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MAXXI, National Museum of XXI-Century Arts, Rome





London, 31 March 2014. A woman-only Board of Directors. A new Artistic Director: Hou Hanru, world-class

critic and curator also of several Biennials. A new international scientific committee. A platform open to all the

languages of contemporary art and a strong drive for research activity. A museum whose public and partnerships with companies and supporters grew in 2013, and a rich programme of exhibitions and related activities in 2014.

This, in short, is what was presented during the press conference held this morning at the Italian Culture Institute in London to introduce to British media and art community the new path chosen by MAXXI, National Museum of XXI-Century Arts, in Rome.

Participants included Caterina Cardona, Director of the Italian Culture Institute; Giovanna Melandri, President of Fondazione MAXXI: Hou Hanru, Artistic Director of MAXXI; Beatrice Trussardi and Monique Veaute, Members of the Board.

MAXXI is located in Rome and it is the first Italian national museum dedicated to contemporary creativity.

Conceived as a large campus for culture, it was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (Stirling Prize 2010) and is itself a major architectural work featuring innovative and spectacular shapes. It opened in May 2010 and is managed by what is known as a “Fondazione di diritto privato” instituted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.


The programme of exhibitions produced and co-produced by MAXXI in 2014 is a rich one, and it has all come under the artistic direction of Hou Harnu, who worked with the curatorial staff of MAXXI Arte directed by Anna Mattirolo and MAXXI Architettura directed by Margherita Guccione, for an approach that “emphasizes the force of collective intelligence”, in Hou Hanru’s words.

Starting from the new exhibitions underway, such as the collections’ new installation, the first project curated by Hou Hanru with the curatorial teams of MAXXI Arte and MAXXI Architettura. Non basta ricordare.

Collezione MAXXI will be part of the museum experience through 28 September 2014. On display are over 200 works by 70 artists and architects (such as Maurizio Cattelan, William Kentridge, Kara Walker, Aldo Rossi and Carlo Scarpa), in dialogue between themselves and with the surrounding space. Some of the works are being shown in rotation, animated throughout the exhibition by a lively programme of workshops, seminars and performances.

Also curated by Hou Hanru with Monia Trombetta MAXXI presents Utopia for sale? (through 14 September 2014), a tribute to the artist Allan Sekula, who passed away a few months ago, which includes video, installation works and photographs by 10 artists pondering the issues of globalization.

The solo show by Ettore Spalletti. Un giorno così bianco, così bianco (through 14 September 2014, curated by Anna Mattirolo), sees the concerted efforts of three Italian museums: MAXXI, the GAM in Turin and the MADRE in Naples. Over a period of forty years, Ettore Spalletti has traversed some of the most significant moments in the history of international art, developing an original idiom capable of establishing a dialogue between contemporaneity and classicism.

The three exhibitions investigate every aspect of Ettore Spalletti’s work, from painting to sculpture to environmental installations, set within non-chronological configurations that are instead open to the suggestions of the works themselves.

Also a master of the contemporary scene, Gaetano Pesce will star in a great exhibition/installation called Il tempo della diversità curated by Domitilla Dardi and Gianni Mercurio (25 June - 5 October 2014). The show will trace the artist’s creative path from the 1970s to the present. Architect, designer, artist, performer, Pesce is one of the most important Italian creative talents acknowledged at an international level, famous for his


multidisciplinary, experimental, nonconformist works, many of which are part of important public and private collections all over the world. These include Pesce’s UP5 armchair shaped like a woman, created in 1969 to declare the status of women. The show includes ideas, projects, realizations, but also objects, drawings, films and unpublished works conceived especially for MAXXI.

Two exhibitions are particularly devoted to the younger generations. The MAXXI Prize for young Italian artists (28 May - 28 September 2014), curated by Giulia Ferracci, will showcase the site-specific works of Yuri Ancarani, Micol Assaël, Linda Fregni Nagler and Marinella Senatore, and the winner of YAP MAXXI 2014 edition (from 25 June 2014, curated by Margherita Guccione and Pippo Ciorra) - the project for young architectural talents, with such exceptional partners as MoMA PS1 in NY, Constructo Santiago del Cile Istanbul Modern and MMCA di Seoul - will create an installation in MAXXI’s piazza whose purpose is be to welcome the museum’s live summer events.

Hou Hanru will also curate three new exhibitions in 2014. With Giulia Ferracci and Elena Motisi, he will curate the first instalment of the Independent Space, a project devoted to independent platforms (June 2014). With Monia Trombetta, Elena Motisi and the teams of MAXXI Arte and MAXXI Architettura, he will also curate Open Museum, Open City (October 2014), which will involve the entire museum in an immaterial, performative fashion. The exhibition carries forward the exploration initiated with Remembering Is Not Enough, in which art and architecture dialogue, presenting the public with completely new and original perspectives. The empty building will be filled with sounds, audio projects, artists interacting with the public, performance events, music, theatre, dance, cinema and storytelling. With Giulia Ferracci, Hou Hanru will curate the solo show by Huang Yong Ping (December 2014), that will instead be produced in collaboration with the Red Brick Art Museum of Beijing (China), where it will be shown in 2015 as well as with Power Station of Art of Shanghai, in 2016. The French-Chinese artist, among the most important internationally and famous for his complex and intellectually challenging installations, will be creating a site-specific work for MAXXI embodying the crossroads between East and West.

Also in December:

Bellissima, curated by Maria Luisa Frisa, Anna Mattirolo and Stefano Tonchi, will portray Italian society through a review of the high fashion of Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan from 1945 to 1968. Original clothes made by several masters of Italian haute couture (such as Galitzine, Sorelle Fontana, Capucci, Gattinoni, Valentino) will dialogue with works of contemporary art and site-specific installations. The exhibition analyses a period fundamental not only to the definition of the identity of Italian fashion, but also to its international success, and opens the museum to an important area of creativity in which Italy has always played a distinguished role.

A window on Iran, the first stage in a series of projects devoted to the Middle East and the Mediterranean, with the exhibition United History. Sequences of the Modern in Iran from 1960 until now, organized in collaboration with the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and curated by Catherine David, Odile Burluraux, Morad Montazami, Narmine Sadeg and Vali Mahlouji, which will explore the visual arts in Iran from 1960, the revolutionary era and the post-war period, through to the present.

Architecture in Uniform, in collaboration with the CCA of Montreal and the Citè de l’Architecture in Paris, curated by Jean Louis Cohen and Maristella Casciato, which explores the wealth of architectural and planning activity during the Second World War.

And: Tra/Between Arte e Architettura | Roma interrotta e Piero Sartogo e gli artisti. Two exhibitions in one: a revival of the historical exhibition Roma Interrotta conceived in 1978 by the architect Piero Sartogo and Piero Sartogo e gli artisti. The project is inspired by the donation of the cultural association Incontri Internazionali d’Arte and it creates a conversation between art and architecture (16 April – 3 September 2014, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva); Italian Geographies. Journey Through Contemporary Architecture, curated by Margherita Guccione, Pippo Ciorra and Maristella Casciato: a rearrangement of the interactive installation of Studio Azzurro, Geografie Italiane, made by MAXXI for the opening of the museum (May 2014);

Design Destinations on the work of seven young Italian designers who have “emigrated” to the Design Academy of Eindhoven (Netherlands) (28 May – 5 October 2014, curated by Domitilla Dardi).

Lastly, through 4 May 2014, three architecture shows are being held at MAXXI: Erasmus Effect. Italian Architects Abroad, curated by Pippo Ciorra: an exhibition consisting of journeys, experiences and returns that tell the stories of the many Italian architects who have found success abroad; Nature 04/04. UN Studio.

Motion Matters, curated by Alessandro D’Onofrio; Alessandro Anselmi. Figures and Fragments, curated by Valerio Palmieri and Valentino Anselmi.



• In 2014 MAXXI will again confirm its vocation as a site of production of knowledge, a platform and place for gatherings and cross-pollinations between the diverse idioms of contemporaneity. Films, performances, lectures and workshops will find space alongside and incorporated within the exhibitions. It is the purpose of this rich programme of activities to stimulate the involvement and the participation of the community. The piazza dedicated to Alighiero Boetti confirms its vocation as a public space open to the city, and will once again host numerous events: from the YAP Summer Programme (live music, films, book presentations, seminars and so on) to open-air workshops and yoga lessons.

MAXXI is much more than a museum: a platform open to all creative idioms and a place for meetings, exchanges and collaborations, a space open to all.

• ABOUT MAXXI’S NEW GOVERNANCE Since November 2012 the MAXXI Foundation has been led by Giovanna Melandri, former Minister of Cultural Heritage (1998 to 2001) and promoter of Law. 237 of 1999, which established the first nucleus of the MAXXI.

In early December 2012, Ms. Beatrice Trussardi and Ms. Monique Veaute were appointed to MAXXI’s Board of Directors.

Hou Hanru has been the Artistic Director at MAXXI since 2013. For many years he lived between Paris and San Francisco. He currently lives in Rome.

There is also a new Scientific Committee which includes: Zdenka Badovinac (Director of the Gallery of Modern Art in Ljubljana); Iwona Blazwick (Director of Whitechapel Gallery, London); Achille Bonito Oliva (Italian art critic, academic and curator); Fulya Erdemcì (Curator of the 13th Istanbul Biennale); Rem Koolhaas, (Architect, Curator of the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture. Pritzker Prize 2000); Cuauhtemoc Medina (Chief Curator at MUAC Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico); Jean Nouvel, (Architect, Pritzker Prize 2008); Hans Ulrich Obrist (Director of international projects and co-director of the exhibitions office, Serpentine Gallery, London); Michelangelo Pistoletto (Italian artist); Carlo Ratti (Italian architect and engineer); Beatrix Ruf, (Director of the Zunsthalle Zurich and artistic director of the Ringier Collection); Cino Zucchi (Italian architect, Curator of the Padiglione Italia at the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture).


The 2013 budget was in the order of 10 million Euros, of which 60% state funds and 40% self-financing (sponsorship deals, ticket office, bookshop and cafeteria, royalties, exhibition sales, membership programme) with an increase of 30% in sponsorship and individual fundraising with respect to the previous year.

In 2013, thanks a careful spending review, there was a significant redistribution of resources in favour of cultural activities, from 28% in 2012 to 43% in 2013, while overheads were reduced from 72% to 57%.

The novelty of 2014 is the consolidation of state financing at MAXXI, Italy’s only national museum devoted to contemporary creativity: thanks to the Cultural Value Decree, it will amount to 5 million Euros a year.


In 2013, visitors at MAXXI grew by more than 40% as compared with 2012.

The museum’s cultural provision was rich and varied: MAXXI hosted, produced and “exported” a total of 37 exhibitions and 272 events including cinema, music, performance, and the lectures of artists and architects.

A total of 359 new works were acquired for the Art, Architecture and Photography collections; 7,000 people took part in 237 educational workshops and 4,000 students used the services of MAXXI B.A.S.E, the library and the museum archive). The MAXXI Community has also shown growth, exceeding 110,000 contacts (of which about 72,000 on Facebook and 23,000 on Twitter), with an 85% increase compared to last year and the confirmation of MAXXI as the most “social” of all the Italian museums.

MAXXI – National Museum of XXI Century Arts www.fondazionemaxxi.it - info: +39 06 3201954; info@fondazionemaxxi.it opening hours: 11 a.m.–7 p.m. (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday) 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (Saturday) closed: Mondays, 1 May and 25 December MAXXI Press Office, +39 06 3225178, press@fondazionemaxxi.it In collaboration with Riahnnon Pickles PR, +44 (0)7925810607, cristina@picklespr.com The press kit and images may be downloaded from the reserved area of the Fondazione MAXXI site at by http://www.fondazionemaxxi.it/area-riservata/ inserting the password areariservatamaxxi.



Hou Hanru, Artistic Director MAXXI What are the arts and which are the institutions that represent them in the twenty-first century? Asking oneself this question means reflecting with frankness on the matter of belonging to and representing the twenty-first century.

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