Spiritual Material of Art

01.12.2019 - 08.03.2020

Della materia spirituale dell’arte, la mostra al MAXXI

What does it mean today to speak of the spiritual? What is the space of spirituality in a world dominated by a digital and technological culture and an ultra deterministic mentality? Is there still a spiritual need underlying the instances of art? To reflect on these and other questions, the MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts brings together some of the most important protagonists of the art scene of our times in the great collective of the spiritual matter of art., strongly desired by the President of the MAXXI Foundation Giovanna Melandri and curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi (from 17 October 2019 to 8 March 2020). Enel main partner who, for the period of the exhibition, with “Tuesdays of Enel”, offers a special ticket reduction. INWIT sponsor.

The project
“of the spiritual matter of art”is a project that investigates the theme of the spiritual through the gaze of contemporary art and, at the same time, of the archaic history of Rome. In a setting that offers multiple path possibilities, the works of nineteen artists, prominent names on the international scene, coming from different cultures and backgrounds, are exhibited. The works of John Armleder, Matilde Cassani, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Elisabetta Di Maggio, Jimmie Durham, Haris Epaminonda, Hassan Khan, Kimsooja, Abdoulaye Konaté, Victor Man, Shirin Neshat, Yoko Ono, Michal Rovner, Remo Salvadori, Tomás Saraceno , Sean Scully, Jeremy Shaw and Namsal Siedlecki, made for the most part in the last two years and redesigned specifically for the MAXXI spaces, are displayed alongside seventeen extraordinary Etruscan archaeological finds, and of Lazio production, coming from four of the main museums of the city: Vatican Museums, National Roman Museum, National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia and Capitoline Museums. The finds date back to a period between the eighth century BC and the end of the fourth century AD, or from the origins of Rome until the time when Christianity became the state religion, and are therefore representative of the path that leads from the archaic world to the pre-modern one, from the collective dimension of the sacred in the pagan era to the affirmation of a more individual dimension of the spiritual in the post-classical age.

“ The question about Being, about the spiritual expansion of man, has always defined artistic research – says Giovanna Melandri -.Art is sometimes able to grasp our tension to go beyond the illusion of forms and matter (Maya). As Schopenhauer wrote, art can miraculously rise above life and contemplate it, transcending it. I really wanted this project, which stems from my chats with Lea Mattarella, and is dedicated to her. It was not easy to define its profile and boundaries, but I am sure that this exhibition will contribute even more to widening the perimeter of the artistic and ideal research of the MAXXI “laboratory”. I am convinced that the open question about the spiritual nature of the person, beyond any religious dogma, is a question that urgently asks to be asked of contemporary man. I thank the Vatican Museums, the National Roman Museum,”.

“ The co-presence and the relationship between opposing elements is very evident – says Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Director of MAXXI Arte – and its emphasis is on the strength of the entire project. It is precisely this impossible composition between body and soul, between matter and spirit that is the most faithful representation of our essence. By ‘spiritual material of art’, I mean what leverages this dichotomy, between a material dimension linked to personal experience and a need to find practices and meanings that elevate the spirit above it. ”

Gallery 4 dedicated to the spiritual material of art welcomes the visitor with an exhibition layout made of lateral views and totemic walls that allows a play of references between the works of art and the archaeological artifacts and thus favors a continuous dialogue between ancient sensitivity and the contemporary one.

Location: MAXXI, Museum of 21st Century Arts – Via Guido Reni, Rome
Date: 17 ottobre 2019 – 8 marzo 2020
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Musée MAXXI, Via Guido Reni, Rím, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy



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