It's not all about ancient history in Rome. Roman culture is alive and kicking with great museums and galleries focused on the contemporary, modern and even postmodern. Here's a look at some of the best venues in Rome for viewing contemporary art.
Galleria Lorcan O'Neill
1 Via degli Orti D'Alibert, 00165
A strong British vibe (a Tracey Emin show just wrapped up last month) and an edgy take on contemporary art set Galleria Lorcan O'Neill apart from the typical Roman scene. Opened in 2003, this private gallery in the Trastevere neighborhood is already a mainstay in many art circles.
Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum
31 Piazza di Spagna, 00187
As a museum, it's hardly more than a decade old and only features artwork created during the 20th century by one artist. Yes, the Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum yields a much different cultural perspective than many of Rome's most frequented attractions. Surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico lived here for the last 30 years of his life with his wife Isa who remained until her death in 1990. Set in the top three storeys of the 17th century Palazzetto dei Borgogoni, this apartment-cum-museum is filled with de Chirico's works and offers visitors stunning views of the famed Piazza di Spagna and Rome's skyline from the heart of the city.
MACRO, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome
4 Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, 00153
Housed in an old Peroni factory and former slaughterhouse in the increasingly trendy neighborhood of Testaccio, the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma is a municipal project with a focus on post WWII Italian art with particular attention paid to works made since the 1960s. With some of Rome's best nightlife and local eateries at its doorstep, MACRO's late hours ensure you can do as the Romans do in style and with leisure – it's also one of the few major attractions in Rome that seems to draw actual Romans out to mingle with the tourists.
MAXXI, the National Museum of Art from the 21st century
4A Via Guido Reni, 00196
Designed by celebrity architect, Zaha Hadid, the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo (aka MAXXI) questions the assumption that Rome's best times are behind it and that daring and colossal structures are a thing of the past. The museum's collection reads as a who's who of contemporary art with the likes of Gilbert & George, Anish Kapoor, Gerhard Richter, Francesco Clemente, Thomas Schutte and plenty of other outstanding artists drawing viewers to experience Rome's most up-to-date take on art.
National Gallery of Modern Art
131 Viale delle Belle Arti, 00197
Works by some of the biggest names in modern art from the 19th and 20th centuries are on view in this 75 gallery museum: Modigliani, Giacometti, Calder, Duchamp, Braque, Duchamp, Braque, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Monet, Pollock, Rodin, Van Gogh and plenty more. Nearby the Etruscan Museum and the Galleria Borghese, the National Gallery of Modern Art offers an excellent opportunity to fast forward through time while taking in even more amazing art and culture.
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