The Quadriennale exhibitions have been held more or less regularly since their first edition in 1931, thus fulfilling their statutory task of being a means to exhibit Italian artistic production, especially that of the latest generations.
As with all cultural expressions, the Art Quadriennials have not only ‘surveyed’ Italy’s visual arts; they have mirrored and echoed ideologies and ideas, customs and History, political and personal passions, thereby telling a story that goes far beyond art, although it is perhaps precisely through art that they have been able to give said story greater depth or lightness, new perspectives and unexpected syntheses.
Thousands of artists from Italy and abroad have participated in the Quadriennale exhibitions, once again supporting the transformation of the idea of ‘Italianness’ that generations have felt they could share and ‘experience’.
From the surprisingly successful first editions, which featured hundreds of artists and thousands of paintings, sculptures and graphic works selected by commissions formed largely by the artists themselves, to the most recent editions, which have shown the need for more specific and explicit points of view from one or more curators, the Quadriennale exhibitions have accounted for the transformation undergone by the visual arts and their ability to be an expression of their times. Through the documents conserved in the Archive Library, which is the living memory of the Institution, the history of Italian art unfolds along with the succession of artistic movements, the emergence of new protagonists, the changes in the setting up of exhibitions, the inclinations of critics, the choices of collectors, and the strategies to support artists and their production.