Modigliani astounds London
Text Francesco Musolino
Amedeo Modigliani arrives in London and amazes. The hugest and most complex retrospective on the Italian artist (until 2nd April 2018) has been inaugurated at the London Tate Modern, starting from a fervid period spent in Paris in 1906. Killed at the age of 35 by a lethal mix of opium, alcohol and tuberculosis, Modigliani has left his mark on time and the over one-hundred works exhibited are a refulgent example of his talent. The wide turquoise rooms of the Tate are brimming with his paintings, starting from the portraits of his renown friends – from Picasso to Jean Cocteau and Max Jacob – with whom he was used to linger until late at night in Montparnasse.
The main exhibition space is dedicated to his numerous women, the muses depicted by the artist from Livorno – Beatrice Hastings and Jeanne Hebuterne for instance– followed by tapering, provocative and slinky nudes of ladies workers and streetwalkers, unknown figures captured by the artist’s fantasy. His sculptures as well, perhaps less famous, have a certain space of regard– feminine heads with tribal appearance, oblong faces with almond-shaped eyes – and the well-known group of twelve nudes, due to which Modigliani was arrested for indecency in 1917, is displayed in the main gallery, finally there for all to see.
Amidst colours and faces that will be forever connected with the history of art, visitors will also have the possibility of viewing the artist’s atelier in Rue de la Grande-Chaumière in Montparnasse, through The Ochre Atelier room by means of virtual reality. One hundred years after the scandal for having depicted a woman’s pubic hair, Modigliani is being celebrated at the Tate. And this is a veritable historical event.