On May 28, the new MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts was inaugurated in L'Aquila (in the Abruzzo region). As is well known the MAXXI has its headquarters in Rome, in the futuristic building designed by Zaha Hadid. The new L'Aquila museum is housed in the baroque spaces of Palazzo Ardinghelli, an elegant 18th century building located in the heart of the city and now also a symbol of its rebirth. The baroque palace was recently skilfully restored by the technicians of the Italian Ministry of Culture, thanks to a generous financial contribution from the Russian Federation. The new MAXXI will be a research centre and a new hub of contemporary art and creativity, as well as a collaborative project between various national and international institutions which, through culture, aim to work together to support the relaunch of a territory severely tested by the 2009 earthquake and, over the past year, by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are more than a project “for” the region” affirmed Giovanna Melandri, President of Fondazione MAXXI during the inauguration that took place on May 28, “we are a project “with” the region. We are not a showcase alien to the city and the social, cultural and civil forces, but a meeting place, a place for exchanges and collaboration, a space open to all.”. Relying on the same model adopted in Rome, the MAXXI L'Aquila will also become a research and promotion centre on various artistic disciplines: art, architecture, photography and all the languages of contemporary creativity, experimenting in particular with the connections between art and science. In addition to the MunDA – the Abruzzo National Museum, a collaboration is also underway with the Gran Sasso Science Institute and with the National Institute of Nuclear Physics – Gran Sasso Laboratory, thanks to a photographic commission entrusted to artist Armin Linke.
“POINT OF EQUILIBRIUM. Thought Space Light from Toyo Ito to Ettore Spalletti” is the inaugural exhibition to be held at the new MAXXI L'Aquila. The exhibition, curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi and Margherita Guccione, is distributed throughout the spaces of Palazzo Ardinghelli not only in the exhibition rooms on the main floor, but also in the central courtyard, the grand staircase and the chapel. The spaces are animated by eight new site-specific works and by 60 iconic works that are already part of the MAXXI national public collection of art, architecture and photography.
As Bartolomeo Pietromarchi explained, in a period of great emergencies and uncertainty "art helps us to find a point of balance, an existential stability." The point of equilibrium therefore has an ethical and aesthetic, political and social significance. Margherita Guccione, on the other hand, underlined that "The rooms of Palazzo Ardinghelli provide the setting for an itinerary in which the works of art, which resonate with the new museum spaces, lead us to reflect on the value and meaning of "balance", understood both as a founding principle of architecture and an ideal point beyond which to push towards new visions, all with a view to the architecture and landscape of the future.” The site-specific works were commissioned to artists Elisabetta Benassi, Daniela De Lorenzo, Alberto Garutti, Nunzio and Ettore Spalletti, to whom the exhibition is dedicated, together with two photographic commissions, dedicated to the L'Aquila area and created by Paolo Pellegrin and Stefano Cerio, as well as the project conceived by Russian artist Anastasia Potemkina, produced in collaboration with the VA-C Foundation (Moscow). The works selected from the MAXXI collection are by artists that include Alighiero Boetti, Monica Bonvicini, Maurizio Cattelan, William Kentridge, Maria Lai, Piero Manzoni, Liliana Moro, Maurizio Nannucci, Giulio Paolini, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Allora & Calzadilla and Juan Muňoz, Yona Friedman, Superstudio and Toyo Ito, Iwan Baan and Gabriele Basilico.
MAXXI L’Aquila Piazza Santa Maria Paganica 15, L’Aquila
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Images courtesy of Fondazione MAXXI
01 Palazzo Ardinghelli, photo by Luca Eleuteri, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI
02 Palazzo Ardinghelli, photo by Andrea Jemolo, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI
03 Palazzo Ardinghelli, photo by Andrea Jemolo, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI
04 Palazzo Ardinghelli, Punto di equilibrio - Cappella, Ettore Spalletti, Colonna nel vuoto, L’Aquila, 2019, photo by Agostino Osio – AltoPiano, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI
05 Palazzo Ardinghelli, Punto di equilibrio - Sala della Voliera, William Kentridge, North Pole Map, 2003, photo by Agostino Osio – AltoPiano, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI
06 Palazzo Ardinghelli, Punto di equilibrio - Sequence of exhibition rooms, in the background: Monica Bonvicini, Bent and Fused, 2018, photo by Agostino Osio – AltoPiano, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI
07 Palazzo Ardinghelli, Punto di equilibrio - Stefano Cerio, Aquila, 2020, photo by Agostino Osio – AltoPiano, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI
08 Stefano Cerio Aquila 7, 2020 (1) Stampa Fine Art su carta cotone montata su dibond Cm 110 x 140
08 Paolo Pellegrin L’Aquila, gennaio 2018 / 2020 - Polittico composto da 140 fotografie stampa Fine Art su carta satin montata su dibond - Paolo Pellegrin, L'Aquila, 2018, © Paolo Pellegrin / Magnum
09 and 10 Paolo Pellegrin L'Aquila, gennaio 2018 / 2019 (2) - stampa Fine Art su carta satin montata su dibond cm 80 x 120 - Paolo Pellegrin, L'Aquila, 2018, © Paolo Pellegrin / Magnum
11 Superstudio (Firenze 1966 | Adolfo Natalini, Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, Gian Piero Frassinelli, Roberto and Alessandro Magris, Alessandro Poli) Il Monumento Continuo. New New York, 1969 lithography cm 80 x 120
12 Alighiero Boetti Mimetico, 1966 Photo by Paolo Pugnaghi
13 Maurizio Cattelan Mother, 2000 (1999) - stampa fotografica in bianco e nero su carta, ed.9/10, Foto di Attilio Maranzano - cm 130x116,5 - Photo by M3Studio
14 Toyo Ito Parco Grin Grin a Island City, Fukuoka – modello della copertura, 2005 Resina cm 92x27x6
15 Yona Friedman Porzione dell’opera composta da dieci fogli Collage e tecnica mista su carta cm 21x29,7
16 Palazzo Ardinghelli, Punto di equilibrio, scalone - Maurizio Nannucci – The missing poem is the poem, 1969 - Photo by Agostino Osio – AltoPiano
17 Palazzo Ardinghelli, Punto di equilibrio, Daniela De Lorenzo – Come Se, 2019 - Photo by Agostino Osio – AltoPiano
18 Palazzo Ardinghelli, Punto di equilibrio, Alberto Garutti – Accedere al presente, 2018-20 - Photo by Agostino Osio – AltoPiano
19 Palazzo Ardinghelli, Punto di equilibrio, Nunzio – Senza Titolo, 2019 - Photo by Agostino Osio – AltoPiano
20 Palazzo Ardinghelli, Punto di equilibrio, detail Anastasia Potemkina – Untitled, 2018-20 - Photo by Agostino Osio – AltoPiano