In comparison to its rich artistic history, Italy – and especially Rome – has only recently become focused on actively showcasing and promoting its contemporary art and culture. This has resulted in the proliferation of contemporary galleries and institutions, and also a rise in the international reputation of emerging Italian artists. Looking at both the private and government funded venues, we pick ten of most influential contemporary art institutions in Rome.
Art Gallery, Museum
MACRO is a contemporary art museum housed in two locations: the old Peroni beer factory and the two buildings that once comprised the old slaughterhouse in Testaccio. The site is actively involved in supporting contemporary artistic and cultural production, and runs numerous programs including MACROExpo, MACROLAB and MACROLive. It houses a permanent installation by Daniel Buren, created specifically for the museum. Another project, in partnership with UniCredit, is titled So how are / The Way They Are and exhibits an extensive photo gallery of portraits of artists from different generations.
Kick-started by a London art dealer and set in a converted stable, this is one of Rome’s most established private galleries. Gallery Loran O’Neill Roma was also one of the first to attract major international names, such as Tracey Emin and Martin Creed. The gallery has also shown international artists including Anselm Kiefer and has provided a space for local Italian artists like Luigi Ontani and Pietro Ruffo.
This is Rome’s first national museum dedicated entirely to contemporary art. MAXXI’s sole aim is to gain awareness and promote contemporary creative practice in Italy, a nation characterised by centuries of dedication in artistic and architectural fields. The building is a unique creation with sweeping interiors and an intriguing use of space. It is located north of the centre of Rome, in the Flaminio neighbourhood, on the site of a former military barracks.
The Chiostro del Bramante is a culture and arts center, and is set in a stunning example of Renaissance architecture designed by Donato Bramante (1444-1515). It holds spaces that extend below the surface of the cloister which have been completely renovated, and are now ideal for performances and small exhibitions of young artists. Dart Chiostro del Bramante is the institution managing the museum and multi-function area of this venue. The mission of the institution has always been to make the Chiostro a space open to the public and to offer an extensive range of cultural services.
The Monitor gallery’s main goal is to offer an experimental space for a new generation of artists. The space contains a calm interior, complementing the unique collection of video and contemporary art that the gallery specialises in. It showcases an impressive framework of well-known artists, including Antonio Rovaldi, Kostis Velonis, and Alexandre Singh.
Frutta gallery was founded by a newcomer both to Rome and to running a gallery, 25-year-old James Gardner from Glasgow. Utilising the small dimensions of the gallery, Gardner has successfully communicated a playful and efficient use of space. Frutta supports international and local artists including Gabriele De Santis, Nicholas Matranga, Jacopo Miliani, John Henry Newton and Oliver Osborne.
The Furini Arte Contemporanea Gallery aims to discover and support the work of innovative young artists from Italy and from across the world by organising exhibitions in its gallery and public spaces. The gallery is interested in the different artistic languages of young practitioners who communicate their own point of view on contemporary society, through working with photography, drawing, painting, sculptures, installation and video.
Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery
The Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery Tel Aviv was founded in June 2011 by the Italian gallerist Ermanno Tedeschi who owns three other galleries in Torine, Rome and Milan. The gallery aims to create a bridge between the Italian, European and Israeli art scenes. Since opening, it has hosted well-known artists such as Vallerio Berruti, Enrico de Paris, David Kassman, Moshe Gordon, Alex Pinna and many others. It also hosts emerging talents including Keren Paz, Sharon Pazner, and Alona Harpaz.