The latest presentation of the MAXXI Arte collection reflects museum’s intention to explore the confines of the history of recent Italian art, starting out with an interpretation of its own resources.
The nucleus of this new display is a newly acquired work of particular interest by Marisa Merz: an installation in which the artist combines all materials she favours and which characterise her research, clay, copper and paper which, when used together, create a universe of female figures reflected in the copper sheets laid on the floor on which a clay head is placed.
Set in the centre of Gallery 4, the work is a metre against which the strands of the collection are measured and from which they depart.
The feminine dimension of Marisa Merz’s work has been one of the aspects that has most influenced the work of artists from subsequent generations such as Elina Brotherus, Elisabetta Benassi, Ketty La Rocca, Luisa Lambri, Claudia Losi, Rosemarie Trockel and Kara Walker who, carrying forward the research traced by the Arte Povera trend, amplified and enriched it with an existential dimension.
The exhibition intends to recover this complexity while weaving another strand: that which has lightly and at times imperceptibly bound such heterogeneous experiences through to the works of the 1990s, in which Merz’s minimal everyday gestures of emotivity become a defence against the fear of the loss of a human dimension in artistic production.