous Birth of Venus—are life-size and display the painter’s skill in depicting elegant figures from classical mythology.
In his later years, Botticelli became a follower of the stern Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, who by 1494 had established a theocracy in Florence following the exile of the Medici family. Personal conduct came under harsh scrutiny, and in 1497 all manner of worldly goods—including cosmetics, mirrors, fancy clothing, musical instruments, and paintings with nudes and pagan subjects—were burned in a notorious “Bonfire of the Vanities.” Under Savonarola’s sway, Botticelli’s graceful manner gave way to a newly austere approach, and secular subject matter disappeared. Severe religious paintings dominate the artist’s later production, and such moving masterpieces as the Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John (about 1495, Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence) demonstrate the striking departure from his earlier sweet style. The exhibition also includes paintings by Botticelli’s teacher Filippo Lippi, his student Filippino Lippi, and other contemporaries.
The exhibition, the largest and most important display of Botticelli’s works in the United States, features 24 paintings from international lenders and the MFA’s own Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist (about 1500) as well as important loans from Harvard and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s bold, irreverent work skewers social complacencies and reimagines cultural icons. On the occasion of his 2011–12 retrospective at the Guggenheim, which featured virtually every work he had ever made suspended from the oculus of the rotunda, Cattelan announced his retirement from art making. Five years later, he returns from this self-imposed exile with a new, ongoing project at the museum. For “America” Cattelan replaced the toilet in this restroom with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold, making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent. Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art. Cattelan’s toilet offers a wink to the excesses of the art market but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all—its utility ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity.
Deemed a "Paradise of Exiles" by the British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Italy attracted not only 19th-century Romantics, but also many of photography's earliest practitioners, who traveled to the peninsula in order to capture its monuments and distinctive topography. At the same time, Italians adopted daguerreotypes and paper negatives as a means to represent their own cultural patrimony during a period of political upheaval.
This exhibition focuses on Italy's importance as a center of exchange and experimentation during the first three decades of photography's history—from 1839, the year of its invention, to 1871, the year Italy became a unified nation. Paradise of Exiles highlights the little-known contribution of Italian photographers to the development of the new medium through some 35 photographs and albums drawn from The Met collection, along with 11 loans, including rare daguerreotypes and photographs related to the Risorgimento, the period of modern Italian unification.
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"Over twenty years ago, William Papaleo moved to Naples to practice the art he had learned in the U.S. A third-generation U.S. American with ancestors from Italy, Papaleo is diﬀerent from most Italian American artists who use Italy to set up a sense of the past and reconnect to it through travel. Their art, more oﬅen than not focuses on the family and their own reactions to retiring to the home of their ancestors. What you ﬁnd in Papaleo’s art is something new, something all other Italian Americans have not dealt with, and that is the role of the immigrant in today’s Italy. It is through art like this work, that we can we reach beyond the real, and sometime we even achieve the impossible."
--from Distinguished Professor Fred Gardaphe's exhibition catalogue essay
The Norton Simon Museum presents an intimate exhibition examining Pietro Rotari (1707–1762), an illustrious Italian artist who found success and fortune in Vienna and beyond, ultimately becoming court painter to Empress Elizabeth of Russia. Serial Flirtations: Rotari’s Muses brings together eight paintings from the Simon holdings attributed to Rotari and his studio, including his iconic Young Girl Writing a Love Letter. Six rarely displayed character studies, all of which were returned to the artist’s family after his death in St. Petersburg and retained until the 1970s by the Cartolari family, his heirs, will be featured as a set. As a whole, the installation commemorates Rotari’s inclination to summon his muses and celebrates the 310th anniversary of the artist’s birth.