MACRO’s permanent collection offers a selection of some of the most significant expressions characterizing the Italian art scene since the 1960s. Works by Italian artists of international repute illustrate how Italian nationals have figured along-side key protagonists of the international art world during recent years.
Artistic production during the years immediately following the Second World War is documented through the works of artists from the group Forma 1. Artists such as Carla Accardi, Antonio Sanfilippo, Achille Perilli, and Piero Dorazio imposed a pictorial vocabulary of abstraction over that of the realism dominant at the time. Sculpture experienced a parallel development as witnessed through the collections of Leoncillo and Ettore Colla. Dominant in the work of Leoncillo is a powerfully emotive language of informal materiality. Colla’s assemblage sculptures are totemic forms constructed with reclaimed materials and worn out or otherwise wasted objects from the artist’s lived experiences.
In Rome during the initial phases of the 1960s the Scuola di Piazza del Popolo group of artists rallied around a common experience influenced by the American Pop Art movement. In their works they re-elaborated popular imagery associated with consumerism and mass media. The works of Tano Festa, Mario Schifano, Titina Maselli and Mimmo Rotella are testimonies to this moment in art history, rich as a result of their confluence and thanks in large part to the artistic inquiries of Arte Povera members Mario Ceroli and Pino Pascali. A desire to exceed the boundaries of the painted canvas is evident in the work of Enrico Castellani who altered the surface of his works with dynamic repetitions of reliefs and depressions in white. Giuseppe Uncini’s art works in cement play with the contrast between pure forms and the roughness of the materials used.
During the first years of the 1980s in the studios of the former Cerere pasta factory in Rome’s San Lorenzo neighbourhood, the artists Piero Pizzi Cannella, Gianni Dessì, Marco Tirelli, Domenico Bianchi, and Bruno Ceccobelli gave life to what would later be called the Nuova Scuola Romana. Collectively, these artists sought to reclaim pictorial traditions while they reserved for their individual approaches an elaboration of this tradition within the space of their individual studios.
MACRO’s collection also documents recent trends by key contributors to the development of the arts, to name just a few: Gianni Asdrubali exponent of the Astrazione Povera movement, Giovanni Albanese who uses irony and simulated flames to create poetic Ready-mades and mechanical inventions, and Cristiano Pintaldi who contests the structure of televised images through re-presentations in manual brushstrokes.