Sara Piccinini is the director of the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, which houses and shares the contemporary art collection of Achille Maramotti, the founder of Max Mara. Piccinini spoke to Shifting Vision about how the institution is balancing its local and global roles, private and public natures, and its historical and contemporary initiatives.
The Collezione Maramotti is located in the historical headquarters of the Max Mara fashion house, a 1957 building conceived specifically to house the first space for the company. The design followed principles of rationalism and brutalsim, using concrete and glass as well as organicism, which harmonizes the building’s rapport with nature and the surrounding gardens.
Piccinini explained that when the Max Mara company moved in 2003, it became clear it would be the ideal place to show Achille Maramotti’s collection of modern and contemporary art. ‘It was easily transformed from an industrial space to a gallery/exhibition space, with many of its main features maintained throughout the renovation. The history of the building is long and dense, and the collectors wanted to preserve this in the new form. The personal identity of the collection is rooted here.’
‘It is a unique thing for the collection to be in Reggio Emilia, we have grown as an institution here.. We are trying to respect this local identity while connecting with international subjects. Our team has a deep relationship with the collection, the area, and our approaches and philosophies are aligned.’
Collezione Maramotti works to collaborate with local communities through theatre, dance and special artist-led programmes, at the same time maintaining its global connections. For example, in its collaboration on the Max Mara prize with the Whitechapel Gallery in London Piccinini said the Collezione aims to ‘To recognize the base and history of the place but maintain its international breadth and view, building a network with subjects and institutions who have affinities with what we do.’
‘It is important to recognize the main features and history of a place. It helps you to not betray the principles of the institution going into the future. At the same time, connecting with international partners who share a vision with us and creating an open and supportive dialogue is the path forward.’
With special thanks to Collezione Maramotti.