Italian Contemporary Art Glossary and Museum List

A glossary and list of Italian art terms.

Tamara Grcic, Gaggiandre, 2009, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, Germany
Tamara Grcic, Gaggiandre, 2009, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, Germany

From Roman times to the present day, Italy has played a large role in the international art market. The Biennale dell’Arte di Venezia, or the Venice Biennale, was the first international art exhibition to promote Contemporary Art. Founded in 1895, the fair takes place every two years.

In addition to the Biennale, various other institutions and foundations focused on Contemporary Art have emerged in Italy over the past few years. From national or regional museums to private collections of famous and well–known personalities, Italy is renewing its image, and focusing more on Contemporary Art.

Gaggiandre by Tamara Grcic

Tamara Grcic, Gaggiandre, 2009, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, Germany

Contemporary Art Movements A–Z

English Italian
Abstract Expressionism L’espressionismo astratto
Bay Area Figurative style La scuola figurativa della Bay Area californiana
Body Art La Body Art
CoBrA CoBrA (il movimento Copenhagen, Bruxelles, Amsterdam)
Color–Field Painting La pittura a campi di colore
Conceptual Art Arte concettuale
Digital Art Digital Art
Feminist Art Arte femminista
Free Figuration Arte figurativa libera
Graffiti Art Graffiti Art
Happening Happening Art – Arte performativa
Hyperrealism Iperrealismo
Informal Art Arte informale
Kinetic Art Arte cinetica
Land Art Land Art
Minimalism Minimalismo
Narrative Figuration Arte narrativa
Neo–Dada Neo–Dada
Neo–Geo Neo–Geo
New Realism Nuovo realismo
New York School La Scuola di New york
Op Art Op Art
Performance Art Arte performativa
Photorealism Fotorealismo
Pop Art Pop Art
Psychedelic Art Arte psichedelica
Spatialism Spazialismo
Transavantgarde Transavanguardia
Urban Art Urban Art
Video Art Video Art
(0014) Il gran rifiuto by Giuseppe Veneziano

Giuseppe Veneziano, (0014) Il gran rifiuto, 2008, Galleria d’Arte Contini, Venice, Italy



About: In 1993, Miuccia Prada decided to open her foundation for Contemporary Art, which provides the city of Milan and the international audience with the opportunity to access the most controversial and provocative artworks of our time. Every year, the space offers two exhibitions showing the experiments and studies of several international artists. In 2011, Fondazione Prada opened its first exhibition. After restructuring, Palazzo Ca’ Corner della Regina, on Canal Grande, opened its doors with works from Miuccia’s collection.
Addresses: Fondazione Prada – via Fogazzaro 36, 20135 Milano; Palazzo Ca’ Corner della Regina – Calle de Ca’ Corner, Santa Croce 2215, 30135 Venezia
Hours: Milan: 9:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday; Venice: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Wednesday through Monday


About: MAMbo is located in Bologna, in an area which was formerly used for commerce and production activities. Together with some departments of DAMS University (specialized in arts, media, and show business), MAMbo, the Museum of Modern Art of Bologna, is part of the new district for cultural studies, production, and activities. The museum focuses on art from after World War II to the present day, with a special focus on the avant–garde.
Address: Via Don Minzoni, 14 – 40121 Bologna
Hours: 12 a.m.–6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 12 a.m.–8 p.m. on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday; closed on Monday


About: Founded in 2009 in the juridical form of a foundation, MAXXI is the first national museum for 21st–century art. It is divided into two sections: MAXXI Architecture and MAXXI Arts. The museum offers the chance to see the latest progress in the Contemporary Art field and to take part in workshops, labs, conferences, screenings, and other educational training. The building is an architectural masterpiece designed and created by the famous architect Zaha Hadid (British/Iraqi, b.1950). The museum is 13.5 square meters, and so far has collected up to 300 Contemporary artworks, including pieces by both national and international artists.
Address: Via Guido Reni, 4/A – 00196 Roma
Hours: 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on Monday through Friday and Sunday; 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Saturday


About: Museion, the museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Bolzano, in the north of Italy, was founded in 1985 as a cultural association. In 1987, it started its activity in the former hospital of the city. Today, Museion is located in a new structure, opened in 2008, where the architecture has a fundamental role in the town, connecting the historical side with the new and modern part of Bolzano. The collection includes works by Afro (Italian, 1912–1976), Arnulf Rainer (Austrian, b.1929), Lucio Fontana (Argentinean/Italian, 1899–1968), Gerhard Richter (German, b.1932), Alberto Burri (Italian, 1915–1995), and Markus Lüpertz (German, b.1941).
Address: Via Dante 6, 39100 Bolzano
Hours: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Tuesday through Sunday; 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on Thursday


About: Opened in the end of 2010, Museo del 900 is the first museum in Milan to show Italian paintings and sculptures from the 20th–century. The museum’s inventory includes artworks and masterpieces of Futurism, Abstract Art, and Spatialism. Before 2010, the city of Milan lacked a Contemporary Art museum for more than 10 years, as the existing one had closed back in 1998.
The inventory of Museo del 900 is made up of several private collections, which have been donated by private collectors throughout the years.
Address: Palazzo dell’Arengario – Via Marconi, 1 – 20122 Milano
Hours: 2:30 pm.–7.30 p.m. on Monday; 9:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. on Tuesday through Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday; 9:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday

Palazzo Grassi e Punta della Dogana

About: These two museums, which were opened by the famous French collector François Pinault in 2009, give visitors the chance to see a huge collection of Contemporary Art. In 2005, both of these buildings were restructured by architect Tadao Ando (Japanese, b.1941), resulting in a perfect combination of tradition and innovation. Palazzo Grassi, located on the Canal Grande, mixes the elegance of a Venetian palace with modern details. Punta della Dogana, the former Venetian monumental harbor with a triangular form, has been transformed into a foundation for Contemporary artists.
Address: Palazzo Grassi – Campo San Samuele – Venezia; Punta della Dogana – Dorsoduro 2, 30123 Venezia
Hours: 10 a.m.–7 p.m. on Wednesday through Monday

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