The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London, is launching its first crowd funding appeal to restore a Futurist masterpiece from the Collection, Carlo Carrà’s work ‘Leaving the Theatre’. The appeal which hopes to raise £3,000 was launched at www.nationalfundingscheme.org, 10 December 2014. Carlo Carrà’s ‘Leaving the Theatre’ of 1910 is a central painting from the Estorick’s internationally renowned permanent collection which consists of some 120 works of significant modern Italian art.
Since the Estorick opened in 1998, it has established a reputation as a key venue for bringing Italian art to the British public through permanent collection, displays, and temporary exhibitions throughout the six galleries of its Islington building. Roberta Cremoncini, Director of the Estorick Collection stated: ‘This is our first foray in to crowd funding and we hope our supporters and those people who love modern Italian art will help us raise the funds we need to preserve this important and much loved painting. A work of early Futurism, it is one of the most popular works in the Collection and is painted in the style typical of the movement’s initial phase. In it, Carrà really captures the dynamism of modern city life in shimmering dashes of paint that create a vivid sense of animation and flux.’
‘Leaving the Theatre’ requires urgent restoration; this is due to inadequate tensioning on the stretcher is causing the canvas to sag and become distorted. The conservation of the futurist work will be carried out by Ezio Buzzegoli, a specialist in his field who has worked on the restoration of Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo in Florence.
The painting was displayed in the famous 1912 Futurist exhibition at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Paris, being purchased by the banker Max Rothschild when the show travelled to London’s Sackville Gallery later that same year. ‘Leaving the Theatre’ was added to the Estorick Collection in late 1958. Over the years it has featured in many other landmark exhibitions, such as Futurismo & Futurismi (Venice: Palazzo Grassi, 1986), Italian Art in the 20th Century: Painting and Sculpture 1900-1988 (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1989), Futurism (London: Tate Modern, 2009) and lastly, Italian Futurism 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe (New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2014).