Ambienti 1956 – 2010. Environments by Women Artists II

MAXXI Rome | curated by Andrea Lissoni, Marina Pugliese, Francesco Stocchi

Ambienti, Nanda Vigo, MAXXI - Photo © Giorgio Benni

Developed by the MAXXI and by the Haus der Kunst in Munich, it represents the next chapter of Inside Other Spaces: Environments by Women Artists 1956–1976, a project conceived by the Haus der Kunst in 2023, which highlighted the fundamental contribution of women to the history of what is perhaps one of the least explored forms of artistic expression. 

Ambienti, Aleksandra Kasuba, MAXXI – Photo © Giorgio Benni

«The exhibition represents a unique opportunity for both artists and the public to work with a living, evolving material, in contrast with the very definition of a finished work. A sculpture, a painting, a drawing or a film are inherently ‘closed’. On the contrary, the environment, by definition and through its interactions, is alive, and this vitality is celebrated in welcoming and meeting the spectator». Francesco Stocchi, Artistic Director of MAXXI and curator of the exhibition.

At the crossroads of art, architecture and design, these environments are three-dimensional and immersive works. They are activated thanks to the interaction of the audience and completed by human presence. «The environments have taken shape through a long period of experimentation, openness, and immersion in a visionary future, as technological, assertive, and escapist as it may be», Andrea Lissoni, curator of the exhibition.

Ambienti, Aleksandra Kasuba, MAXXI – Photo © Giorgio Benni
Ambienti, Esther Stocker, MAXXI – Photo © Cinzia Capparelli

Marina Pugliese, curator of the exhibition, remarks: «Despite being within the context of an incomplete history, the lack of documentation of environments created by female artists attests to a double subordination. A subordination made paradoxical by the fact that on several important exhibitions and in different geographical contexts, many female artists have created complex environments, characterized by layers of meanings, sometimes focusing on political issues and yet subject to public and press attention. Other spaces, indeed». 

Ambienti, Tsuruka Yamazaki, MAXXI – Photo © Giorgio Benni

The exhibition at the MAXXI continues the research of the German museum and expands its original timeline (1956 – 1976), extending it to 2010, the year of completion of the Museum’s architecture designed by Zaha Hadid. In this second chapter, Judy Chicago, Lygia Clark, Laura Grisi, Aleksandra Kasuba, Léa Lublin, Marta Minujín, Tania Mouraud, Nanda Vigo and Tsuruko Yamazaki are joined by Micol Assaël, Monica Bonvicini, Zaha Hadid, Kimsooja, Christina Kubisch, Nalini Malani, Pipilotti Rist, Martha Rosler and Esther Stocker.