LR writer Mike Watson has an article on MAXXI Gallery, Rome, in Art Monthly, October Edition, out now:
More positively, architecturally speaking, the unimaginable has been achieved by Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid. The MAXXI fills a sizable area, like a huge and impossibly aerodynamic spaceship, whilst its interior comprises wide and shifting vented spaces, inviting future site specific ventures of great scale. In London such a space would be impressive, in Rome – where contemporary architectural projects are often stalled by protest – it signals incendiary change, to be fanned, or extinguished.
It is unclear whether this space will be matched by the works on display over time. The choice of opening shows, a huge Gino De Dominicis (b.1947, d.1998) retrospective, signals the precariousness of contemporary art in this most immobile of cities. One feels it may be impossible for Italy to accept contemporary art until it learns to speak of the Renaissance and Duchamp as if in the same breath; the latter – and his line of followers up to the current day – as a continuation of, not challenge to, the heritage of prior art. Whilst one best not hold their breath, the De Dominicis retrospective presents something of an opportunity in this respect, for the late artist’s creative diversity as much as for his being Italian.