Ruggero Alfredo Michahelles, (1898-1976) – in art RAM – is best known as a Tuscan Futurist, who along with his brother Thayhat was at the center of the Italian avant-garde of the early years of the last century. The artist ran with Marinetti’s band of Futurists, yet there were other hidden aspects to the man’s personality and artistic inquiry. Jarring is perhaps a word to describe the tension between his fascination with Futurist ideas of Progress and his output as painter of the metaphysical. He explored, in paint, and with open mind, silence and empty, still spaces. His was a research into a timeless beauty that took as his own classical forms – yet his works still embody, and exude all the tensions of those Modern times.
“RAM. La Realtà Metafisica” at the Centro Matteucci in Viareggio, chronicles the artists’ journeys through the “neometaphysical experience” which began in the 30s. A journey which led him to Paris, and the company of other “Italiens de Paris” such as Magnelli, Paresce, Tozzi and De Chirico. In 1936 he exhibits at “Le Niveau” gallery and De Chirico himself wrote “If it is the artist’s intention to create beautiful things, Michahelles succeeds through canvases that know how to enlarge walls, beautify rooms, and all without forgetting the greatest of challenges: he knows how to give works with which we would like to live with.”
The exhibition at the Centro Matteucci, focuses on works from this stage of the painter’s voyage: there’s his “Island without Shadows,” and his enigmatic and faceless mannequins by the seaside. We are treated also to a peek at RAM, the sculptor – we get to see his “Quadriga” defined by Marinetti as “Power Strength, Horses, Engines” a work produced by the artist for MGM’s first theatrical release of “Ben Hur” and which cemented the artist’s fame at the Venice Biennale of 1937.
“RAM. La Realtà Metafisica”
Curated by Francesco Palminteri and Susanna Ragionieri
Until the 2nd of June, 2014
Fondazione Centro Matteucci per l’Arte Moderna
Via G. D’Annunzio, 28
Tickets: 5 euro
Info: tel. 0584 430614
Hours: Thursday and Friday 3:30pm to 7:30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am to 1:00pm and 3:30pm to 7:30pm