From 1 July to 4 September 2022, the Kunsthaus Zürich is presenting 500 works that reveal how Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini used drawing as a method of making scenes and characters for his movies.
Source: Kunsthaus Zürich – Image: Federico Fellini, Untitled (departure of the market ladies), 1972–1973 (Amarcord) Felt pen and fineliner, 25 x 35.2 cm. Jakob and Philipp Keel Collection, © 2022, ProLitteris, Zurich
What is an artist? A provincial who finds himself someplace between a bodily actuality and a metaphysical one… It’s this in-between that I’m calling a province, this frontier nation between the tangible world and the intangible one — which is de facto the realm of the artist.
Federico Fellini, 1991
Widely thought to be some of the necessary administrators within the historical past of cinema, and a number one determine of mid-Twentieth century Italian neorealism, Federico Fellini wants little or no introduction. But, past his side as a filmmaker, Fellini was additionally an avid draughtsman who noticed drawing as a necessary medium for the preparation of his movies. With some 500 works, the exhibition offered by the Kunsthaus Zürich sheds gentle on this little-known side of the Italian director.
In a press launch, the Kunsthaus Zürich explains: “Federico Fellini (1920–1993) is one of the most important directors in cinema history. Films such as ‘La strada’ (1954), ‘La dolce vita’ (1960), ‘Amarcord’ (1973) and ‘La città delle donne’ (1980) are classics that are discussed by culture practitioners internationally and loved by the public at large. They are incisive commentaries on Italian society but also on Western values in the 20th century. Less known is the fact that Fellini had been a tireless draughtsman since his youth, initially sketching out his dreams and ideas using a felt or ball-point pen or a fineliner on paper before arranging them on the set and letting the cameras roll.”
“In addition to individual scenes and details of sets, he was chiefly interested in the characters that populate his films. Drawing was one way in which he developed his thoughts about them. These rapid sketches helped to guide him, but he also used them to explain his ideas visually to the film crew. As a consequence of his artistic leanings – he first worked as a caricaturist and creator of humorous drawings for newspapers – Fellini’s film drawings show a marked tendency towards caricature, and even the grotesque. It is that specific style that makes the drawings remarkable artistic creations in their own right, independently of the films for which they were made.”