Our July Pick of Contemporary Art Exhibitions in Rome

The big, well-advertised exhibits in Rome are all over. The most famous showings usually take place between October and June. But the Eternal city still has a lot to offer. You just have to dig and research to find out. We did it for you with a wrap-up of the most interesting contemporary art exhibits running until the end of July. But in a couple of weeks we will post on another set of contemporary art exhibits that you can see in August. There are too many to put them altogether in just one article. Not even contemporary art is on holiday here!


Let’s start with a very central venue, the Fondazione Roma Museo of Via del Corso 320, which has been hosting some of the best Roman exhibits in the last few years. Their summer showing is about 1960s’ Italian art, with a special eye on the relationship between Italy’s two major creative centres of the time: Rome and Milan. Top-notch artists such as revolutionary Fontana, textile-inspired Boetti, the master of colour Dorazio, pop-artist Rotella and many others will be on show until July 31. “Gli irripetibili anni ’60” also displays works by international artists like Calder and Klein.


A new (and controversial) initiative here in Rome is the International Sculpture biennale. This open-air event at Casina Valadier, in Villa Borghese, Rome’s biggest downtown park, and in Villa Torlonia, a small park with plenty of beautiful museums and historical buildings of the 19th and early 20th centuries, hosts 33 monumental works by 31 different artists also until July 31. It is divided into four sections: international (Salvator Dalì), Italian (Giacomo Manzù), young (Romero Britto) and sculptors selected by Roman art galleries.


This year Italians are celebrating the 150th anniversary of their political unification and the most famous of the international galleries here, Gagosian, also wanted to contribute with the exhibit “Made in Italy”. From Venice’s Byzantine exoticism, the cerebral sensuality of Florentine Renaissance, and the beguiling vestiges of Classical Rome, Italy became an inspiring artistic idea and ideal. This infatuation continued into the twentieth century, during which tourism became easier and accessible to many. The animated cityes and pastoral idylls of Italy remain a rite of passage in the careers of many contemporary artists. The exhibition maps an unexpected Italian journey through works by seminal artists of the past sixty years: Basquiat, Giacometti, Haring, Hirst, Koons, Lichetenstein, Rauschenberg, Serra, Twombly and Warhol. Until July 29.
Next to Gagosian, a small Italian art gallery, 6° senso, runs a collective showing of mainly Italian artists until July 31. Our favorite is definitely Antonio Tamburro for the contrast between his beautiful greys and bright colours. Other Major names include Schifano, Guttuso and Sughi.


Another collective art exhibit will bring you to one of Rome’s most beautiful buroughs: Monti. In what used to be a club of AS Roma soccer supporters now there is an art gallery space with very orginal initiatives. Their exposition will run from July 20 to the 30th.


RAM, Radio Arte Mobile, has recreated in the multi-ethnic neighbourhood of Esquilino, a Moscow house with works by three Russian artists: Vladimir Tarasov, Leonid Tishkov and Vadim Zakharov. “Artsound” runs until July 29.


The second most-important international gallery in Rome is probably Lorcan O’Neill that until July 29 hosts the works of an Italian Transavantgarde (the Italian version of Neo-expressionism) artist: Francesco Clemente. His large canvases with women and his lively self-portraits will be on show until July 29.


For the year of Italian culture in China and viceversa, the Museum of Roman Civilization, in the EUR area, hosts until July 24 the first showing of the contemporary Chinese artists Xu Longsen. A stimulating comparison between Ancient Roman art and the Chinese tradition. Xu Longsen adopts the typical techniques and materials of the Eastern Asian art such as rice paper, water ink etc…The works might look as site specifi but they are actually a selection of the major works of this contemporary-traditional Chinese artist.


Some of the best Italian and International Street art names will be on display in the private gallery Mondo Pop until July 31. Street Parade, the affordable street art comes to gallery, is the latest stage of the Superstar Urban Project .


Last but not least, a relatively new space that has been organizing many events in the last few months. Mlac, a lab-museum owned by Rome’s largest University, la Sapienza, hosts “Other Narrations”, a multi-disciplinary exhibit on all the different forms of contemporary communication. Until July 28.