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"Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance".

A caravan of dreams is pulling into the Frist Center in Nashville, Tennessee. "Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945-1975" convenes some of the most significant Italian cars and motorcycles of the postwar era, a veritable checklist of landmark designs. It is also something of a homecoming moment for the show's curator, Ken Gross, who staged an exhibition of Art Deco vehicles at the Frist Center in 2013. While it helped that the museum is housed in a cavernous, marble-columned former post office that could properly show off the caliber and quantity of vehicles in "Bellissima!," its ultimate realization is a testament to Gross's persistence--and persuasiveness--as a curator. 'We probably could've had just one B.A.T.," he says, referencing a trio of Carrozzeria Bertone-designed, Jetsons-evoking Alfa Romeos (B.A.T. stands for "Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica"). Instead, Gross landed all three. "I'm not a car person myself, and I'm the first person to tell Ken that," says the Frist Center's chief curator, Mark Scala. "But we do want people to ask, 'Where do aesthetics lie?' They're in your kitchen, they're in your garage." Nineteen vehicles are burdened with illuminating the three-decade span. There's the 1970 Lancia Stratos HF, one of the first--and still among the most extreme--wedge designs, plus more traditionally sensuous models like the 1950 Cisitalia 202. "Bellissima!" is focused on "statements" and "excitement," Gross says, not on rareness or monetary value. Still, to visit a former post office and glimpse a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is to grasp the phrase "special delivery."

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Title Annotation:EXHIBIT
Author:Schultz, Jonathan
Publication:Surface
Date:Jun 1, 2016
Words:259
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