BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Sara Piccinini

Senior Coordinator, Collezione Maramotti - Reggio Emilia, Italy

Evgeny Antufiev, Untitled, 2012. © and photo: the artist
Evgeny Antufiev, Untitled, 2012. © and photo: the artist

There are hundreds of positions in the collection, does it follow a specific theme or particular artists?

One of the main focus of the Collection is painting, this is definitely a red thread. Achille Maramotti, the first collector of this family and father of the current generation, considered painting an ongoing discourse from antiquity to the present day. His three children continue to cultivate a strong interest in this always prolific art language. This is clear whether visiting the galleries of the permanent exhibition − full of art informel, Italian, German and American neoexpressionism, New Geometry – or having an overview of our temporary shows and projects from 2008 onward.

The Collection is also strongly oriented to the very present time, the artists are represented by significant works from their early careers, pieces and projects developed in a special moment of creative innovation in their research.

Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view. Artworks by Christopher Wool, Rosemarie Trockel. Photo: C. Dario Lasagni
Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view. Artworks by Christopher Wool, Rosemarie Trockel. Photo: C. Dario Lasagni
Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view. Artworks by Eric Fischl, Malcolm Morley. Photo: C. Dario Lasagni
Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view. Artworks by Eric Fischl, Malcolm Morley. Photo: C. Dario Lasagni

How long have you been working with the Maramotti collection and family? This would bring a unique insight into the collection, could you please share something about that with us.

I’ve been appointed senior coordinator in January 2018, but I’ve been working there right since the beginning. It was early 2007, and the Collection opened to public in the Fall that same year. It was greatly exciting, as a 24-year-old art enthusiast at her first work experience in this field, to be there and see everything taking its shape, starting from a beautiful building from the ‘50s under renovation to get to a fully accomplished art institution. Those were beautiful months of thrilling teamwork during which we also had the first direct contacts with artists such as Giulio Paolini and Barry X Ball, who personally came here to install their artworks.

Do you know if late collector Achille Maramotti had a personal relationship with the artists he collected? How did he approach collecting?

He was keen on meeting artists and became friend of some of them. For example, he knew Enzo Cucchi, Jannis Kounellis, and was close to Claudio Parmiggiani and Mario Diacono, with whom he also undertook the publishing project of “Tau/ma” (1975-1981), an experimental avant-garde magazine exploring the relationship between words, poetry and images.

I think he approached collecting in a genuine, passion-oriented way, following his taste and vision. Not a single piece of the Collection was ever sold, every work is considered as a tile of a personal and family story. Also, as founder of the Max Mara company, he did not want to mingle his art collection with his business; he believed that art and fashion were two somehow related but different languages, with their own features and distinct purposes. That’s why we are a private collection, not a corporate one.

Collezione Maramotti, East entrance. Photo: C. Cesare Di Liborio
Collezione Maramotti, East entrance. Photo: C. Cesare Di Liborio
Alessandro Pessoli, From the exhibition Fiamma pilota le ombre seguono, 2011. Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, 2019. Photo: Dario Lasagni
Alessandro Pessoli, From the exhibition Fiamma pilota le ombre seguono, 2011. Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, 2019. Photo: Dario Lasagni
Alessandro Pessoli, Fiamma pilota, 2011. © the artist. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen
Alessandro Pessoli, Fiamma pilota, 2011. © the artist. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

Do you believe that contemporary artists have certain responsibilities today? If so, what are these?

Art can illuminate things and give us new eyes, original lenses to see and interpret the world. This is a power which I detect in art of all times. So artists may activate divergent visions, inspire thoughts and actions, in more or less direct ways. Our ability to imagine new scenarios is essential to individual and collective reflections, even and strongly now.

What is the direction of the Collezione Maramotti and its visitation space today?

Our cores are the permanent exhibition and the ongoing temporary projects. We mainly invite emergent and mid-career artists (often at their first solo show in Italy) to realize a new body of works specifically for our galleries, to be exhibited there then entering the Collection. But sometimes we also present exhibitions with pieces from our storage, like for ex. the recent “Rehang : Archives”, highlighting the vitality of the creative process of artworks and the connections between the various elements that form the Collezione. In addition, we are partners in the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, in which we take care of the 6-month Italian residency for the winning artists, we present their resulting shows and acquire their artworks.

Our ability to imagine new scenarios is essential to individual and collective reflections, even and strongly now.

Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view, open space 2nd floor. Artworks by: Tom Sachs, Barry X Ball, Erick Swenson. Photo: C. Dario Lasagni
Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view, open space 2nd floor. Artworks by: Tom Sachs, Barry X Ball, Erick Swenson. Photo: C. Dario Lasagni

How important are publicly accessible private collections in comparison to public institutions and museums?

Public and private institutions have just different goals, which implicate different ways to manage and present artworks and exhibitions. I don’t feel like to compare them. But of course, I think that when private subjects decide to make their artistic heritage available to public and share their collections, that marks a positive enrichment everyone may benefit from.

What has the reaction been like from visitors of the collection since making it publicly accessible in 2007? Does this reaction impact the collection you’re your program

The reactions are luckily extremely personal, but in general I may say that the Collezione has been received and considered in a very positive way. The quality of the works, the clean installation, the wide calm spaces are greatly appreciated, together with the particular kind of visits we offer: free of charge, but upon reservation, accompanied in a discreet way by a person of our staff, for a limited number of visitors at one time. We try to create and preserve the conditions for an immersive, meaningful, intimate visit experience.

The program is decided by the Maramotti family, who choose the artists to be invited following their own interests and taste, in continuity with the identity of the collection.

Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?

Among the institutions I’ve recently visited, I would suggest Magazzino of Italian Art, in Cold Spring, NY, the Fondation Carmignac on the island of Porquerolles and the Collezione Giuseppe Iannaccone in Milan.

All images courtesy Collezione Maramotti, Italy

More Information on Collezione Maramotti

Collections (90)

Kloster Schoenthal

Nature-inspired sculptures in a pristine landscape

Pinchuk Art Centre

Blue-chip contemporary in the first private museum in the former USSR

Kunst(Zeug)Haus

An extensive private collection of Swiss contemporary art of the last fifty years

Mathaf—Arab Museum of Modern Art

A Royal Collection Spanning 200 Years of Arab Art – Doha, Qatar

Reflection and Speculation

Sammlung von Kelterborn – Frankfurt, Germany

KaviarFactory

DJ Cassy and Francesca Gavin meet with collectors Venke and Rolf A. Hoff in Henningsvær, Norway

Deichtorhallen Hamburg – Sammlung Falckenberg

Positions of social criticism in German and American contemporary art – Hamburg, Germany

Houghton Hall

Pari Ehsan and Francesca Gavin meet with collector Lord David Cholmondeley in King’s Lynn, Norfolk

The Walther Collection

Inside and Outside the Frame – Neu Ulm, Germany

Peter Ibsen Collection

Minimalist Works That Hone Your Sense for Detail – Copenhagen, Denmark

Initiating Dialogues

Sammlung Hoffmann – Berlin, Germany

The Mallin Collection & Buckhorn Sculpture Park

Andrea Denver and Francesca Gavin meet with collectors Sherry and Joel Mallin in Upstate New York

The Agah Uğur Collection

One of the Largest Video Art Collections in Istanbul, Turkey

KA Modern and Contemporary Art Space

900 Square Meters Dedicated to Lebanon’s Most Significant Artists – Beirut, Lebanon

Art About Beauty and Infirmity

Collezione De Iorio – Trento, Italy

Living Collection

Gary Yeh and Francesca Gavin meet with architect and collector William Lim in Hong Kong

Early Passions

Z Collection – Hong Kong, China

Infinite Interiors

Philara Collection – Dusseldorf, Germany

Papko Art Collection

Works of Turkish Modernism at the legendary Ralli Apartment in Istanbul

Risky Business

Astrup Fearnley Museet – Oslo, Norway

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Pari Ehsan and Francesca Gavin meet with collector Patricia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy

Something Special, Something Sacred

The Goss-Michael Foundation – Dallas, United States of America

JAHM – Justin Art House Museum

Digital and Abstract Art — Melbourne, Australia

A More Democratic Art

MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Embracing the Accidental

Trajković Collection – Belgrade, Serbia

Galila's P.O.C.

A Collection Made up of Thematic Collections – Brussels, Belgium

Establishing Roots and Creating Links

The Ovidiu Șandor Collection – Timișoara, Romania

Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz

Abstract painting and concept art in Brazil’s interior – São Paulo

Conversation Pieces

KUNSTSAELE Berlin – Berlin, Germany

Magazzino Italian Art

Contemporary Italian Art on the Hudson River – New York

Slow Learning

de la Cruz Collection – Miami, United States of America

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

A venue for contemporary African art – Cape Town

The Elliott Eyes Collection

Engaging With the Collectors – Sydney

Foundation Francès

A French roadtrip reaching the radical reflections of artist Kader Attia

The Sublime Hyacinth Collection

Czech Art Meets Czech Design – Prague, Czech Republic

Marciano Art Foundation

Contemporary art at the Masonic temple – Los Angeles

Time Stamps

Julia Stoschek Collection – Berlin, Germany

Generative Grammars

Servais Family Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Chasing the Future

dslcollection – Paris, France

Charged Atmospheres

Transformer Station – Cleveland, United States of America

Places in, and out of, Time

Adrastus Collection – Arévalo, Spain

Eloquent Silences

The Givon Art Forum – Tel Aviv, Israel

Counting to Ten

Ten Cubed – Melbourne, Australia

Dispersing Narratives

The Wedge Collection – Toronto, Canada

Dialogues in Nature

Chatsworth – Bakewell, Great Britain

Present Pasts

The Feuerle Collection – Berlin, Germany

Space for the Future

The Vanhaerents Art Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Colección Contemporánea

A Global Collection from a Seasoned Art Collector In Mexico City

Adrastus Collection

A Collection That Shows the Diversity of Art in the Age of Globalization – Arevalo, Spain

Masters and Romantics

Collection Lambert – Avignon, France

Fondazione Rolla

A Collection of Modern and Contemporary Photography in Ticino

Finnish Rhapsody

Didrichsen Art Museum – Helsinki, Finland

Cranford Collection

One of Europe’s Most Important Collections with Renowned Contemporaries in Regent’s Park – London

Broad Minded

Artist Tomasz Kobialka on The Broad – Los Angeles, USA

Jean-Paul Najar Foundation

European-American Post-Minimalist Art in a Bauhaus-inspired building – Dubai

Treasure Hunt

The Wanås Foundation/Wanås Konst – Knislinge, Sweden

AMC Collezione Coppola

A Curious Collector Acquiring Art to Broaden his Understanding of the World

A Home for Light and Color

MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

Newport Street Gallery

Damien Hirst’s ‘Murderme’ Collection finds a permanent home – London

Franks Suss Collection

A Duo Investing in Artists and Not Cashing In – Hong Kong, London and Sydney

Mallin Collection & Buckhorn Sculpture Park

A Magic Sculpture Garden in Westchester County – Pound Ridge, New York

Shine On

Wurlitzer – Berlin-Pied-à-Terre Collection – Berlin, Germany

Houghton Hall – King's Lynn

Lavish 18th Century interiors juxtaposed with contemporary outdoor sculpture

Venet Foundation

An Artist’s Take on Collecting in the South of France

G2 Kunsthalle

Large-scale paintings of the New Leipzig School in dialogue

The Immaculate Collection

Igal Ahouvi Art Collection – Tel Aviv, Israel

dslcollection

The best of Chinese contemporary art, available 24/7/365

Thoma Foundation

Two intimate art spaces in Chicago and Santa Fe encourage dialogue between work and viewer

Lyon Housemuseum

Located near Melbourne, Australia, collector Corbett Lyon designed the Housemuseum to share it with the public

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Inhotim – Instituto de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico

Portraiture Confronting a Land’s Traumatic Past

The Walther Collection – Project Space New York – New York City

Conceptual Authenticity

Sammlung Barbara und Axel Haubrok - haubrok projects - Berlin, Germany

A Self-taught Collector

Vass Collection - Veszprém, Hungary

Roots in Rotterdam

Concordia Collection - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Louvre goes Lens – and Pinault follows

How France’s most established museum and collector are redeveloping forgotten places

History Reinvented

Insights into the influential collection of Martin Parr

A Collection Which Never Sleeps

David Roberts Art Foundation – Great Britain, London

Get Lucky

David Walsh and his MONA

An Eye into a Secret World

SIP Shpilman Institute for Photography – Tel Aviv, Israel

Gifts for Philadelphia

Private collectors with a generous heart

A New Home for Miami’s Art Scene

On the opening of the Jorge M. Pérez Museum

Prima Materia at Punta Della Dogana

François Pinault Foundation - Venice, Italy

Eric and Jean Cass Collection

A private collection goes public

Bernardo Paz’s Transformative Museum

A closer look at Inhotim in Brazil

The Open Road to Jupiter

Robert & Nicky Wilson - Jupiter Artland

Collecting with an Impact

Dakis Joannou - Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art

Menil Collection Makeover

Starting with the parking lot

White Rabbit Collection

Chinese Contemporary Art – Australia, Sydney

Museo James Turrell — The Hess Art Collection, Colomé

Turrell’s largest Skyspace and additional light rooms in breathtaking surroundings