The Monza Biennial Exhibitions and the Deco style

The second floor continues the survey of the art of the 1920s. The early post-war years were characterised by a taste for decoration, which would later become the well defined Art Deco style. The first room offers an introduction to Italian Deco through the works exhibited at the Monza Biennial Exhibitions. The first Monza Biennial International Decorative Arts Exhibition was held in 1923 with the goal of revitalising the Italian art scene via direct comparison with what was happening in other countries. The exhibition was divided into regional sections and presented various examples such as Vittorio Zecchin’s dining room in the Veneto section, or Ettore Zaccari’s furniture in the Lombard section. While inspired by local tradition, these works link to the European art scene.

In 1925, the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris banished rustic art and declared the triumph of Art Deco, which derives its name precisely from this Parisian event. The style was popular in Italy into the early 1930s and is represented in the Wolfsoniana by Carlo Rizzarda’s wrought iron works, Gio Ponti’s ceramics for Richard Ginori, and Guido Andlovitz’s ceramics for the Società Ceramica Italiana of Laveno.