The Madre Museum has opened a Research Department whose purpose is to put research at the heart of the museum’s daily modus operandi, aimed at the formation and study of its permanent collection. The goal is to make the Department a space in which to cross the most relevant moments in contemporary art again and again. At the same time, it will be a space where experts from different generations and from various backgrounds will be able to meet.
Vincenzo Trione, historian and art critic, is the General Coordinator of the Research Department. Olga Scotto di Vettimo and Alessandra Troncone, researchers, and the curator-at-large of the museum, Eugenio Viola, will collaborate actively with the department.
The Madre Museum’s Research Department has been modeled along the lines of some of the most important museums in the world, such as the Research Departments of the Tate Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Department of Scientific Research at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Getty Research Institute of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The Research Department offers a brand-new model for Italy and it presents itself as a versatile structure that in addition to supporting study activity also organizes conferences, seminars, meetings on research themes and methodologies, fostering the encounter and exchange with personalities from the academic and professional world both here in Italy and abroad.
For its first year the goal of the Research Department is to trace a history of the art, artists and institutions in Naples and its hinterland from the mid-1960s to the present day, by identifying, studying and classifying historical materials. As it paves the way for a dialogue with various institutions, such as universities, academies, research centers, foundations, public and private historical archives, and creative enterprises, the Department will issue periodical updates of the results achieved during the research phase for the purpose of producing and sharing knowledge. As such research activity evolves, the museum website will from time to time publish concise entries on some of the most signficant works examined.
The research is structured around several essential topics, starting from which a map will be reconstructed of the major figures and the crucial events in the history of contemporary art in Naples and the Campania region. The main research areas include: artists from Naples and the Campania area and and foreign artists who have enjoyed an ongoing relationship with the city of Naples; major artistic groups and movements; history of contemporary art criticism; activities of the public institutions located on the territory; the activity of private galleries and foundations; main exhibition events; journals; contemporary art collecting. During the first research phase, attention will particularly be focused on the artists’ activity in the area.
A result of a widespread exploration, analysis and recording work, accomplished by the Madre Research Department from 2013 to 2016, the Atlante dell’arte contemporanea a Napoli e in Campania 1966 – 2016 (Electa, 2017) is a study and research book that aims to gather the multiple voices and adventures of the art of the last decades in a creativity-hotbed-city as Naples, in a lively region as Campania: fifthy years of works, initiatives, projects, matured within one of the most original workshops of the neo-avantgardes and the post-avantgardes.