New York’s Museum of Modern Art is honoring a sometimes overlooked hero of modern cinema with its dazzling new exhibition Dante Ferretti: Design and Construction for the Cinema, produced in collaboration with Rome’s Luce Cinecittà. Among the most sought-after production designers working anywhere in the world, the versatile Ferretti has envisioned—and, in traditional fashion, supervised the actual construction of—worlds of extravagance, whimsy, and gritty reality for filmmakers in Italy, the U.S., and beyond. Winding through MoMA’s gallery—its walls decorated with twenty-two large concept drawings; its center occupied by a labyrinth of screens showing thirty-five soundless film clips—one realizes how essential Ferretti has been to the aesthetics of Federico Fellini, Terry Gilliam, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Martin Scorsese, and other purveyors of visual astonishments. Also on view are pieces salvaged from the sets of Pasolini’s Salò and Scorsese’s Hugo. The exhibit is up through February 2014, and will coincide with a screening series at the museum, Dante Ferretti: Designing for the Big Screen.
In this gallery, check out a few of the sights from MoMA’s show, followed by images of Ferretti’s work in the films it was created for. Above: concept art from Fellini’s City of Women (1980) and Ginger and Fred (1986).
Photos by Casey Moore