The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, February 18, 2019

Contemporary Art Museum Designed by Iraqi-Born Architect Zaha Hadid Opens in Rome
A creation of Italian sculptor Gino De Dominis is seen at the Maxxi, Italy's first national museum of contemporary art designed by Zaha Hadid, in Rome May 27,2010. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini.

By: Aéssandra Rizzo, Associated Press Writer

ROME (AP).- A huge museum for contemporary arts and architecture opens in Rome this weekend in a bid to draw avant-garde art lovers to a city defined by its ancient monuments and Baroque fountains.

The MAXXI museum designed by Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid is the latest and most ambitious project to try to refresh the Italian capital's image of a decadent city bent on its glorious past.

"My work just really stems from the fact that we can make new juxtapositions with the old," Hadid told The Associated Press during Thursday's preview opening. "The idea of connecting between the old and new is very critical."

The museum marks its opening with a three-day extravaganza that included the unveiling Thursday of inaugural exhibits; a party Friday night for 5,000 artists, fashionistas, aristocrats and other VIPs; and an admission-free day for a fortunate few thousand ticket holders.

On Sunday, MAXXI will open to the public.

The euro150 million ($223 million) MAXXI is made of white curving cement walls, intricate black stairways that connect halls and pathways, and floor-to-ceiling windows that give the museum natural light and visitors a look out onto the neighborhood.

From the outside, the museum looks like a wide structure that expands horizontally rather than vertically. Built on the grounds of a former military barracks — of which a facade is still recognizable — MAXXI is located in a residential neighborhood outside the city's historic center.

Officials unveiling the opening exhibit Thursday stressed the link between old and new, their belief that a city and nation that have been on the avant-garde of art and architecture for centuries should be promoting contemporary arts.

For Hadid, who became the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, the challenge was to work with the "layers" of Rome's artistic past and bring a new space for art in the city. She recalled visiting Rome in the 1960s and posing in front of the Trevi Fountain, a masterpiece of Baroque art.

"Rome has fantastic light," Hadid said. "The idea of this project is about layering and bringing in light to the space so that you have a naturally lit space — and to give the curators tremendous freedom in the way they can organize exhibits."

Rome is visited by some 12 million people each year, mostly attracted to the artistic glories of its past — the ancient ruins, the Colosseum, the fountains designed by Bernini or Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.

In recent years, officials have tried to expand Rome's culture offerings with some cutting-edge works, but these efforts have met mixed responses. Romans have been hostile to some new buildings, apparently not convinced that a modern structure can successfully stand beside the marvels of the past.

For example, the structure by Richard Meier that houses the 2,000-year-old altar Ara Pacis has drawn widespread criticism, including from the current city mayor. Renzo Piano's Auditorium, which opened in 2002, has been more widely appreciated, giving Rome its first major-league concert hall and becoming a hip spot and the venue of the new movie festival in the Italian capital.

The Culture Ministry awarded the project for the MAXXI to Hadid after an international competition in 1998.

The inaugural shows' highlight is "Space," an exhibit that takes visitors along a route of art works by Anish Kapoor, Sol Lewitt and others, combined with installations by architecture studios. Mixing art and architecture, the show represents MAXXI's dual soul.

Among others, works on display are Andy Warhol's "Fate Presto," in which he reproduces the front-page of an Italian newspaper in the wake of an earthquake; Italian Francesco Vezzoli's "Democrazy," a video installation featuring two hypothetical candidates for the U.S. presidency played by Sharon Stone and Bernard-Henry Levy; William Kentridge's "North Pole Map" tapestry in which dark figures are set against an ancient geographic map.

Other inaugural shows feature a retrospective on Gino De Dominicis, an eclectic and controversial Italian artist whose 24-meter (80-feet) plaster skeleton lies just outside the main entrance; a reflection on the relations between East and West through eight video works by young Turkish artist Kutlug Ataman; and photographs, models and drawings by Italian architect Luigi Moretti, whose projects included the Watergate complex.

MAXXI, officially called the National Museum of the XXI Century Arts, also houses an auditorium, libraries, workshops and spaces for live events and commercial activities.

The museum had a limited weekend opening in November.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

The MAXXI museum | Zaha Hadid | Anish Kapoor | Sol Lewitt |

Today's News

May 28, 2010

Contemporary Art Museum Designed by Iraqi-Born Architect Zaha Hadid Opens in Rome

Seattle Art Museum to Close for Two Weeks to Balance Budget

Long-Unseen Painting by Frida Kahlo Tops Latin America Art Auction

Kimbell Art Museum Unveils Final Design by Renzo Piano for New Building

Van Gogh Museum Acquires Exciting Painting by Louis Anquetin

Eight New Paintings by Christopher Wool at Gagosian in Rome

Phillips de Pury Announces Details of Halsey Minor-Design Sale

Canadian Museum Mounts Major Angela Grauerholz Exhibition

Timothy Taylor Gallery Presents New Work by Sean Scully

Sir Michael Caine Opens the New Galleries of Modern London

Spencer Museum of Art Taps I.M. Pei Firm to Produce Expansion Plan

Natural History Museum Exhibition Takes Visitors 11,000 Metres Down

Raphael's Cartoons and Tapestries for the Sistine Chapel Announced at the V&A

AOL Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Chuck Close's Project on Creativity

Climate Capsules: Means of Surviving Disaster at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe

Exhibition of Masterpiece Prints by Albrecht Dürer Opens at Lade Lever Gallery

When You Wish Upon a Tsar - Romanov Photos at Bonhams Book Sale

An Impressive Gold Coin from the Reign of Napoleon III was Discovered.

Aga Khan to Launch New Museum in Toronto, Canada

Metropolitan Museum Announces Departure of Concerts & Lectures General Manager Hilde Limondjian

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Underground in Jerusalem, a rare look at an ancient tomb

2.- Research reveals new species are evolving fastest in Antarctica

3.- Tate Modern opens the UK's first major Pierre Bonnard exhibition in 20 years

4.- Travel ban for 'fragile' Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers'

5.- Holocaust museum stokes controversy among Hungary's Jews

6.- Rare Hassam, Jefferson letter and Sèvres porcelain offered at Potomack Auction

7.- 'Discriminating Thieves: Nazi-Looted Art and Restitution' opens at Nelson-Atkins

8.- Andy Goldsworthy to create Walking Wall on Nelson-Atkins campus

9.- US university to cover Christopher Columbus murals

10.- Leonardo da Vinci's drawings go under the microscope in a new publication

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful