ROME–‘Dante Ferretti the American’ could be the title of film and instead will become reality when New York’s Museum Of Modern Art will pay homage to one of the world’s most important art directors on September 25, with the Master Class on cinema entitled Dante Ferretti: Design and Construction for the Cinema, and when on October 16 First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes him to the White House.
The exhibition is a retrospective of over 40 years of Italian and international cinematography, through the work of the art director who made the fantasies of the greatest film directors come true. Fifty drawings made for the sets of various films will be on show, including for example part of the chandeliers used for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film “Salò”, the Venice Lions made for the Italian film festival, as well as two statues inspired by the artist Arcimboldo that will then be sent to Milan’s Expo. Ferretti, who had won three Oscars, the last in 2012 together with his precious associate set designer Francesca Lo Schiavo for Martin Scorsese’s Hugo Cabret.
This film was the first but not last experience in 3D for an artist who has moved from television to the cinema, to opera and to art exhibitions with the greatest ease. Recently Ferretti has been in London working on the film “Cinderella”, produced by Disney and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Returning to the “American” Ferretti, this exhibition presented by the Museum of Modern Art has been organised in cooperation with Cinecittà Luce. Organised by associate curator Ron Magliozzi and the MoMa’s cinema department curator Jytte Jensen, the exhibition also involved cooperation from Antonio Monda, a professor at New York University and the artist Marina Sagona. The exhibition at the MoMA also emphasises the fact that digital technology is changing the manner in which sets are created, replacing what is real with the virtual, and the work of set designers may now perhaps be part of the end of a glorious century-old tradition that required all film sets to be manually built. The exhibition therefore also documents this transition putting on show projects, sketches, scripts and large installations.