Golden UFO in Tuscany: Important Loan from the Deutsche Bank Collection at the New Luigi Pecci Center

The extension of the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato is truly spectacular. From a shimmering matt-gold ellipse, an antenna-like construction rises to the sky like a sensor whose aim is to feel out the latest movements in contemporary art. Accordingly, Maurice Nio entitled his futurist design Sensing the Waves. The Dutchman, who was born in 1959, is one of the most interesting architects of his generation. His final project during his studies at Delft University of Technology was a design for a villa for Michael Jackson. Since then, Nio has realized residential buildings, a shopping center, and even a futurist bus stop titled The Amazing Whale Jaw. It took ten years before his plan for the Luigi Pecci Center was finally implemented. It was worth the wait. Nio’s two-story circular building elegantly encompasses the original exhibition hall, which was erected in 1988 based on a design by the rationalist Italo Gamberini. It was Italy’s first museum built for contemporary art. Now the museum additionally has a library containing 50,000 volumes, an open-air theater, an auditorium, and a room for performances. Apart from exhibitions, the program includes concerts, films, workshops, and educational offers.

The title of the inaugural exhibition, The End of the World, is puzzling at first. Fabio Cavallucci, the director of the museum and a curator, is not interested in conjuring up an apocalypse. Rather, he attempts in an area of more than 3,000 square meters to view our world from a great distance, as though it were a long-forgotten geological epoch. He is assisted by works of more than 50 international artists. Also in addition, an important loan from the Deutsche Bank Collection is on view at the new Luigi Pecci Center: Cai Guo-Qiang’s Head On, an installation containing a pack of 99 life-sized wolves that the Chinese artist has barrel into a glass wall. It is one of the artist’s most compelling works. “I wanted to portray the universal human tragedy,” said Cai Guo-Qiang, “resulting from this blind urge to press forward, the way we try to attain our goals without compromise.” That the results of storming ahead in this way do not always have a positive impact on the future of our planet is also demonstrated by this extraordinary exhibition. The spectrum ranges from Futurists such as Umberto Boccioni, to Andy Warhol, to the current Biennale darling Camille Henrot, all the way to pop stars such as the singer Björk and the French electronic musician Joakim. The exhibition also includes works by many artists from the Deutsche Bank Collection, among them Adel Abdessemed, Kader Attia, Carlos Garaicoa, Boris Mikhailov, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

The End of the World
10/16/2016 –3/19/2017
Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato