40 years on from his death, MAXXI is dedicating a major retrospective to him that studies and presents his versatility, starting out with an account of his architecture.
Il mondo di Altan raccontato con disegni originali, poster, illustrazioni, quadri, schizzi, tavole, libri e filmati.
A focus show on the architecture of Louis Kahn through the photographs of Roberto Schezen.
In the year of its 10th anniversary, MAXXI chooses to give great space to Italian creativity, by hosting the winners of the competition held by the MiBACT Italian Council.
In occasione del decennale dalla scomparsa della studiosa, gallerista e collezionista, il MAXXI le rende omaggio con un focus nella sala del museo a lei dedicata.
A retrospective on the extraordinary theoretical and practical contribution of an “unusual architect”. On display materials from archives and collections from all over the world.
For the first time, MAXXI dedicates a focus to a critic’s archive, one of the most important intellectuals and writer of the last half-century, who died at the age of 87 in 2017.
In conjunction with the Museum’s 10th anniversary, celebrated on 30th May 2010, a great new re-installation has enhanced the museum with a new cluster of Italian artworks from the turn of the century.
Cinque appuntamenti per raccontare l’evoluzione di un linguaggio che ha saputo attraversare gli ultimi decenni di storia.
Teatro e musica all'interno del Museo. Le architetture e le consonanze del linguaggio di Edoardo Sanguineti parlano con le opere esposte e con l'architettura di Zaha Hadid.
MAXXI and Bulgari together for young contemporary art.
200 people, 200 portraits of a never seen Gastel. Faces who: «Have passed on something to me, taught me, touched my soul».
Lo Young Architects Program, lanciato e coordinato dal MoMA, arriva alla sua 8ª edizione al MAXXI.
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The ticket office is open until 1 hour before Museum closing.
Every Monday, 1 May, 25 December
Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the MAXXI will remain closed and its activities suspended.
During this period we will continue to meet and discuss on our online channels, in the hope of seeing you again soon in the Musem’s halls.
for young people of between 14 and up to 25 years of age; for groups of at least 15 people and affiliated groups; accredited journalists with a valid press pass; FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano members; holders of Bibliocard – Biblioteche di Roma; holders of entrance tickets for the Museo Ebraico of Rome; holders of entrance tickets for La Galleria Nazionale; Consiglio Nazionale degli Architetti members; Associazione Italiana Ambasciatori del Gusto members and relatives; holders of Pro Loco membership card.
for all members of families composed of two adults and at least one child (free for under-14s).
every Tuesday, access the museum at a reduced price, thanks to Enel . Valid until 15 March, on the occasion of “on the spiritual matter of art” exhibition.
for “last hour” admissions from 5:30 pm (Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday) and from 6:30 pm (Thursday, Friday and Saturday); Wednesday from 2:00 PM for Italian and European Union high school and university students – subject to the showing of personal student cards or documents, students (o9ver 14 years of age) for class groups (second level secondary schools) acquiring MAXXI educational activities; for entrance to videogallery screenings (free with the purchase of a full or reduced price entrance ticket).
valid for two entrances on two consecutive days.
valid for exhibition entrance at Extra MAXXI.
valid for museum entrance and Extra MAXXI.
for young people between 14 and up to 25 years of age; for groups of at least 15 people and affiliated groups; accredited journalists with a valid press pass; FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano members; holders of Bibliocard – Biblioteche di Roma; holders of entrance tickets for the Museo Ebraico of Rome; holders of entrance tickets for La Galleria Nazionale; Consiglio Nazionale degli Architetti members; Associazione Italiana Ambasciatori del Gusto members and relatives; holders of Pro Loco membership card.
present a ticket to the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia and access the MAXXI at a reduced price. Furthermore, by presenting a MAXXI ticket at the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, you will have access to € 7 instead of 10. Valid until 15 March, on the occasion of the exhibition “on the spiritual matter of art”.
under 14 years old, disabled visitors requiring accompaniment, companions of disabled visitors, MiBAC employees, European Union tour guides and couriers, 1 teacher for every 10 students, ICOM members, AMACI members, accredited journalists, MAXXI membership card holder; from Tuesday to Friday, free admittance for academics and university researchers in Art and Architecture; on your Birthday; for entrance to the permanent collection, from Tuesday to Thursday.
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The collections of the MAXXI art present themselves as a strong nucleus that witnesses the national and international artistic production
The MAXXI Architettura collections comprise all those artefacts and documents that, in various ways, represent the material and conceptual complexity of architecture.
The Centro Archivi curates and manages the MAXXI's architecture collections and provides the possibility, inside the Sala Studio, to directly consult the documents and database of its twentieth and twenty-first century collections.
With the my MAXXI card experience the museum full time: unlimited and preferential access, reduced rates to participate to cultural programmes and educational activities
Abbiamo bisogno di poter contare su di una rete di sostenitori, per incrementare la collezione permanente, tutelare la conservazione delle opere e offrire e al nostro pubblico un programma culturale di qualità.
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curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Luigia Lonardelli
in collaboration with Archivio Maria Lai and Fondazione Stazione dell’Arte
On the occasion of the centenary of her birth, MAXXI is dedicating a major exhibition to Maria Lai(1919-2013), one of the most unique characters of contemporary art in Italy, and her works have recently been displayed at Documenta 14 and the 2017 edition of the Venice Biennale.
Tenendo per mano il sole is the title of the exhibition and the first Sewn Fable made by the artist. Both the title and the work contain many of the elements typical of Lai’s research: her interest in poetry, language and the word; the cosmogony of her geographies evoked by the sun; the pedagogical vocation implicit in that “taking by the hand”. Not so much a classic retrospective as a story that is not bound by purely chronological constraints and follows a peculiar biographical and artistic path, characterised by discourses and intuitions apparently left suspended before being taken up again many years later.
Through a broad selection of works, many of them previously unseen, the exhibition presents the multifaceted world of Maria Lai and the dense stratification of ideas and suggestions that characterised her imaginary. The show is structured in five sections which take their name from citations or the titles of works by Lai, while the subtitle describes the typical methods of her research; the voice of Maria Lai accompanies each section through a montage of previously unseen material compiled by the director Francesco Casu. There is also a final section documenting the works of environmental art realised by the artist, in particular in the Ogliastra region.
Tenendo per mano il sole, 1984-2004, thread, fabric, velvet (detail). Private collection, Courtesy Archivio Maria Lai. Photo Francesco Casu © Archivio Maria Lai by SIAE 2019
Foto © Musacchio, Ianniello & Pasqualini
A large selection of Looms, a group of works that, starting from the mid-1960s, involved Maria Lai in her research into everyday materials, either salvaged or derived from Sardinian tradition, conceived as the artist’s shifting away from the previous phase which was more clearly inspired by Modernism. In Looms, the thread begins to appear as a preponderant element, material and concept of the work at the same time. Akin to the way the artist’s life and research are crossed by a desire to link together distant elements, the work is a connecting “thread” that can restitch the meaning of things. The Loom joins this reflection with that of the warp: a basic scheme on which to elaborate endless variations. For this artist, these works, along with the Sewn Cloths that came later, became a metaphor for an existence aimed at finding the potential for a relationship between the inner self and the outside world in art. Essere è tessere, the title of the large-scale collective action conceived for the town of Aggius in 2008, is an interior dictation that crosses all the artist’s research strands and ties them together in a single, large work, weaving the world together.
Tenendo per mano il sole, 1984-2004 | filo, stoffa, velluto, cm 33 x 63 | Collezione privata | Photo credit Francesco Casu | Courtesy Archivio Maria Lai © Archivio Maria Lai by SIAE 2019
Works that are apparently very different from each other, often conceived as fully-fledged games, sharing the desire to arouse in the beholder and the user a renewed sense of intimacy with respect to the work of art. Through this particular research, the artist calls back into question the potential of the imagination as the grounds for every process of learning and knowledge. As Maria Lai stated in 1994, underscoring the distance between this research and the child’s environment, “art is adult’s play”, an invitation to re-examine one’s insecurities and call back into play the creative possibilities that one no longer remembers. In the early 1980s, Maria Lai conceived the first Sewn Fairy Tales, works that she would continue to make until the 1990s in parallel with her Sewn Books. Thanks to a re-reading of popular Sardinian tales or ones she invented on her own, the artist developed a world of characters that live in complex situations and adventures, eventually finding an ultimate path to salvation. The fairy tales, later produced in a printed edition, are open to being interpreted freely: Lai herself used video animations, conceived with the director Francesco Casu, in order to offer a different and equally valid reading each time. This total openness to the public’s interpretation becomes evident in the designing of the playing cards I luoghi dell’arte a portata di mano, conceived as a tool that can be used to interpret both the work of art and space where it is housed.
Foto © Musacchio, Ianniello & Pasqualini
Lai’s special aptitude for conceiving creativity as a type of gift and relationship with the people close to her, whether their relationship is emotional or intellectual, or whether these figures are poets or philosophers whom she feels connected to. This explains the presence in the titles of the Sewn Books of quotations from the artist’s favourite texts and poems, as well as the practice of offering these works as gifts, born out of the domestic intimacy of an everyday relationship with the material they are made of. The writings imitated by the thread refer back to the imagination of pre-alphabetization and childhood and are a means of reflection on the artist’s personal experience and on the processes of collective elaboration underlying the forms of written knowledge. The works reunited here are often the fruit of production that is halfway between unconscious creative action and the desire to render the artistic object anonymous. They are proof of an interior landscape that sees the creative act as a way to liaise with the people and things surrounding the artist. Terracotta, sand, fabric, threads, bread, velvet, enamel and temperas, all of which combined with found and salvaged materials, contribute to creating a personal symphony of materials and techniques that, with a sharp and iconic gaze, call into question the recognizability of the most elementary forms. This is the case, for instance, of the Sewn Books, which later evolve into Sculpture Books, harkening back to the first reversals of meaning experimented with for the first time ever in the Oggetto paesaggio Loom in 1967.
Foto © Musacchio, Ianniello & Pasqualini
Inspired by the eponymous research developed by the artist in the early 1990s during the course of a project to design a performative action with the schoolchildren of Mira. The theme of the astral traveller is closely linked to that of the Geographies, research that began in the late 1970s and was carried forward by Lai in the following decades. In this project, the gaze toward the elsewhere is a further stimulus for her artistic practice. These works, which are often made in contrast with dark or light backgrounds, seem to invite the viewer to discover other worlds and to invent new cosmogonies. The trace of the thread in these works becomes the astronomical line of reference or the path of an imaginary journey; at the same time, it suggests the potential for joining distant planets, which emerge almost imperceptibly from the backgrounds of the Geographies as if to emphasize their astral distance. The need to collect distant elements in time and in space − a desire that is ever present in the artist’s research − finds an ulterior dimension here in the evolution of one’s identity, starting from the relationship with the other. Maps, scrolls, geometric forms alluding to stars that are still unknown tell of distant universes yet ones that can perhaps be reached with the imagination.
Foto ©Musacchio, Ianniello & Pasqualini
A selection of interventions conceived for public space and collective actions produced in the final decades of the artist’s research, starting from Legarsi alla montagna. In 1981, the artist went back to her birthplace, the town of Ulassai, and invited the local community to work together to create a large-scale collective work that would stitch back together interpersonal links and unconscious and ancestral ones between the urban fabric and the surrounding territory. The work was a prelude to a series of interventions, some of which permanent, that Lai carried out starting from the following year for the territory of Ulassai, ending in the early 2000s with several large-scale installations, including L’arte ci prende per mano. The latter is an invitation to always feel accompanied and reassured by the presence of the work, a statement that is ideally related to the telling of the Sewn Fairy Tale Tenendo per mano il sole from 1984. Over the course of the 1980s, the artist continued to work on group experiments with communities in projects like La disfatta dei varani, which she would have liked to realize in Camerino in 1983. The longing to involve an ever-growing public in the work reached a peak with the artist’s L’albero del miele amaro in 1997, a group theatrical performance produced in Siliqua, and in 2008 with Essere è tessere, which witnessed the participation of the town of Aggius in a choral action of collective weaving.
Maria Lai al lavoro su una delle rampe de La scarpata, UIassai, 1993 Photo Maria Sofia Pisu
The last chapter in this exhibition and it takes place outside the museum space, directly in the region where the artist grew up and where she chose to live the last years of her life. Starting from Legarsi alla Montagna, a choral action created in 1981, Lai developed a special connection to the landscape by employing the increasingly articulated practice of conversing with nature and the territory. In the early 1980s, on the occasion of the making of Telaio Soffitto, Lai involved other artists in the regeneration of the laundry of Ulassai. This form of collaboration would be repeated in the late twentieth century at the Museo dell’Olio della Sabina in Castelnuovo di Farfa. Over the course of the twentieth century, Maria Lai designed several site-specific works for Ulassai, eventually resulting in the open-air museum dedicated to her, and acting as a prelude to the opening of the Stazione dell’Arte in 2006. These works consist of a rethinking of the traditional building techniques in light of the territory’s highly unstable hydrogeological nature; they became an opportunity to once again emphasize art’s ability to stitch together the meaning of things. In the final years, the artist focused on her works on an urban scale, for instance, the Looms she produced for the town of Aggius in 2008, or Andando via, the artist’s last work, made in 2012 close to the funeral monument to her beloved Grazia Deledda.