In December 2009 the City of Gallarate established the Foundation of the Civica Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Gallarate to administer the Civica Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Municipal Gallery of Modern Art) of Gallarate, on the basis of an agreement signed by the Culture Minister and the Mayor of Gallarate. The founding partners were the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and the City of Gallarate, with the Lombardy Region and the Province of Varese as institutional partners.
Following this institutional development, the Museum, historically known as the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna di Gallarate, acquired the name of the MAGA Museo Arte Gallarate and is housed in new and larger premises.
THE MAGA’S NEW HEADQUARTERS
On March 19, 2010, with an exhibition devoted to Amedeo Modigliani and broader representation of the permanent collection, the Fondazione Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Silvio Zanella inaugurated the MAGA’s new museum premises, specially designed to showcase its collections and cultural activities, so enhancing its importance at both the regional and broadest national levels.
The MAGA aims to become the centre of a network of cultural, artistic and tourist activities across the Lombardy region and to host major exhibitions that will involve the city and the whole province both culturally and economically. The Museum is seen as an indispensable instrument in the cultural growth of the citizens: its programmes are organized in synergy with the schools and cultural institutions operating in the territory.
Visits to the Museum and its major exhibitions will encourage tourists to visit the city and province and so stimulate access to and use of local services and products, fostering a process of economic growth.
The MAGA welcomes and endorses the latest image of the museum, interpreted and presented both as an institution with a distinctive identity. Its permanent collection is a vital tool of research and cultural enrichment for the general public, scholars and artists themselves, and as a place of social focus and relationships, the centre of large and diversified cultural services which support and amplify the permanent and temporary collections, and hence as a complex system of communication.
The museum premises within the overall development and the quality of its design enhance the important exhibits it contains and will favour the acquisition of new artworks, the organization and presentation of exhibitions of outstanding quality, while welcoming the general public through research and cultural activities in its convenience, purpose-built spaces which make the museum a delightful gathering place.
The MAGA’s architectural complex, covering 5000 square meters, consists of two buildings which are contiguous and communicate with each other. The first is a specially converted industrial building dating from the 1930s, the second a structure newly designed and built, notable for the brickwork screen of its façade, whose curvilinear form reaches out to embrace the circular piazza before it, offering visitors a warm welcome.
The interior, variously articulated, makes it possible to organize the space dynamically and flexibly to suit the museum’s mission, which seeks to enhance its holdings, conduct research through exhibitions differing widely in scope and kind, and encourage the public to see the museum as a lively meeting place and centre for cultural dialogue.
The venue for temporary exhibitions is laid out on the ground and first floors with a link that enables the public to follow a linear, unbroken path. The exhibition of the permanent collection begins on the second floor: the space is divided up by a special system of pull-out display panels which make it possible to design a varied and stimulating path for the public as they explore specific themes. The teaching workshops and a performance space provide the essential venue for the development of creative activities aimed at schoolchildren, students in higher education and the general public.
THE MAGA’S COLLECTIONS
The historical collections of the MAGA, owned by the city, are administered by the Fondazione Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Silvio Zanella. The Museum was founded in 1966, with a core collection of works acquired as a result of the city’s art prize, the Premio Nazionale Arti Visive, established in 1950. The wealth of its permanent collection make it one of the most important galleries in the region. The variety and breadth of the cultural events presented by the MAGA each year confirm and further the conception of the museum as a meeting point for cultural research, relationships and scholarship open to people of all ages and from all backgrounds.
The MAGA’s collections, consisting of over 6000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, ceramics, artist books, multimedia works, photographs, designer objects and graphics, offer visitors a rich and articulated landscape of the principle artistic currents which have animated the national art scene from the mid-twentieth century down to the present.
There are numerous works donated by the Premio Gallarate and by artists, while others are loaned on temporary deposit by private collectors. The MAGA fosters the production and acquisition of works by young artists produced specifically for the museum at exhibitions specially devoted to them.
The works in the permanent collection are a record of recent expressions of the Italian Novecento, of figurative art after World War II, the influence of abstract art on figurative painting and sculpture, abstract naturalism, neo-naturalismo padano, abstract and concrete art, kinetic and technological art, environmental art, Art Informel, conceptual art, pittura pittura, the transavanguardia, post-modern, the “new-new”, anachronists and pittura colta, the new realism, the new futurism, abstraction redefined, astrazione povera, multimedia art, the new artistic languages and Italian design.
The major artists in the collection, with works on display in the gallery’s exhibition rooms, include Afro, Massimo Bartolini, Vanessa Beecroft, Bianco-Valente, Enrica Borghi, Carlo Carrà, Alice Cattaneo, Loris Cecchini, Gianni Colombo, Dadamaino, Chiara Dynys, Luciano Fabro Lucio Fontana, Piero Gilardi, Renato Guttuso, Piero Manzoni, Fausto Melotti, Ennio Morlotti, Mocellin e Pellegrini Bruno Munari, Adrian Paci, Giuseppe Penone, Enrico Prampolini, Ernesto Treccani, Giuseppe Santomaso, Mario Sironi, Atanasio Soldati, Studio Azzurro, Emilio Vedova and many others.
The collection of the MAGA has increased through a number of important deposits and donations of private collections.
The rich collection of graphic works, whose core dates back to the 6th Premio Gallarate in 1957, has been extended over the years until it now comprises 1711 items. It testifies to the freedom of expression and research of the leading artists of the twentieth century through experiments with different techniques.
In 1989 the museum established the Design Commission to constitute a section of objects of Italian design from the fifties to the nineties as a focus of debate, dialogue and analysis and to prompt further study embracing both collectible artworks and industrial products. With the seventeenth edition of the “Design of Objects”, the National Award of the Visual Arts of the City of Gallarate, in 1993 the Museum acquired objects by leading designers such as Zanuso, Pozzi, Sapper, Munari, Mari, Colombo, Ponti, Sottsass and Ferrieri.
The MAGA also holds the archives of the MAC, MADI, Mail Art and the Premio Gallarate.
The Museum’s plans for promoting contemporary art includes a rich program of temporary exhibitions devoted to different areas of artistic endeavour, principally Italian, which range from the postwar period to the present. Some 170 exhibitions since 1970 constitute the history of this museum, which has always fostered experimentation and been receptive to all the principal strains of art in the course of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first.
The museum has always developed and deepened two critical directions: the historical-critical reading of the Twentieth Century through exhibitions that highlight the important authors of the european recent past, in dialogue with issues of the permanent collection, and the proposal of the more recent art research.
The personal relationship with artists has always been very important for the museum: the Prize of Gallarate during the Nineties it has undertaken the way of recognition of the main issues related to artistic expression like technological and new media art, public art and photography.
The museum maintains the relationship with the artists through the production of works, the invitation to attend meetings with the public and to plan workshops with students from colleges and high schools.
The MAGA also devotes special attention to events marked by the interaction between visual arts, music, theater and dance, in the belief that contamination between languages is an important topic for research, meeting and exchange.
In recent years the MAGA has been increasingly responsive to current trends, focusing attention on international and closely contemporary art, creating exhibitions like When the Impossible Happens (Nico Vascellari, Knowbotiq, Societas Raffaello Sanzio…) about the themes of performance art and perception, Carsten Nicolai / Alva Noto, about the artist’s special mixed media language, Bianco-Valente, Marcel.lì Antunez Roca, two examples of creativity in the contemporary arts.
Recent exhibitions include:
– Gianni Caravaggio. Finalmente Solo/Enfin Seul ( 31 october 2014 – 11 jenuary 2015) curated by Lorand Hegyl e Emma Zanella
– Mario Cresci. Ex/Post. Orizzonti momentanei (6 september – 19 october 2014) curated by Emma Zanella e Alessandro Castiglioni.
– Belvedere. Paesaggi e Visioni nella collezione del MA*GA (9 february – 3 august 2014) curated by Emma Zanella, Giulia Formenti, Vittoria Broggini, Lorena Giuranna, Alessandro Castiglioni
– Project Room (8 february – 8 may 2014)
– With a Little Help from My Friends. Artisti per il MA*GA (23 november – 22 december 2013)
– Reggia di Monza. E subito riprende il viaggio… Opere dalle collezioni del MA*GA dopo l’incendio. (4 september 2013 – 6 gennaio 2014) curated by Emma Zanella, Giulia Formenti
– Triennale di Milano. E subito riprende il viaggio… Opere dalle collezioni del MA*GA dopo l’incendio (10 may – 25 august 2013) curated by Emma Zanella. Giulia Formenti
– Omar Gallian Alessandro Busci. Un passaggio di Generazione (Centro di Gravità Permanente) (25 november 2012 – 14 february 2013) curated by Mostra Ideata e Flavio Caroli
– Libri d’artista e altri racconti (13 october – 11 november 2012) curated by Lorena Giuranna, Giulia Formenti
– Abitare minimo. Una ricerca sull’essenzialità dell’abitare (12 may – 8 july 2012) curated by Paolo Mestrinier, Massimiliano Spadoni
– Long Play. XXIV Premio Nazionale Arti Visive Città di Gallarate (3 march – 22 july 2012) curated by Anna Daneri, Denis Isaia, Noah Stolz, Emma Zanella, Alessandro Castiglioni
– MAP Multimedia Art Platform (novembre 2011 – gennaio 2012) curated by Gabi Scardi
– Aldo Tagliaferro. L’immagine trovata (novembre 2011 – gennaio 2012) curated by G. Formenti
– When the Impossible Happens (ottobre- novembre 2011) curated by V. Broggini
– Alchemica. Roberto Floreani (luglio – ottobre 2011) curated by E. Zanella
– Giacometti. L’anima del novecento, (marzo – giugno 2011) curated by M. Peppiatt
– Cosa fa la ,mia anima mentre sto lavorando? Opere d’arte contemporanea dalla collezione Consolandi (novembre 2010 – febbraio 2011) curated by F. Pasini e A. Vettese.
– Carsten Nicolai (ottobre 2010) curated by V. Broggini.
– Flash 80. L’universo camaleontico degli anni 80 (estate 2010) curated by E. Zanella
– Il Mistico Profano. Omaggio a Modigliani (19 March-19 June 2010), exhibition for the opening of the new architecture of the Museum, curated by Emma Zanella, Beatrice Buscaroli
– The Group Show: M. Airò, M. Bartolini, C. Bernardini, L. Cecchini, O. Cnaani, M.me Duplok, C. Dynys, L. Favaretto, M.&D. Löbbert, M. Migliora, O. Mocellin and N. Pellegrini curated by E. Zanella and Twister – Rete Musei Lombardia per l’arte contemporanea. (3 October 2009 – 31 January 2010)
– Terzo Paesaggio. Fotografia Italiana oggi. XXIII Edizione Premio Nazionale Arti Visive Città di Gallarate, curated by Emma Zanella, scientific commission: Roberta Valtorta, Enrico De Pascale, Walter Guadagnini (7 March– 5 July 2009) – Giulio Minoletti. Visioni urbane di Maurizio Montagna, curated by Katia Accossato and Luigi Trentin (17 January – 22 February 2009)
– Visibile Invisibile. Bianco-Valente. Opere video e ambienti 1995-2008, curated by Emma Zanella, Vittoria Broggini (8 March 2008 – 25 May 2008)
– Le trame di Penelope: E. Borghi, A. Cattaneo, Name Diffusion, curated by Emma Zanella (10 November 2007 – 10 February 2008)
The MAGA promotes, implements and communicates the most significant visual and contemporary art research through a rich program of events and valuable opportunities to devote attention to the performing arts with fusions and crossovers between different forms of expression.
Recently Performazioni, the festival of performing arts (September – October 2011) was an opportunity for the museum to work with international artists such as Ryoji Ikeda, Nico Vascellari, Knobotiq, Giovanni Morbin, Societas Raffello Sanzio and others. The festival has proposed events related to music, to theater and the visual arts, reflecting on the theme of body, voice and action in the arts.
Every summer the MAGA launched a programme of musical or performative events in the outdoor spaces of the museum. In the past, the annual editions of Plaid, nights of sounds, music and visions, events of a night devoted to interactions between different artistic disciplines, have presented live performances by Hugo Race (2005), AGF (2006), Xabier Iriondo and Davide Vendramin (2007). Membership of the Interreg INnet project (2005-2007) led to the creation of the Symbiosis Orchestra mixed-media performance, the Danxy Music interactive dance performance by Ariella Vidach, workshops on new technologies in art in collaboration with the ZKM Karlshrue art and media centre (2005) and the Boston MIT (2007), and the theatrical performance Protomembrana by Marcel.lí Antunez Roca (2007). In 2008 the outdoor event will be devoted to contemporary dance, with the participation of the Compagnia Ariella Vidach – A.I.E.P. and Madrigale Appena Narrabile, a performance by the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio. Recent meeting with the Australian artist STELARC, who pioneers research into new technologies and science applied to art.
Outstanding recent events include: LINGUAGGI ESTRANEI performance by C.Fennesz, T.Koner and lectures by Canecapovolto, Zafos Xagoraris (11-12 December 2009) – L’IDIOMA DI MODESTO, performance by P. Calignano and L’Orchestra di via Padova (3 October 2009) – Show-Case, Zeno Gabaglio, cello and electronics, Sandro Schneebeli and Antonello Messina guitar and accordion. (16 May 2009).
About mixed media arts the Museum organized; PLAID #3, 24 hours in Museum; Musica ad oggetti, performance by Xabier Iriondo, Push & Pull, performance by D.Vendramin, Acusmatica, installation by Kunstzero. (29 September 2007); PLAID #2, 24 hours in Museum, Elettronico immaginario; screening of Music Videoclips (1980-2006), performance by AGF (Antye Greie Fuchs) (23 September 2006), curated by V.Broggini; PLAID, 24 hours in Museum, The Merola Matrix mixed media performance by Hugo Race and Marta Collica, Screening of documentaries about contemporary art of ROMA ART DOC FEST (25 June 2005 – 26 June 2005); Cinema e Colore; Velluto Blu, Film screening, (“Blue Velvet”) by D. Lynch, Pollock by E. Harris, presentation and critical discussion chaired by Giacomo Manzoli (13 December 2004)
The busy activities of the MAGA Educational Department stem from the belief that the encounter with artworks fosters a freer and more creative relationship with reality and offers children and adults important scope for growth. It is for this reason that the department’s plans focus on a broad range of initiatives aimed at younger audiences as well as adults, artists and all those who wish to approach the Museum in different ways by using it as an open and receptive cultural centre.
The Education Department, in its tenth year of activity, plans and constantly develops specific projects for each different band of users, from visits and workshops for preschool and primary-school children to workshops with artists and lectures for university students and an adult public.
In particular, they include:
– Tours and workshops for students in schools of all kinds and levels, with activities specifically designed and adapted to suit the user groups so as to enhance the value of the works in the collection and the various exhibitions the Museum presents while developing the visitors’ critical sense.
– Training courses and internships for high-school and university students to enable young people to gain a working knowledge of the many professional roles active within a contemporary art museum.
– Educational Projects in the territory. Fundamental to the department’s mission is the provision of broad cultural projects to meet the needs of local institutions and organizations.
– Lectures and conferences on contemporary art, with two cycles of encounters each year: one of introductory lessons to contemporary culture, the other of lectures in depth, organized as an opportunity for open dialogue with the public and cultural innovation dealing with the latest critical and artistic issues.
– Cultural field trips and guided tours to the most interesting contemporary art exhibitions in Italy and abroad in order to keep the critical vision alive and aware while encouraging comparisons between exhibitions in Lombardy and major art events.
– Training courses for teachers, important refresher courses on contemporary art, with different syllabuses and times for both primary and high school teachers, with the aim of raising awareness about contemporary issues and sensitivity to its aesthetic formulas.
– Workshops with artists. The activities are organized in collaboration with other departments of the museum, and devote particular attention to temporary exhibitions held.
– Editorial and communications projects. The Educational Department devises projects for further study in paper format and as experimental communication projects devoted to the latest trends in contemporary art. They include the periodical WOK and also entail the drafting of texts to study and enhance the MAGA’ holdings in the form of guides, catalogues, brochures and educational booklets.
7 February – 15 March 2015
Voglio vedere le mie montagne
Collective exhibition curated by Noah Stolz.
Artists: Yves Mettler, Relax, Gianni Motti, Una Szeeman & Bohdan Stehlik, Pascal Shwaighofer, Luc Mattenberger, Aurelian Gamboni, Oppy De Bernardo, Aldo Mozzini, Marco Fedele di Catrano, Miki Tallone, Gilles Aubry, Cuomo e Iorio
18 April – 8 November 2015
Missoni, l’arte, il colore
The exhibition is about the internationality and creativity of the Maison Missoni, the success of made in Italy in the production of textiles and fashion, and the importance of the territory in originating and creative languages dialogues with some of the masters of modern and contemporary Italian and European.
FONDAZIONE GALLERIA D’ARTE MODERNA E CONTEMPORANEA SILVIO ZANELLA
via De Maghi 1 – 21013 Gallarate (VA)