When Rome’s Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea reopened in October, after months of partial closure due to renovation and reorganization, the venerable institution did so with a bang: It unveiled “Time is Out of Joint,” a powerful exhibit that features major modern and contemporary artworks from various eras.
The strength of the exhibit lies in its ability to highlight works in a non-linear fashion, as suggested by the title (which is borrowed from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”). New museum director Cristiana Collu teamed up with Saretto Cincinelli to curate the show, pulling pieces from the museum’s permanent collection while adding outsourced works to achieve a symbiosis of form, technique and style. Through carefully selected artworks, the show questions the very concept of time, while hinting at its flexibility and elasticity.
For example Federico Cortese’s haunting 1890 painting “Ruderi di un Mondo Che Fu,” hangs near Gabriele Basilico’s equally haunting photography collection “Roma,” from 2010, offering the viewer stark similarities and contrasts between Basilico’s modern, poetic cityscapes and Cortese’s elusive, romantic scenery.
Other important works featured in the exhibit include Lucio Fontana’s “Spatial Concept, Waiting” from 1961, Wassily Kandinsky’s “Linea Angolare” from 1930 and Gustav Klimt’s “The Three Ages of a Woman” from 1905. Visitors can also view 1917’s “Portrait of Hanka Zborowska” by Amedeo Modigliani and Vincent van Gogh’s captivating “The Gardener,” from 1889.
Collu’s renovations focused on reviving the museum’s classical beauty by emphasizing the importance of wide open space and natural light. The new feeling of airiness and endless freedom provides an ideal environment in which to view iconic contemporary works.
“Time is Out of Joint” runs until April 15 at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome.