MACRO and MAXXI
Avante-garde architecture and art, in Rome
Proof of how, in recent years Rome has made major investments, not only in its ancient artistic and archeological heritage, but also in contemporary art forms, MACRO and MAXXI are two museums which best represent the avant-garde in the eternal city.
21st century Rome
After some fifteen years in the making, the MAXXI (the National museum of 21st century arts), in the district of Flaminio, was finally inaugurated at the end of May 2010.
The museum, which houses both MAXXI Architecture and MAXXI Art, was designed by the celebrity architect Zaha Hadid, who was awarded the much coveted Stirling prize for her stunning structure.
Hadid's masterpiece is characterized by sinuous, boa-like forms, and striking cantilevered volumes, illuminated by the light filtering through the steel mesh protecting the glass roof
Designing the future
MAXXI Architecture houses a series of retrospective exhibitions dedicated to the great protagonists of 20th century architecture and a contemporary section, which gives particular emphasis to the work of young designers and an international vision of 21st century architecture.
MAXXI Art boasts a permanent collection of circa 300 paintings, sculptures, installations, and works of video and net-art created by artists of international standing between 1960 and 2000.
Clemente, Boetti, Kentridge, Richter and Merz are just a few of the artists featured. The museum aims to be a showcase for experimental art forms and temporary exhibitions.
MAXXI Base, the museum's new research center, is comprised of a library, mediatheque, and photographic and contemporary archive
The X Factor
Like the MAXXI, the new wing of the city's MACRO museum (Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Roma) in Rome's Nomentano district, is the work of a female architect, Odile Decq.
Decq's glass and black basalt pavilion adds a further 10.000sqm to the former Peroni factory (which was transformed into a museum in 1999), complete with exhibition rooms, a multi-level roof garden for open air exhibitions, a bookshop, and reading rooms.
On the ground floor there is a fantastic, fiery red Auditorium and a room in which Mario Schifano's immense "Chimera", takes pride of place.
Art in the abattoir
The Macro museum is also home to the Macro Testaccio, located in a complex which was once a slaughterhouse, and is one of the most characteristic edifices in this, a part of Rome particular rich in cultural stimuli.
The building's 19th century pavilions are an important example of industrial architecture and serve as symbol of the transition between the classic and the modern age.
MAXXI Museo nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo
Via Guido Reni, 4 A - Rome
Opening hours: Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday-Sunday from 11.00 to 19.00 - Thursday and Saturday from 11.00 to 22.00
MACRO Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Roma
Via Reggio Emilia, 54 - Rome
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 9.00 to 19.00
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