Wonderful as the ancient ruins and antiquities of Rome are, it was a very welcome distraction to see some modern and contemporary art. I trekked uphill and down to get to the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, (only to discover there was an easier and quicker route on the way back!). The trek was very well rewarded however, when I turned up at the most beautiful Cesare Bazzani-designed neo-classical building that contained lovely airy spaces for showing a very strong collection of modern art. I was so impressed by the building that I did some research on Bazzani. How disappointed was I then to read that he held fascist views? This is, sadly, another case where you have to appreciate, and divorce, the beauty of the creations, from the flawed ideologies of the creator. Fascist views aside, I liked the exterior carved classical friezes and overall symmetry of the building, and the dialogue that was created by the current hang - Time Is Out Of Joint - displaying classical Roman statues with modern and contemporary pieces of (at times avant-garde) art. The following are a selection of some things that grabbed my attention.
Disturbingly strong statements by Berlinde de Bruyckere
Klimt is my current muse, so it was wonderful to come across this piece depicting the various ages of womanhood.
Van Gogh's and Monsieur Degas's genius.
Again, although certain members held some objectionable views, it was good to see examples of Futurism in the country which spawned the movement.
Another favourite Italian artist - collagist Mimmo Rotella (above).
An auburn-haired Kees Van Dongen beauty, and some wonderful large (anonymous) drawings of lions executed directly onto the walls of the gallery.
Mercury, hand on hip
Great to see some still life painting by the master, Giogio Morandi.
Alighiero Boetti map.
Another classical, sculpted beauty with butterfly wings interacting with the moderns.
Canova's Hercules sculpture in front of an epic Guiseppe Penone piece created with thorns.
Fontana's conceptual slashings.
I thought it was a bold move to leave the very large, first gallery room of the museum completely bare. It showed a confidence, swagger and total belief in their collection on the part of the museum. It was totally justified.
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderne e Contemporanea
viale delle Belle Arti 131