Rome - When MAXXI – National Museum of XXI Century Arts – opened in May 2010 it was acknowledged for being very successful for its use of innovative architectural forms. The building went on to become the most important institution on contemporary art in Rome, and probably Italy.
The museum was designed by the architect Zaha Hadid after winning an international design competition. Zaha Hadid, now an internationally regarded architect, was born in Baghdad (Iraq) in 1950, she went on to study math at the American University in Beruit before moving to London to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA). Hadid went on to work with many well-known architects and in 1980 she opened her studio in London as well as teaching at the AA. In 2004 Zaha Hadid became the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, one of the world’s premier architecture prizes.
The building of MAXXI is situated in the Flaminio neighborhood of Rome. In the late twentieth century the Flaminio neighborhood has seen a complete renewal and redevelopment. Starting from the urban regeneration for the 1960 Olympics to the construction of the Auditorium Parco della Musica, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. So, the Flaminio neighborhood with MAXXI has become a truly modern area in the center of Rome. The museum presents all the typical traits of Zaha Hadid deconstructivist architecture: pure, “futurist”, bright lines, fragmentation and non-rectilinear shapes. The modern style of MAXXI might seem contrastive with the surrounding Roman historical architecture, but the building has been perfectly inserted into the area.
The museum is a wavy and dynamic structure made from concrete. It consists of three levels. The overwhelming white interior is complemented with scattered red oblong tubes, which along with the black stairs give movement to the building. From the outside you can look up to the beautiful glass window.
MAXXI dedicate exhibitions to the most important personality of contemporary art and architecture. The museum’s huge size allows them to host many exhibitions at the same time, allowing a mix of art, architecture, photography and more!
You can visit in the Carlo Scarpa Hall the exhibition of Paola De Pietri “To Face, landscape along the Austrian and Italian front of the first world war”. Here there are many big and beautiful photographs that represent mountain landscapes with caverns, rocks, plants, snow and fog. Commenting on his works the artist said: “the innocence of the present appears to have cancelled the violence of the past.”
In the Claudia Gian Ferrari Hall there is the exhibition called “Acting out, Italian artists in action” that presents some performances held at MAXXI in June. These artists are Alex Cecchetti, Bruna Esposito and Marzia Migliora. In their performances they want to involve the public and they work on the relationship between space, art work and the public. Artists consider the social, political and historical reality around them. In the hall there are also photographs, videos and documents about performing art.
MAXXI also pays attention to young architects, in fact in Gallery 1, after the wonderful work of Anish Kapoor "Widow", you can see some works of YAP MAXXI. It's an annual program developed in partnership with MoMA PS1 of New York and this year also with Constructo of Santiago de Chile. The program also has an architecture studio project, an area where people can stay for summer events. This year the winner is UNITE, a project developed by the New York-Rome studio Urban Movement Design Unite. In the square outside the museum, you can see a long and winding band/path composed of wood and turf where people can sit.
Going upstairs on the first floor in Gallery 2 you find “Models” are some architectural models from the MAXXI Architecture collection are presented, highlighting the necessity of models in the building process before modern-day digital representations and renderings. There are example models by Aldo Rossi and Massimiliano Fuksas along with others.
The exhibition in Gallery 3 is called “Tridimensionale”, it presents works by artists who question the relationship between space and objects. In the highest terrace of the Gallery there are some works by Remo Salvadori, in the second one works by Maurizio Mochetti and in the last one international artists works like Juan Muňoz, Thomas Schütte and Franz West. At the end you can see drawings and works Jorge+Lucy Orta entitled "Fabulae Romanae" inspired by suggestions from the city of Rome.
In Gallery 4 you find the beautiful exhibition “Regarding Marisa Merz” that presents the feminine universe of Marisa Merz, with a particular highlight on a work recently acquired by MAXXI. In this installation the artist combines traditional materials characteristics of her work such as clay, copper and paper that create women when put together. These figures create a kind of “Sacred conversation” also because the structure of the work is a traditional Italian diptych. The gallery also features works by famous artists Alighiero Boetti and Franz West, along with artists influenced by Marisa Merz, carrying the reflexion brought by Arte Povera movement, such as Rosa Barbra, Ketty La Rocca, Jim Isermann, Rosemarie Trockel, Luisa Lambri, Claudia Losi, Paola Pivi, Kara Walker and Elisabetta Benassi.
If you are in Rome you have to see this wonderful white example of contemporary architecture inside this ancient city.
MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI Secolo, 4a via Guido Reni, Rome, Italy
-Paola De Pietri “To Face, landscape along the Austrian and Italian front of the first world war” from May 17th to September 30, 2012
-“Acting out, Italian artists in action” from June 27th to September 9th, 2012
-YAP MAXXI from June 16th to November 4th, 2012
-“Models” from July 19th 2012 to April 2nd 2013
Art - Exhibitions
by Francesca Agabiti | Monday, 13 August 2012