TRANSATLANTIC BRIDGES: CORRADO CAGLI, 1938-1948 Until 27 January 2024 – New York, CIMA – Center for Italian Modern Art

Until January 27, 2024
New York, CIMA – Center for Italian Modern Art
421 Broome St


The Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) inaugurated the exhibition Transatlantic Bridges: Corrado Cagli, 1938-1948, dedicated to the Italian Jewish artist Corrado Cagli (1910-1976).
The exhibition, curated by Professor Raffaele Bedarida of Cooper Union University, aims to shed light on the fascinating human and intellectual journey undertaken by Cagli during the years spent in the United States, between 1938 and 1948, delving into aspects of Cagli’s life during the 1930s, when he was forced to leave his native country to escape censorship and persecution.

A talented painter, Cagli was actively involved in public projects commissioned by the Italian fascist regime. However, after 1937, Cagli’s work attracted fierce criticism from reactionary entities within the fascist establishment. As a Jewish and openly homosexual artist, Cagli became the target of virulent attacks, especially following the promulgation of the racial laws of 1938 in Italy.

Due to such hostile conditions, Cagli chose to leave his homeland and seek refuge in the United States. In America he became an influential figure in the cultural and artistic milieu of New York emigrants. He found a response in the neo-romantic environment headed by the Julian Levy Gallery and the Wadsworth Atheneum. He was active in the anti-Breton surrealist milieu of View magazine and became a key figure in New York gay culture, collaborating with artists involved with the Ballet Society and Harper’s Bazaar, and exhibiting at the Alexander Iolas gallery . During his ten-year stay in America, Cagli continued to produce and exhibit drawings, a medium that allowed him to question and criticize fascist rhetoric. As World War II raged, Cagli joined the US Army, training on the West Coast, before returning to Europe to participate in historic events, such as D-Day and the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp. At the end of the war Corrado Cagli played a crucial role in re-establishing cultural ties between Italy and the United States, collaborating with the MoMA, Irene Brin and the Roman gallery L’Obelisco.
The Center for Italian Modern Art’s new exhibition, which includes drawings, paintings, photos and ephemera, not only explores themes of war, exile and discrimination, but also highlights Cagli’s multifaceted engagement with the surrealist milieu and New York neo-romantic. Furthermore, the exhibition sheds light on his collaboration with George Balanchine and the Ballet Society, highlighting the depth and richness of his artistic legacy.

Curator Raffaele Bedarida, PhD, an art historian specializing in modernism and transnational politics, has extensive experience in the topics of cultural diplomacy, migration, and exchanges between Italy and the United States, and is therefore uniquely qualified to illustrate Cagli’s fascinating narrative . CIMA is honored to present Transatlantic Bridges: Corrado Cagli, 1938-1948, and proud to exhibit the work of an extraordinary artist whose life and work are a reminder of the themes of perseverance, transformation and artistic expression, possible despite the adversity. The exhibition will be a stimulating and in-depth exploration of an often overlooked chapter in the history of Italian and American art.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full calendar of events open to the public. Part of the programs is conceived in collaboration with the Primo Levi Center, which generously contributes to the analysis of Cagli’s life and work through the publication of the English-language edition of Raffaele Bedarida’s book on the artist.
A cycle of meetings and conversations with contemporary artists, conceived in response to the assignment of an award received by CIMA from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, will address the themes suggested by the Cagli exhibition.
All CIMA public events are made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the New York Shooting Range Foundation. The exhibition will be accompanied by a color catalog created in collaboration with the Cagli Archive of Rome.

Founded in 2013 by art historian Laura Mattioli, the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) is a non-profit public foundation dedicated to promoting modern and contemporary Italian art to an international audience. Through critically acclaimed exhibitions, a rich program of public events and a prestigious international scholarship program, CIMA places modern Italian art in new and broader historical and cultural contexts, highlighting its fundamental contribution to the development of international artistic culture.

Situated or in a bright loft in the historic SoHo neighborhood of New York City, CIMA offers an intimate setting that allows you to best appreciate the works of art. The guided tours of the exhibition, led by the research fellows that CIMA invites to New York as part of its educational mission, begin with the tasting of an espresso coffee and are followed by a tour of the exhibition designed to encourage a dialogue between fellows and visitors . CIMA’s public programs offer numerous opportunities to delve deeper into the themes of the exhibition and knowledge of Italian art; and constitute a platform aimed at promoting dialogue between artists, researchers, writers and other leading figures from the world of art and culture.


Opening hours Friday and Saturday 11am – 6pm. Guided tours 11am and 2pm.
From Monday to Thursday by appointment only for members

Entrance fee 15 USD for guided tours. $10 full
Free for members and students

Tel. info. +1 646 3703596 –

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