Piedmont's castle art
Rivoli Castle's Contemporary Art Museum.
Shortly after the first stone was laid in 1718, Filippo Juvarra's plans to build a palatial residence for the Savoy on the site of Rivoli's ancient medieval stronghold were brusquely interrupted by the advent of the Napoleonic wars.
For centuries, Piedmont's Rivoli Castle seemed destined to remain a painful symbol of defeat, until 1984 that is, when it was transformed into one of Italy's most interesting museums of contemporary art.
From castle to contemporary art museum
At the time of its conversion into a Contemporary Art Museum, Andrea Bruno, the man responsible for the project, decided to conserve much of the edifice's, "incomplete" nature, thus preserving the sudden interruption of the great stairway and the truncated entrance hall.
A bold contrast between the old and new is created by the use of modern structures and materials, such as the walkway which traverses the 18th century vault, and the observation point in glass and steel which protrudes out of a rough wall
The first and second floor of the castle house a permanent collection of works by artists of international standing, many of whom created pieces expressly for the museum and its exhibition spaces.
Highlights of the collection include Sol Lewitt's "Panels and Tower with Colors and Scribbles", Lucio Fontana's "Space Environment", and Michelangelo Pistoletto's three gigantic sculptures ("Girl Walking", "Black People" and "In the First Place")
In the artists section works by the most important exponents of Land Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art and Arte Povera can be seen.
The museum aims to accurately map the various currents of contemporary art. The ambitious 38 room project, has been recently enlarged to reach a total of 7000sqm of exhibition space, thanks to the addition of the recently restored Manica Lunga.
The Manica Lunga, the second nucleus of the castle, is a 140m long, 7m wide gallery originally designed to house the works of art collected by Carlo Emanuele I.
The annexing of this new space, has allowed for a more organic staging of the permanent exhibition, which is now divided into a series of monographic rooms dedicated to single artists. A part of the museum is destined to house temporary exhibitions, a library, a videotheque, conference rooms and spaces for cultural and educational activities.
Ideally, a visit to Rivoli Castle should conclude with a meal at the Combal Zero restaurant, situated next to the museum's Manica Lunga.
Chef Davide Scabin's unconventional approach to cooking has so far earned the restaurant 2 Michelin stars and 3 Gambero Rosso forks
Rivoli Castle Museum of Contemporary Art
Piazza Mafalda di Savoia
Tel: +39 011 9565222
1st and 3rd Saturday of the month 10.00-22.00