From the MoMA website: Museum of Modern Art,
11 W 53rd St New York, NY 10019
September 28, 2013–February 9, 2014Theater 1 Gallery, T1
Theater 2 Gallery, T2
Held in conjunction with the film exhibition Dante Ferretti: Designing for the Big Screen
Since 1969 Dante Ferretti, a protégé of Federico Fellini, has served as the production designer on over 50 feature films, 24 opera productions, and over a dozen television, museum, fashion, festival, and publication projects, working with the likes of fashion icon Valentino and directors Liliana Cavani and David Cronenberg, among others. His career-defining work has been done in collaboration with filmmakers Pier Paolo Pasolini, Fellini, and Martin Scorsese. In Italy, North America, and Britain, he has also created designs with directors Luigi Comencini, Marco Ferreri, Elio Petri, Sergio Citti, Mario Camerini, Franco Zefferelli, Ettore Scola, Dino Risi, Marco Bellocchio, Luigi Zampa, Franco Brusati, Luciano Salce, Tim Burton, Brian DePalma, Terry Gilliam, Julie Taymor, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Martin Brest, Neil Jordan, and Anthony Minghella. He has received the Academy Award, the British BAFTA, and the Italian David Di Donatello.
Dante Ferretti: Design and Construction for the Cinema examines design practice for film through the lens of Ferretti’s work, which is distinguished by the structural role it plays in the collaborative process of cinema art. As digital technology transforms the way films are staged, replacing the real with the virtual, Ferretti’s work comes at what may be the end of a 100-year-long tradition of full-scale, studio-built environments for films. This exhibition also serves to document this transitioning of cinema practice through its selection and organization of drawings, large-scale installations, and digital projection.
The center of the exhibition is a large labyrinth of screens, set between the pillars in the Titus 1 Lobby, onto which are projected highlights from Ferretti’s film work. Sketches, drawings, and design objects will be installed throughout the three floors to further illuminate the artistic skill of one of the masters of the craft. A selection of 22 films whose overall look and feel are defined by Ferretti’s production design will be screened in Titus Theater 1.
Constructing “a working space for narrative” is how production designer Ferretti describes his role in the collaborative process of filmmaking. A key characteristic of his approach, especially in his fruitful associations with Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini, and Martin Scorsese, is his practice of conceiving, for each project, a single set piece intended to stimulate the director’s imagination and crystallize the visual style and character of the film. Indulging his preference for both dreamlike and historical subjects, and drawing on his knowledge of painting, sculpture, and poetry, Ferretti categorizes his designs as “period” (Salò), “fantasy” (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen), or “contemporary” (Todo Modo). Inspired by the grand-scale, operatic traditions of classical Italian cinema, Ferretti’s work is most effectively viewed as it was originally intended: on the big screen. Presented in conjunction with MoMA’s Dante Ferretti gallery exhibition, this 22-film retrospective demonstrates how the designer’s settings have served to guide directorial practice with signature distinction.
Over more than four decades of innovative, distinguished design work, Ferretti has received numerous awards, including three Academy Awards, three British BAFTAs, and several Italian David Di Donatello awards.
Dante Ferretti: Design and Construction for the Cinema is presented by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in collaboration with Luce Cinecittà, Rome.
Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator, and Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art; with Antonio Monda, author and professor, New York University; and Marina Sagona, artist. Special thanks to Cinecittà World.
The exhibition is supported by the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.