At MAXXI the Permanent Collection is Free! A chance to reclaim the art of one’s time. / 7 October 2015’s time. / 7 October 2015

Meeting up to chat with a friend; relaxing the mind and eyes between one daily chore and another; setting a date, playing truant or pushing a stroller with a baby that just doesn’t want to fall asleep. Sheltering from the rain. Seeking a little corner of peace and quiet during the office lunch break. Taking a walk to make a decision with a clear head.
You’ll finally be able to do this – and much more – for free, every Tuesday through Friday at MAXXI, surrounded by some fifty paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, photographs, drawings and models, and documentary panels that tell the story of each.

The works, part of the collection of the National Museum of 21st Century Arts, are made available to the viewing public free of charge in Gallery 4 of the building designed by Zaha Hadid in Via Guido Reni. “Visitors can feel and experience the thrill of a piece of art in a full, active and participatory way”. Curated by Margherita Guccione and Anna Mattirolo, the works that make up the permanent collection and are on display in this open and free exhibition will alternate periodically, offering ever new itineraries related to multiple and changing themes, inviting the public to come back often and willingly – and above all, to recognise the museum’s permanent collection as its own.

Significantly, this initiative – MAXXI Collection: Free and Permanent – will be inaugurated on the occasion of the 11th annual Contemporary Art Day. The Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums, AMACI, is promoting free admission to no less than 26 museums and thousands of works of art throughout Italy to present artists and new ideas through exhibitions, workshops, events and conferences.

The importance of initiatives such as this is as much educational as it is social. Its aim is to raise awareness of the art of one’s time among the widest possible audience of the uninitiated, beyond the inner circles of sector scholars and connoisseurs, and it is an invitation to the public to re-appropriate the artistic heritage conserved in State and Municipal museums. It is important to recognise contemporary art as a collective asset and, in order for that to happen, citizens must be given the chance to visit their collections openly and without charge and to be guided in getting to know them. Although art is very often considered a cryptic form of expression, disembodied from reality, on the contrary, “contemporary” art is simply the art of our times, and refers precisely to the world in which we live and with which we identify. Thanks to initiatives such as those of AMACI and MAXXI, we’ll all have an opportunity to reclaim the art of our time.