The Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art of Prato will be reopening on October 16, 2016 after the completion of the futuristic spaceship-shaped extension by the Indonesian Rotterdam-based architect, Maurice Nio, and of the renovation of the original building designed by the rationalist architect Italo Gamberini.
The Pecci Centre was inaugurated in 1988, and was the first one in Italy to have a building specially built from scratch for exhibiting, collecting, conserving, documenting and diffusing the most advanced artistic research. It is now set to become an international reference point for the experimentation of multiple contemporary art languages. The mission of the Pecci Centre will in fact be to investigate all the various disciplines of contemporary culture, including also cinema, sound, performing arts, architecture, design, fashion and literature. Not just an exhibition venue, but also a versatile and transformable place, whose keywords will be “trans-disciplinary”, “multiform”, “multi-disciplinary” and “multi-medial” .
Over its almost 30-year history, the Pecci Centre has created and promoted over 260 exhibitions, with a programme which has always been strongly orientated towards innovation and experimentation: the inauguration of the Centre with the performance of the opera Ofanim, written and conducted by Luciano Berio; the first exhibition (in 1990) which had ever been dedicated to Russian artists outside the USSR, four months after the fall of the Berlin Wall; the creation of the first course for curators in an Italian museum; an exhibition dedicated to the film director Federico Fellini; the retrospective of Gerhard Richter, two years in advance of the celebration of this artist at the MoMA of New York; the retrospective of Yves Klein, coproduced with the MAMAC of Nice, preceding the celebration of this artist at the Centre Pompidou of Paris by two years; the most extensive exhibition on Robert Morris ever held by an Italian museum.
Pending its re-opening under the direction of Fabio Cavallucci, the Pecci Centre has organised a series of initiatives focusing on the significance of contemporary art, a return to the roots of cultural production, through numerous events promoting dialogue and the exchange of ideas: conferences, workshops, forums, exploration of emerging artists and a rich, innovative educational activity begun by Bruno Munari. The opening exhibition will occupy the whole surface of the Pecci Centre and will be accompanied by a series of parallel events: theatrical and dance performances, concerts, projections, talks and discussions.
The complex will host the CID/Visual Arts archive and specialised library, with its heritage of 50,000 or so books; the open-air theatre; the auditorium; the bookshop; a café/bistro and a multi-purpose children’s area.