The Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art recently opened the exhibition “Masterpieces of the Farnesina Collection. A glance at Italian art from the 1950s to the present”, curated by Martina Corgnati and Giovanni Iovane and organised by the Embassy of Italy and Italian Cultural Institute of Zagreb. The Farnesina Contemporary Art Collection was born in 2000 as an instrument of foreign diplomacy; a true open-ended entity sustained by relations with artists and the numerous institutions working to keep contemporary art alive in Italy. All its works are on loan, a formula that allows for the collection’s continuing evolution and for the regular rotation of the works, which currently number more than 300. The Collection offers an important showcase for Italian artistic practices, and it was conceived fundamentally to be shown abroad, as a whole or in part, in collaboration with Italian foreign diplomatic missions. An initial cycle of international exhibitions lasted from 2005 to 2010 and, with this exhibition in Zagreb, it returns once again to the international scene.
The Collection as an important showcase for Italian artistic practices
For the occasion, a small nucleus of works by artists such as Mimmo Rotella, Piero Dorazio, Luigi Ontani, Nunzio, Vettor Pisani, Carla Accardi, Mario Cresci, Eliseo Mattiacci and Michelangelo Pistoletto will be flanked by the works of the Zagreb Contemporary Art Museum, which already has a significant number of Italian works in its collection.
The central theme of the exhibition is the notion of a public “collection” linked to a specific site, in this case the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Farnesina Palace, whose doors are opened to visitors on specific days during the year. It is a collection born of the conviction that foregrounding a country’s cultural and artistic heritage is important for a foreign policy committed to fostering dialogue, innovation and social and economic growth.