The surprising exhibition of historic and artistic Vespa scooters, “La Vespa nella storia e nell’arte” – Vespe storiche e Opere d’Arte (“Vespa in the history and in the art – Historical Vespas and Art works”) at the Macist Museum in Biella (Turin), Northern Italy, until 30 June 2018 is a kaleidoscopic tribute to a world-famous icon that originated in the northern Italian town of Biella more than 70 years ago. No fewer than 37 artists, invited by Omar Ronda, have decided to pay homage to the Vespa. The works on display include pieces by Biella natives Ugo Nespolo, Daniele Basso, Paolo Vegas and Francesco Pavignano, as well as two brightly coloured sculptures by Omar Ronda: “C…. che Vespa!” (“What a Vespa!”), a work from 2006 revised just a few months ago specifically for the exhibition, and a new piece, “Vespa Marilyn Monroe” (2017), dedicated to the ultimate pop icon, regarded by the artist as his muse. The curator is Mark Bertazzoli.
The exhibition presents works by leading contemporary artists: Luca Alinari; Andy Fluon; Daniele Basso; Nazareno Biondo; Dario Brevi; Francesco Capello; Felipe Cardeña; Cristiano Carotti; Gianni Cella; Gerolamo Ciulla; Nando Crippa; Roberto Curoso; Gianni Depaoli; Bruno Donzelli; Lorenzo Filomeni; Camillo Francia; Maurizio Galimberti; Titti Garelli; Annamaria Gelmi; Lady Be; Gabriele Lamberti; Marco Lodola; Danilo Marchi Nuti; Umberto Mariani; Luciano Molinari; Giancarlo Montuschi; Antonio Murgia; Ugo Nespolo; Francesco Pavignano; Plumcake; Omar Ronda; Anacleto Spazzapan; Vittorio Valente; Tiziana Vanetti; Paolo Vegas; Roberto Vota. Using their preferred semantics, expressions, techniques and materials, each artist interprets the Vespa on the basis of their personal sensations and ideas, to offer visitors a truly memorable experience.
In addition to the art pieces, “La Vespa nella Storia e nell’Arte” presents a wide selection of vintage Vespa scooters from a period ranging from the end of the 1940s to the 1980s, lent for the occasion by the members of the Biella Vespa Club.
Curator Mark Bertazzoli comments: “La Vespa nella Storia e nell’Arte” is not just the MACIST’s tribute to the Vespa, an Italian industrial legend, a design icon and a symbol of light-hearted freedom. The vision behind this project operates at two levels, flanking a display of vintage Vespa scooters with around forty exclusive artworks from leading contemporary artists, most of them created specifically for the occasion. With its dual nature, historical and artistic, the exhibition is an original event. The origins of the Vespa are closely linked to Biella, which in the postwar period was home to the Piaggio factory and technical project office, where the forerunner of the Vespa – the MP5, aka “Paperino” [Donald Duck, ed.] – was produced. However, the true prototype of the Vespa was the MP6 test model commissioned by Enrico Piaggio and designed by aeronautical engineer Corradino D’Ascanio at the end of 1945, whose first test was on the road leading up from Biella to Oropa.”
A SPECIAL MUSEUM. The M.A.C.I.S.T. project “Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Internazionale Senza Tendenze” (“Museum of Contemporary Art Without Trends”) developed from an idea by Omar Ronda (founder, artistic director and chairman, who died in December 2017) and the sensitivity of a number of collectors and many internationally famous artists, who decided to donate or lend their works to support the prevention, treatment and research activities of the Edo and Elvo Tempia foundation, which has been fighting cancer for more than 34 years.
Prof. Philippe Daverio (above left with Omar Ronda) chairs the Honorary Committee. The museum is open to everyone, free of charge, on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. (except July and August). It offers visitors the opportunity to admire permanent and temporary exhibitions of the best of contemporary art, with no particular tendencies or messages other than quality and the pleasure of sharing the ethical challenge set by the M.A.C.I.S.T. Museum: admire Art by supporting the fight against cancer.
MACIST MUSEUM WEBSITE:
PERMANENT COLLECTION OF ARTISTIC VESPA SCOOTERS AT THE PIAGGIO MUSEUM. In addition to its important collections of vintage vehicles, the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera (Pisa) displays a series of Vespa scooters signed by leading artists, beginning with the celebrated Vespa Dalì, decorated by Salvador Dalì in 1962 and considered the world’s most valuable Vespa.
Click on the link to see the whole collection: