Modern and contemporary art are to be found in Piedmont, Italy.

In galleries, foundations and museums we can find international collections, which show particular attention and artistic sensitivity, attracting an increasing number of visitors.

During our trip to Tourin, a visit to GAM (Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery) was not to be missed. GAM is the oldest museum in Italy, and it is devoted to art produced in the last two centuries. It was openend to the public in 1863, and it keeps over 40.000 pieces, among paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings and engravings. Particularly important is the film and artistic videos collection, one of the most famous in Europe.

It’s interesting the idea to take the visitor around in order for him to discover every masterpiece following the theme-based routes. Those may vary through years. This particular approach allows a continuous renewal of the artistic experience itself, which becomes, everytime, a new discovery.

The nineteenth century in Italy is well represented by art pieces by FontanesiFattoriPellizza da Volpedo and Medardo Rosso, while the twentieth century includes MorandiCasoratiMartini and De Pisis.

The continuous dialogue and comparison between such artists and the international avant-garde movements can be directly noticed while admiring the works by Max Ernst, Paul Klee and Picabia, as well as those created by the interpreters of Arte Povera (Art of the poor), of which GAM presents a huge collection that includes Paolini, Boetti, Anselmo, Zorio, Penone and Pistoletto.

The Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art also gives opportunities to the most contemporary artistic production, to which large exhibition spaces are dedicated.

Another intriguing concept is the Open-air Museum of Contemporary Art of Maglione. Which is a small rural village situated on the morenic hills of the low Canavese region, few miles from Ivrea and Turin.

The M.A.C.A.M. is a very interesting cultural experiment launched in 1985 and born out of the genius intuition of Maurizio Corgnati, a private citizen and art lover, who started the ambitious project of turning the entire village into an exhibition space, revolutionizing and democratizing the concept of the museum itself.

The reason for the creation of this museum in a small, almost unknown village was the strong connection between Corgnati and his birthplace. He would see houses, backyards and small hidden places in Maglione, each one similar or identical to next, and he wanted to destroy this monotony of the landscape in order to raise the village again.

With the help of important international artists, who were also friends, Corgnati undertook this venture that initially appeared odd to most onlookers. But ever since tourists and those with a curious mind have been allowed to admire the works of art painted onto the walls of the small houses situated in the narrow streets and squares of the village; delightfully unusual, but well-integrated into the beautiful, natural context of the village.

One of the advantages of this open-air museum is that visitors don’t have to pay an entrance fee. Furthermore, there are neither opening hours nor closing times. The works are displayed on the houses and in the village center; one can admire them by simply walking around the narrow streets of the town. For more information about M.A.C.A.M., such as guided tours and how to reach the village, please click here.

The Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli is located in a completely different setting: the noteworthy collection once belonged to the famous lawyer and his wife is esposed inside the futuristic structure balanced on the top of the Lingotto building, which was the first car factory built by Fiat in Turin.

Designed by Renzo Piano and opened in 2002, the “treasure box” hosts twenty-five masterpieces of art starting from eighteenth to mid-twentieth century.

Among Agnelli’s favourite artists is Henri Matisse, whose seven priceless paintings are preserved here. Also Giacomo Balla represents Futurism through a painting, which focused on the theme of movement and speed with the car as the subject, which is appropriate to the location of the collection.

There are also marvelous masterpieces by Severini, Modigliani and Tiepolo, as well as section dedicated to refined documents of the art of Veneto. It is impossible not to stop and admire two great works by Picasso, one belonging to the Blue Period, while the other to the Cubist one, as well as the magically impressionistic style of artists such as Renoir and Monet.

Two chalk sculptures realized by Antonio Canova, matchless master able to imprint on stone the gracefulness and loveliness of two dancers, as testament to the high artistic level of this gallery.

Below the treasure box, the Pinacoteca extends through a further five floors with spaces dedicated to temporary exhibitions, a consultation hall for collecting which opened in 2010, a teaching center for art, offices and a lively bookshop.

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