MAXXI: much more than a museum

Published on Monday, 4 February 2019

“The MAXXI is more than a museum.” You only have to leaf through the report on 2018 and take a glance at the programme for 2019 to find confirmation of MAXXI Foundation president Giovanna Melandri’s words at the presentation of the museum’s new year programme. Rome’s National Museum of 21st Century Arts aims to be “a platform for research, education, events and the future,” which once again this year will combine major exhibitions with special projects, educational initiatives, international partnerships, prizes, lectures, meetings, screenings, advanced training courses and workshops. MAXXI will also be flanked once more by Enel, a private founding member of the Foundation and “strategic partner” in the words of the president herself.

Thirteen new exhibitions, focuses and special projects will bring the Zaha Hadid-designed museum’s halls to life in 2019. A very Italian, very female-focused programme with solo shows of artists Paola Pivi and Maria Lai as well as photographer Paolo Di Paolo and the great Giò Ponti, the distinguished architect and designer. The spotlight will also be turned on photographer Elisabetta Catalano and Transavanguardia artist Enzo Cucchi. The exhibition programme confirms a scope that now extends well beyond the traditional borders separating art, photography, architecture, video and design. The international art scene is also included too with masterpieces from Valencia’s IVAM and the large “TUTTO” group show celebrating the relationship between art and spirituality with works by the likes of Alighiero Boetti, Yoko Ono and Sean Scully.

New initiatives include a collaboration with Milan’s Triennale which will produce a national prize for architecture, a project for Matera European City of Culture 2019 by video artist Shirin Neshat, and three site-specific projects for L’Aquila, a decade on from the earthquake. The MAXXI collections (70 new works were acquired in 2018) continue to tour the world and will be visiting Tunis, Rabat, New Delhi and Mumbai.

While visitor numbers are growing steadily (+11.26% tickets sold, +21% takings on previous year), education, training and research areas are experiencing a strong growth in line with the museum’s cultural and social mission. In 2018, the MAXXI staged 917 educational activities involving over 23,000 participants – an increase of 50% compared to 2017. The workshop spaces are due for renovation in the autumn as part of a collaboration between Enel Cuore OnlusFondazione Reggio Children and the MAXXI education office.

Finally, there is good news too for younger visitors with the introduction of “mini” tickets available for students for 5 euros (every Wednesday from 2.00 pm) and “last hour” tickets for those who want to visit the museum during the evening (from 5.30 pm, and on Saturdays from 8.30 pm).

Thanks to Enel’s support, the MAXXI is proving itself to be even more welcoming, accessible and open to the city and the world.

Find out more about the MAXXI programme

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