In February, for the Carnevale di Venezia and in collaboration with the City Council which promotes its activities, the Biennale will present La maschera del teatro, an international exhibition dedicated to the long, intense activity of Amleto (1915-1962) and Donato Sartori, the two Paduan artists – father and son – known throughout the world for their work using an ancient, symbolic and evocative tool of the theatre, the mask.
Amleto Sartori was responsible for the masks of the reborn commedia dell’arte for the performances staged by great directors, from Giorgio Strehler to Jean-Louis Barrault, for the most famous Harlequins of this century, Marcello Moretti and Ferruccio Soleri, but also for Eduardo De Filippo, Jacques Lecoq and many leading European actors. Following the death of his father in 1962, Donato Sartori, sculptor and performer, continued the association with Strehler, creating the masks for Brecht’s Galileo and for Ferruccio Soleri’s Harlequin, as well as with Lecoq and Dario Fo, while at the same time launching a new collaboration with avant-garde theatre in America and Europe – from Eugenio Barba’s Odin Teatret to Peter Oskarson and Moni Ovadia – realising multidisciplinary and multimedia productions.
Conceived as an imaginary voyage through the historic phases of the mask and its use in theatre, from ancient Greece to the Roman Empire, from the extraordinary medieval world and its hell to the commedia dell’arte and on to Goldoni and the new theatre, the exhibition is the natural introduction to the 39th International Theatre Festival, which will round off the survey of the work of Carlo Goldoni, which began this year with the latest edition of the festival, dedicated to Gozzi and Goldoni, Europeans.
This special voyage through mask will conclude with the magical theatricality created by the “urban maskings” of Donato Sartori, a broadening of the concept of the mask to include the open and architectural spaces of the city, tried and tested – before being exported throughout the – in 1980 with the astonishing masking of St. Mark’s Square in Venice, in the first of the Carnivals directed by Maurizio Scaparro.