Roberto Capucci: Art into Fashion

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia PA

March 16th – June 5th 2011

Italian fashion designer and artist Roberto Capucci (born 1930) is revered by contemporary designers for his innovative silhouettes and masterful use of form, color, and materials. This exhibition–featuring over eighty works, as well as original drawings and sketches–will be the first survey of his work in the United States. It includes work ranging from the beginning of his career as a boy genius of Italian fashion to his legendary sculpture-dresses–including his seminal 1978 “Colonna” silhouette, based on the Doric column–as well as his series of sculptures from 2007 honoring the city of Florence.

Capucci refers to his work as “a study in form” inspired by art, architecture, and nature. His early career was intertwined with the rise of the Italian fashion industry and of Italian high fashion following World War II. He opened his first couture salon in Rome in 1950 at age twenty, and by 1956 the international press had declared him Italy’s best designer, lauding his “vigor, imagination, and uninhibited originality.” In 1962 he moved to Paris, where he created both classical and experimental collections, incorporating surprising materials such as plastic and stones.

Capucci returned to Rome in 1968, where he has continued his work as couturier and artist. For Capucci, the act of creation is a complete sensory experience; he has described it as an assault—of art, beauty, color, emotion, music, nature, poetry. For the viewer the experience is magical and unforgettable.

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Thank you to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for this information!

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