Rome may be known for its amazing cultural and historical heritage, but it still manages to surprise and delight with its innovative and eclectic contemporary art scene and museums such as the MAXXI and MACRO. Over the past decades, the Italian capital has witnessed the proliferation of contemporary art galleries, from big international names to smaller, local ones. Here are ten of the most influential contemporary art galleries in Rome for 2014.
L’Attico di Fabio Sargentini
Within a few short years after its opening in 1957, Bruno Sargentini’s ‘Attic’ achieved international recognition by showcasing some of the most interesting artists at the time, such as Giuseppe Capogrossi, Leoncillo Leonardi, Lucio Fontana and Mario Mafai. Still now, Fabio Sargentini constantly surprises his audience by creating inventive and original exhibitions. In 1976, for example, he flooded the exhibition space with 50,000 litres of water, creating a whimsical ‘enchanted lake’. The gallerist has also organised experimental theatre exhibitions in at the L’Attico, which is a space that transcends the boundaries of a contemporary gallery, becoming a space where every form of artistic expression can thrive. L’Attico di Fabio Sargentini, Via del Paradiso 41, Rome, Italy, +39 06 686 9846
Officine Fotografiche is a more than an exhibition space; it’s a non-profit organisation that hosts the entire spectrum of activities related to photography. From traditional-style exhibitions to competitions and classes, Officine Fotografiche is the centre for photographic arts in Rome, situated in a former industrial area that has recently undergone a complete transformation and, thanks to universities, museums, and the gallery, has become a modern factory of culture and leisure. Officine Fotografiche, Via Giuseppe Libetta 1, Rome, Italy, +39 06 9727 4721
Galleria Lorcan O’Neill
Galleria Lorcan O’Neill is one of Rome’s most renowned art galleries. The gallery is directed by Irish art connoisseur Lorcan O’Neill who, through his work, has brought to Rome numerous avant-garde and controversial contemporary artists. In 2013 Lorcan O’Neill inaugurated its third exhibition space in Rome with a solo exhibition of work by Enrico Castellani, Richard Long and Jeff Wall, much of which was site-specific. Viocolo Dei Catinari 3, Rome, Italy, +39 06 6889-2980
As its name suggests, Mondo Bizzaro, literally ‘bizarre world’, offers a unique perspective on contemporary art. The most unusual forms of artistic expression are welcomed in the little gallery found in a side street of the San Lorenzo neighbourhood. The gallery specialises in pop surrealism, erotic photography and urban art and has been surprising its audience since 1995 when it first opened in Bologna. A recent exhibition, named HOMUNCULUS, featured the digital art of Andrea Simoncini Gibson. Mondo Bizzaro also has an interesting bookshop where visitors can find a wide range of art magazines and catalogues from previous exhibitions. Mondo Bizzarro, Via degli Equi 18/A, Rome, Italy, +39 06 9259 5181
Just like the intense shade of red it takes its name from, Rosso Cinabro represents an extraordinary passion for art. Thanks to the guidance of its director Cristina Madini, over the years Rosso Cinabro has become a flower – albeit still somewhat niche – in the direct vicinity of the beautiful Villa Borghese. The gallery has organised over 100 exhibitions in the past four years, from solo shows of interesting artists from abroad to collective exhibitions of up-and-coming local creatives. Rosso Cinabro, Via Raffaele Cadorna 28, Rome, Italy, +39 06 6065 8125
By Oreste Giorgio Spinelli
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