Corrado Cagli: Opening Lecture by Curator Raffaele Bedarida


October 17, 2023, 6:00 PM

General admission: $15; Member & Students: FREE


Join curator Raffaele Bederida who will present CIMA’s new exhibition Transatlantic Bridges: Corrado Cagli, 1938-1948, and will analyze some of the key works exhibited in the show. 

During the 1930s, Cagli was active as a painter working on public projects commissioned by the Italian fascist regime, including the 1937 Paris Expo, for which his paintings were part of an official government-sanctioned pavilion. It was only after 1937 that Cagli faced the full force of the regime as the number of critics and fascist party intellectuals attacking his work and persona grew.
As a Jewish and openly gay artist, starting in 1937, Cagli became the target of antisemitic attacks from reactionary critics within the fascist regime. As Italy promulgated its racial laws in 1938, Cagli left the country for the United States, where he became a protagonist of the New York émigré artistic scene.

Besides addressing the themes of war, exile, and discrimination, Raffaele will illustrate how the works in the exhibition also relate to Cagli’s multifaceted engagement with the New York Surrealist and Neo-romantic milieu, as well as his collaboration with George Balanchine and the Ballet Society.

Light refreshments will be provided!

About the curator: Raffaele Bedarida, PhD. Dr. Bedarida, associate professor of Art History at Cooper Union, is an art historian and curator specializing in transnational modernism and politics. Since he joined The Cooper Union full-time faculty in 2016, he has coordinated the History and Theory of Art program. Bedarida holds a Ph.D. from the Art History Department of the CUNY Graduate Center, New York as well as M.A. and B.A. degrees in Art History from the Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy. His research has focused on cultural diplomacy, migration, and exchange between Italy and the United States. He has also worked on exhibition history, censorship, and propaganda under Fascism and during the Cold War, from Futurism to Arte Povera. Since 2008, when he founded and curated the residency program Harlem Studio Fellowship in New York, Bedarida has actively promoted programs of international exchange for emerging artists. In addition to his academic and curatorial activities, Bedarida has regularly lectured on modern and contemporary art topics at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and MoMA. Bedarida has authored three monographs: Bepi Romagnoni: Il Nuovo Racconto (Milan: Silvana, 2005); Corrado Cagli: la pittura, l’esilio, l’America (Rome: Donzelli, 2018; English edition: CPL Editions, in press); Exhibiting Italian Art in the US. Futurism to Arte Povera (London-New York: Routledge, 2022). He has also edited many volumes, among which: Methodologies of Exchange: Twentieth Century Italian Art at MoMA, 1949, with Davide Colombo and Silvia Bignami, special issue of Italian Modern Art, January 2020; Gianfranco Baruchello: Painters Ain’t Butterflies (Macerata: Quodlibet, 2021); Curating Fascism: Exhibitions and Memory from the Fall of Mussolini to Today, with Sharon Hecker (London-New York: Bloomsbury, 2022). His academic articles and essays have been published extensively in periodicals, such as Oxford Art Journal, International Yearbook of Futurism Studies, Italian Modern Art, and Artforum, and in exhibition catalogues. Bedarida’s upcoming publications is: Author, Corrado Cagli: Exile, Painting, America 1938-1947, monograph (New York: Primo Levi Center Editions, in press).


Public programming at CIMA is made possible with the generous support of Tiro a Segno Foundation