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Current exhibitions

In compliance with the last DPCM, the museum is closed not only on Monday but also on Saturday and Sunday

OVERSIZE. Great masterpieces from the CAMeC collections


The exhibition is a contrasting echo of the 2017/2018 one entitled Small Size. Small masterpieces of the CAMeC collection. While in that project about 200 small works crowded the exhibition area, imposing a close-up view, in this new itinerary just forty or so large-format works interact with one another, offering the viewer a powerful visual impact.

So this anthology has been selected according to size and laid out in an itinerary whereby the chronological criterion is associated with affinities in language, aesthetic approach, theme. The works have been chosen from all the various collections kept in the CAMeC.  

The “historic nucleus”, i.e. the precious collection of paintings purchased during the National Painting Prize named after the Gulf of La Spezia, is amply represented. This exhibition-cum-competition animated La Spezia summers from 1949 to 1965, attracting important, also international-level artists, who in those years were promising newcomers and are today widely historicized and present in museums.

The work Boys looking for crabs, a painting by Renato Guttuso representing maritime labour, has been chosen to open the exhibition. This work won first prize in the first year of the competition, 1949, and is attributable to the Sicilian artist’s interesting pre-realist period. Some of the other great paintings by well-known artists which are present in the CAMeC thanks to the Gulf Prize and are on show here are: a 1952 work from the famous series of Windows by Giuseppe Santomaso, an effective example of the “abstract/concrete” period; a precious digression into painting by the architect Ettore Sottsass Jr., Sea Port from 1952, from his period of adhesion to the tenets of the Concrete Art Movement (MAC), which was very popular with architects; Ways of the World by Emilio Vedova, a very important work from 1953, a singular example of his early adhesion to the Informal trend; The gentle hills of Brisighella by Mattia Moreni, a majestic informal landscape which won first prize in 1954; the 1963 Eyeless by Emilio Scanavino, an impressive example of his particular emotionally-charged abstract approach.

The presence of various international artists is mostly thanks to the “Giorgio and llda Cozzani” group of works. Giorgio Cozzani was an omnivorous, encyclopaedic collector, untiring and constantly on the move, and particularly attracted to contemporary foreign art. He regularly visited the Venice Biennale, Documenta in Kassel, but also the most important galleries of Paris and London. The CAMeC owes some large-format rarities to his fine instinct. These include: Infernalezza (translator’s note: untranslatable, a play of words on Inferno) by Herbert Sturm, 1962-63, quirkily positioned in his house/gallery on the dining-room ceiling (the work will be transferred to Germany in summer 2020 for a retrospective of the artist); Ob-ject (Art as Idea as Idea) by Joseph Kosuth, the inventor of so-called conceptual tautolology, being one of his famous enlargements of the text of a glossary entry; Spring Gauze by Kenneth Noland, one of the most authoritative exponents of Colour Field Painting, a singularly-shaped markedly elongated work from the Plaid series of the 1970s; the 1987 Potatoes by Thomas Schütte, the famous German sculptor, an early two-dimensional work which is in fact part of the series based on this edible tuber and is shown in hugely exaggerated dimensions in order to stimulate viewers’ questions; the 1967 Matches by Raymond Hains is equally imposing, monumental matches fashioned by the French artist from the mid-60s on.

The exhibition also includes some works which won prizes (and were purchased thanks to the prize/purchase formula) in the renewed Gulf Prize, European Visual Arts Biennale (2000-2006), for example Untitled by Cristiano Pintaldi from 2000; at the time the artist was at the beginning of his distinctive simulation of pixels, and in this case he reproposes a character from the early days of TV science fiction, the platinum-blonde Commander Ed Straker from the series UFO.

On display in Room 5 are also three sculptures whose authors ((Anna Dębska and Paolo De Nevi) are not part of the Oversize exhibition. Their presence is due to the educational activity carried out in the rooms of the museum in close conjunction with the exhibitions in progress. In this case, they are representations inspired by the animal world, on which some workshops are based: To each his own house and The place, the landscape and the environment, for Primary and Secondary schools, respectively.  



Exhibition promoted by
City of La Spezia
Mayor, Pierluigi Peracchini

and produced by
Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art
Massimiliano Curletto, general manager of Cultural Service

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria

curated by: Eleonora Acerbi in collaboration with Cristiana Maucci

press offices
City of La Spezia: Luca Della Torre | ph. +39 0187 727324 |
CSArt – Comunicazione per l’Arte: Chiara Serri | ph. +39 0522 1715142 | mobile +39 348 7025100 ||





October 13, 2019 / February 14, 2021


Still, Still Life. Still life in the CAMeC collections

curated by Eleonora Acerbi and Cinzia Compalati 
in collaboration with Cristiana Maucci and Barbara Viale

This novel selection of the works from the permanent collections addresses a key theme in art history, still life. In the contemporary age, still life or posed nature has renewed itself in multiple, discordant keys of interpretation of the physical and metaphysical dialogue between art and object. The exhibition proposes a wide-reaching re-investigation of the theme through very different examples taken from all the CAMeC’s various collections, examining the biographical, conceptual, instrumental, poetic and magical bonds between human beings and objects which have always been and will probably always be the subject of artistic research.

The exhibition project envisages the placing together of works which interact and demonstrate the persistence of the genre in the affinity or the distance of their formal language. Within the common reference to the traditional theme, the visitor meets and is stimulated to compare identical ‘words’ in different compositions, journeying through some of the most important movements of the second half of the 20th century. The leitmotif is in fact the continuation of the genre into the contemporary age via even very distant interpretations, ranging from the intimism of the still lives of de Pisis, Slabbink and Tosi, post-Cubist updating (Basso, Santomaso), Morandi’s 1961 paradigm, the abstract option which is still mindful of the theme (Montarsolo, Spinosa), virtuous and poetic verisimilitude, to pop and nouveau-réaliste debunking (Pozzati, Wesselman, Spoerri, Tadini); as well as numerous other interpretations, also including the use of chalcography, often a refined medium for this type of investigation.

The exhibition project also includes various works which are not strictly connected with the genre but are assimilated into it via the conceptual basis of the exhibition. These are representations founded on the pre-eminence of the object, selected for their symbolic resonance, as well as for the consonance and dialogue generated by their studied positioning alongside other works (e.g. works by Boetti, Kounellis, Oldenburg, Spoerri, Warhol).

Focus on Still Life
As a continuation of the project for the synergic enhancement of the museum heritage of La Spezia, we come across a sylloge of objects from the “Giovanni Podenzana Ethnographic Civic Museum” and of some private loans, which trace the history of the genre and compose a kind of “glossary” of the still life genre by bringing together the elements which have come to distinguish its iconography over the years (the mirror, the candle, the book, the musical instrument, the hour-glass and many others). Moreover, the exhibition itinerary documents the important themes connected with the genre: vanitas, the five senses, and the four elements of nature, revealing its complex, cryptic symbolism.


Exhibition promoted by
Municipality of La Spezia
Mayor and Councillor for Culture, Pierluigi Peracchini
General manager of Cultural services, Massimiliano Curletto

and produced by
CAMeC Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria

exhibition curated by: Eleonora Acerbi and Cinzia Compalati in collaboration with Cristiana Maucci and Cinzia Compalati
Focus on Still Life curated by: Cristiana Maucci in collaboration with Anna Nancy Rozzi
exhibition graphic design: Publisystem, La Spezia 
installation: Davide Bommino, Coop Zoe
translations: Susan Charlton
press office Municipality of La Spezia: Luca Della Torre | Tel. +39 0187 727324 |



P. 1

February 2 / June 6, 2021



BAU. Contenitore di cultura contemporanea 2004 - 2020


curated by Mara Borzone

Over 1000 works contained in the 16 issues, from 2004 to today, by authors from 35 nations.
The Box has precedents in the assembling magazines of the past; it is a box containing 60, 70, even 100 creations by the same number of historical, internationally-important authors working in all the different cultural disciplines: artists and creative talents are present alongside professional figures generally operating outside the field of art, such as doctors, engineers and chefs. It has been purchased by numerous museums, libraries and important collections: the MART in Rovereto; the Tate Library in London; the Beinecke Yale University (USA); the Museo del Novecento and Triennale in Milan; the MACRO in Rome, the Centre Pompidou in Paris; the Museum of Modern Art in Miami (USA), and others. This experimental magazine is one of the most original and significant art publications active today in Italy, initially designed by Carlo Battisti, later by Gumdesign (Gabriele Pardi and Laura Fisaschi), and currently by Gabriele Menconi. It comes out annually in a limited edition (generally 150 copies), with the aim of creating interaction among a large variety of creative experiences, promoting them freely and independently with no profit-making purpose and wholly self-financed. Currently, the BAU editorial board made up of Antonino Bove, Luca Brocchini, Giuseppe Calandriello, Gabriele Menconi, Guido Peruz and Tommaso Vassalle, sits in Viareggio and has national and international contacts ranging over the experimental trends of contemporary art: Fluxus, Visual Poetry, Pataphysics, Mail Art, extended perception research, examination of the relationships between art, music, IT, fashion, cooking, and a lot else besides. The magazine began with BAU 0 (2004), consisting of works in A4 format fitted into a fine cardboard box full of stories, written comments, letters, explorations of such themes as the relationship between colour and music, music and maths, music and IT. BAU 1 (2005) defines itself as an “open box”, i.e. lab, hub, exchange network, sensory response to virtuality. BAI 2 (2006) multiplies creative energies to form an organic whole which feels, perceives, predicts around the theme of Corpo d'a(r)mata (Armed force/the force of love). A black stylised dog is the emblem of BAU 3 (2007), an incubator of original ideas which creates a project solidarity in order to reach beyond artistic individualism and give and receive oxygen from outside contributions. The theme of BAU 4+5 (2008) is Utimatum: the planet is in the midst of a serious energy, economic (the great crisis began in 2008), ecological and cultural emergency: BAU was far-sighted. BAU 6 (2009) launches itself into the adventure of the shared work, more organic than simple group work. Stories disappear and Visual Poetry, Mail Art and Fluxus prevail.  BAU 7 (2010), the last cardboard container, tackles the theme of surprise and the relationships between art, science, politics and environment, in order to verify and critically arrange the history of art and the poetic production of the last few decades in Versilia and on the Tyrrhenian coast. BAU 8 (2011), in the ecological biodegradable polypropylene box, addresses the theme of building materials in order to convey sharing, connection, propagation of ideas, information. BAU 9 (2012) is also made of polypropylene, the theme is Electro BAU, the aim to promote enlightened, bold choices. BAU 10 (2013) is the last polypropylene Container, guided by its emblem, the rose of the winds, towards past history and links with the present. BAU 11 (2014) is different from all the others, being divided up into lots of small sections containing the same number of small objects, a small Wunderkammer with miniature artist’s books, crocheted trademarks and small 3D sculptures. BAU 12 (2015) is entitled Leo Ex Machina. Ingegni leonardeschi nell'arte contemporanea (Leonardesque devices in contemporary art) and it anticipates the future, i.e. the Leonardo mania of 2019, in a user-friendly A5 format. BAU 13 (2016) exceeds all expectations: Dress codex urgenze contemporanee in veste di rivista (contemporary urgencies in the guise of a magazine), with a spectacular A2 format. Its theme is fashion, but from a strictly BAU point of view. BAU 14 (2017) is a cylinder entitled GPS Global Participation System; it is a marker of useful expressions and trajectories and a receiver of various position signals sent from the creative satellites in its orbit. BAU 15 (2018) or BAU Out, vie d’uscita possibili (possible ways out) is a coloured cube which the puppet should pop out of, serving to create wonderment. BAU 16 (2019), Snapshot, in its elegant matt black box, is the latest offspring. It is a snapshot; it captures the instant; it is a testimony to current artistic research; it is an inevitable interaction between world cultures which cannot and must not stay separate; a hybridisation of art in the social networks; a new evolutionary stage of modernity which must record its disintegration, inconsistency, lack of coordinated sense. BAU thus favours large numbers and does not flinch at challenges. The decision to display all the Containers and their contents in La Spezia at the CAMec, is one such challenge.


Exhibition promoted by
City of La Spezia
Mayor, Pierluigi Peracchini

and produced
CAMeC Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art
Dirigente Servizi culturali, Massimiliano Curletto

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria

curated by: Mara Borzone
project direction: Eleonora Acerbi and Cinzia Compalati
graphic design: Gabriele Menconi and Sarah Fontana
press office Municipality of La Spezia: Luca Della Torre | Tel. +39 0187 727324 |
CSArt – Comunicazione per l’Arte: Chiara Serri | Tel. +39 0522 1715142 | Cell. +39 348 7025100 |
Press Kit CAMeC:



February 22, 2020 / March 28, 2021




Cabinet of Curiosities



The Wunderkammer or Cabinet of Curiosities is a typical 16th -century phenomenon. It was the result of a collecting approach favoured by the aristocracy, and might be considered as the first stage in the development of the museum concept. The aim was to collect and display mirabilia, uniting art/science and nature, the two poles of ancient knowledge and creating a journey into the dimension of the extraordinary through naturalia and artificialia.

Nature is the main fulcrum of every cabinet of curiosities, which offers samples of the strangest things, each item presenting some exceptional feature of shape, size or rarity. The (lion’s) skull is a must, an evocative memento mori which interacts with stuffed animal bodies, representing respectively the transience of nature and mankind’s ambition for eternal life; and coral, reproduced here with sealing wax, which in the age when the boundaries between science and legend were sometimes blurred was considered both animal vegetable and mineral, embodying perfection and hence endowed with a thaumaturgic value.

The very divisions of the room, underlined by the colours of the walls and by some works in the collections, allude to two of the four elements, earth and water, in homage to the celebrated Tribune of Francesco I de’Medici.

Artificialia are artefacts considered special for their orginality and uniqueness, objects sometimes used as simple reproductions of the live animal or which express the Mannerist taste for grafting human elements onto natural objects. The works of the collections fulfil these requirements, together with ancient sculptures punctuating the display: the lions’ paws in Imperial age marble; the wave carved out of wood; the metal bird in contrast to the exotic ones; the site-specific intervention of Nicola Perucca “around” a whale rib.

Finally, the objects presented invite viewers to reflect on extremely topical themes: the richness and fragility of the environment surrounding us and the relationship between nature and human beings; a relationship which is today difficult and fraught and which through the mediation of art may, as in this case, turn out to be virtuous.

Exhibition promoted by
City of La Spezia
Pierluigi Peracchini, Mayor
Massimiliano Curletto, general manager of Cultural Services

and produced by 
Centre of Modern and Contemporay Art

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria

curated by
Cristiana Maucci in collaborazione con Eleonora Acerbi
Museo Archeologico Castello San Giorgio (conservatore Donatella Alessi), Museo Civico Etnografico Giovanni Podenzana (conservatore Giacomo Paolicchi), Museo del Sigillo (conservatore Anna Nancy Rozzi), collezioni private
textual equipment
Donatella Alessi, Giacomo Paolicchi, Rossana Piccioli, Anna Nancy Rozzi
site specific work
Nicola Perucca
sound design
Roberto Vendasi
Davide Bommino
con Oscar Bordoni e Giacomo Portunato
graphic design
Sarah Fontana
Susan Charlton



P. 0
October 13, 2019 / March 28, 2021

Works from the CAMeC collections

The CAMeC has prepared a renewed selection of the permanent collections this time related to the educational activities and for the general public wishing to get to know them better.

The various groups of works have been specifically targeted at providing creative, cognitive and ludic stimuli for young users and they also aim to offer the public at large a number of varied explorations of different thematic and linguistic environments. 

Following the groups of works, located in different areas of the museum.

Still life. Food in art
This is a small digression into one of the most explored territories of figurative art (particularly from the 17th century onwards but actually beginning with antiquity). Still life in contemporary art is interpreted in many, discordant ways, tending to reflect the individual artist’s particular field of interest. This small anthology ranges from virtuous verisimilitude to pop debunking, passing through the various other interpretations of great 20th-century artists.
Artists: Felice Carena, Bruno Cassinari, Filippo de Pisis, Giovanna Guerri, Giuseppe Martinelli, Francesco Musante, Giuseppe Rivieri, Concetto Pozzati, Marco Rindori, Rilk Slabbink, Daniel Spoerri, Andy Warhol.

Small size. Small masterpieces from the CAMeC collections
Smallness is a particularly interesting terrain for artists, who condense or develop their idea or intention in a small space, seeing this as a point of departure or arrival in the creative process. It is a kind of try-out, a favourite testing-ground for many artists who experiment with the most varied modes in their search for efficacy of composition and balance of the material. It is often a distinctive trait of a collection: my collection of small pictures? An obsession, a beautiful mania. I walk round the house and feel that I am living in a museum which is wholly my own (Cesare Zavattini, 1963).
Artists: Arman, Jean Dubuffet, Keith Haring, Zoltán Kemény, Gianluca Lerici (prof. Bad Trip), Robert Mangold, Diet Sayler.

The landscape, the town, the house
This selection of works concentrates on a highly topical subject, the environment and its relationship with human beings. It brings together various representations and interpretations of the rural and urban landscape, also including the vision of the house and the domestic space.
Artists: Manlio Argenti, Bernd e Hilla Becher, Alberto Burri, Emmanuele Coltellacci, Gilbert & George, Jonathan Guaitamacchi, Pompilio Mandelli, Luca Matti, Carlo Montarsolo, Gordon Matta Clark, Mattia Moreni, Dennis Oppenheim, Maria Tacchini, George Tatge, Edwin Zwakman.

“Fairy-tale art”
In this case, the collection of paintings is closely linked to the contents of the lab entitled Fairy-tale art. Interaction with a work of art can be surprising, magical and exciting. Children, and not only children, will find stimuli for their imagination and fantasy. Surreal landscapes, dreamlike visions, characters and fairy-tale creatures during the workshop will stimulate participants to create their own personal illustrated fairy tale.
Artists: Mirko Baricchi, Claudio Cargiolli, Salvatore Fiume, Graziano Guiso, Francesco Musante, Nicola Perucca, Antonio Possenti.


Sign, colour, shape
Geometrical abstraction
Lyrical/informal abstraction
This collection encourages visitors to become more familiar with abstract painting, proposing itself as a guide to its interpretation and as an exemplary compendium divided into some of its most fundamental linguistic variations. The works collected here offer themselves as authoritative documents for understanding elements of style (the mark, the gesture, the new use of colour, the attention to and invention of shape, the reformulation of the artistic vocabulary), and are also direct reference points for the scheduled laboratory activity.   
Artists: Ferdinando Acerbi, Giuseppe Ajmone, Karel Appel, Claude Bellegarde, Max Bill, Enzo Brunori, Margherita Carena, Marco Casentini, Roberto Crippa, Piero Dorazio, Jean Fautrier, A. R. Penck, Romano Rizzato, Filippo Scroppo, Francisco Sobrino.


The groups of works can change due to set-up requirements..