Rome's Gallery of Modern Art, founded during Fascism, now reopens

December 1, 2011. After being closed for eight years, the city of Rome has reopened its Gallery of Modern Art. The new headquarters was actually a convent and its first exhibition is called “Places, figures and still life.” From over 3,100 art pieces in the collection, only 140 were selected for this exhibit. These paintings and sculptures make up the heart of Italian art from the late nineteenth to mid twentieth century.

Umberto Broccoli
Director, Cultural Heritage Foundation (Rome)

“The place was almost forgotten. In 2008 we began the work, and we've created this final site that is not only what we see around us, sculptures and paintings on display, but also what's in the warehouses and storage, which are extremely important.”

The idea is to showcase and rotate the artwork that's in storage, so the public can have a chance to see the entire collection.
Most of the pieces deal with the human figure,  like this painting for example, titled  “A Woman with Flowers” by Adolfo De Carolis, where the artist pays tribute to the female body. This painting known as “In The Park” by Amedeo Bocchi, shows his work in combining light and color.

Maria Catalano
“Places, figures and still life”

“Another issue is the double perspective of Rome as it's seen and heard. Rome was always a favorite subject for the artists of that time, as an international capital of culture that still remains today. There is also a still life section, and the focus of  shape of the object. It's a genre that was key during the twentieth century.”

Among the works dedicated to the Italian capital, there are several that deal with homes and monuments.  Perhaps, among the most striking are “Still life with musical instruments,” as well as the “Red Lock” by the futuristic painter Carlo Carrà.

The exhibit also includes water colors, charcoals and mosaics. But for many the main attraction will be the collection of sculptures.

Maria Catalano
“Places, figures and still life”

“It plays a very important role. It becomes at type of protagonist, especially in natural settings. We kept a cloister from the former monastery and on both sides of the cloister we can see the most important sculptures.”

Sculptures like “The Bather,” symbolize  individualism. It was a concept that went against  Italy's fascist era in the 1930's. Others, like “The Horse,” are reminiscent of works from classical Greece.

The exhibit will be open to the public until April 15. Although organizers are working on showcasing more exhibits in different locations.

 
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