MUSEION museum of modern & contemporary art, Bozen / Bolzano
Located in the multicultural alpine city of Bolzano (Bozen in German), Museion is one of the best-regarded museums of modern and contemporary art in north-eastern Italy.
Since 2008, the museum is housed in a new building, designed by the Berlin-based firm KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike, shaped like a large box 23 meters / 75 feet high, conceived internally as a large, flexible open space.
The permanent collection of Museion comprises over 4,500 artworks, some of which were commissioned by the museum itself, mostly focused on Italian and international contemporary art, with special attention to Italian avant-garde artists, and include pieces by Carla Accardi, Afro, Günter Brus, Enrico Castellani, Markus Lüpertz, Arnulf Rainer, Hans Staudacher, Emilio Vedova, Cerith Wyn Evans, Mona Hatoum, Walid Raad, Nan Goldin, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gabriel Kuri, Alighiero Boetti, Miroslaw Balka, Peter Friedl, Roni Horn, Gordon Matta-Clark, Carl Andre, Isa Genzken, Raymond Pettibon, Matt Mullican, and Danh Vo, among others.
The museum also promotes multi-disciplinary creativity in various fields – including art, architecture, music, performing arts, and cinema – through temporary exhibitions and special events.
The building of the museum also includes temporary exhibition galleries, educational workshop spaces, a 25,000-volume library, a cafe, and a book and gift shop.
Museion – detailed description
What leads a family with children to enter a contemporary art museum on a Saturday morning? There are many reasons but the most important is that the Museion in Bozen is a successful example of a contemporary art museum capable to include and intrigue. Such difficult alchemy has been obtained through a well-designed space and a range of activities addressed to a broad and diverse audience; namely the key points that make a museum a space open to the community.
Museion museum of contemporary art, Bozen, exterior views. Photos © Inexhibit
Inaugurated in 2008, the new building of the Museion, is strategically placed between the historical center of Bozen and a very popular urban park located on the banks of the Talvera river.
The new museum building, designed by the Berlin-based practice KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike, is shaped like an almost perfect box clad in aluminum, its form was inspired by a “hypercube”, a fascinating 4-dimensional geometric figure. The building is open towards the city through two concave façades, made in glass, where the main entrances to the building are located, so emphasizing the function of the Museion as also a meeting place. The east front receives the visitors coming from the city center while the west is oriented towards the river embankment and the Gries/San Quirino neighborhood, connected to the museum through two winding footbridges, that seem floating over the impetuous water of the Talvera river.
The character of the museum is further enriched by the possibility to transform its main façades into large multimedia screens by tilting their satin glass louvers in a vertical position. The two large communication surfaces so created can be activated in order to cast images and videos outside the building; these translucent membranes at the same time separate and connect the urban space and the museum, which this way extends itself into the surrounding environment.
Above: Photo by Othmar Seehauser – Courtesy of Museion
The Museion spaces are distributed on 4 levels.
The ground floor is a hybrid and permeable space where artworks and public services coexist. The public foyer, also equipped with seats, interactive kiosks, and areas where catalogs and magazines are freely available for reading, houses the reception, a bookshop, and the internal entrance to the café, which is also independently accessible from the outside.
The main exhibition spaces are located on the three upper floor levels: the first and the second floor are subdivided through simple walls running parallel to the building length and ideally connect the two glass facades at the opposite ends of the museum. The third-floor level is a large bright and undivided open space, usually reserved for temporary exhibitions, which also offers a spectacular view overlooking the city.
Above: Photos of the exhibition galleries where, from November 2013 to October 2014, is presented the exhibition “When now is minimal – the unknown side of the Sammlung Goetz”, displaying over 100 artworks from the Goetz collection and focused on the relationship between contemporary art and minimalism. Photos © Inexhibit
The Museion, throughout the years, has built up a collection of more than 4,500 artworks that are presented to the public through thematic exhibitions. The museum also commissions artworks, is a research facility aimed to promote local artists. The museum’s mission also includes cultural mediation – aimed at shortening the distance between contemporary art and the general public- realized through a broad range of activities: temporary exhibitions, thematic events, creative workshops for children, meetings with families where the exhibitions are presented in a playful manner, guided tours and learning activities. The museum facilities can also be rented for parties and special events.
Above: Photos of the open space at the Museion’s upper floor that, until 4 May 2014, houses the works of the Pakistani-born conceptual artist Ceal Floyer. Photos © Inexhibit
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