Dealer Lia Rumma, who runs a gallery with spaces in Milan and Naples, has donated more than 70 works by prominent Italian artists to the country’s government. The works must be exhibited in a national museum in Naples.
Many of the works included in the giveaway are by artists affiliated with Arte Povera, a movement of the 1960s and 1970s in which artists used raw materials like dirt, rags, rocks and tape to create sculptures. They considered their work to be positioned outside the market.
Among the 30 artists represented in the gift are Vincenzo Agnetti, Giovanni Anselmo, Enrico Castellani, Luciano Fabro and Michelangelo Pistoletto, and others.
The works will be on permanent display at the Palazzina dei Principi, a building on the campus of the Capodimonte Museum, one of Italy’s leading institutions. Its collection houses works dating from the 13th century to the present day. The museum currently has around 160 works of contemporary art.
Rumma, who began as a collector while living in Salerno, began accumulating works by the artists in the early 1960s with her partner, curator Marcello Rumma. He was one of those who asked German Celant to organize “Arte Povera + Azioni Povere” in 1968, one of the first important exhibitions dedicated to the movement. After Marcello’s death in 1971, Lia opened a gallery in Naples dedicated to minimalist and conceptual art, featuring artists like Joseph Kosuth and Enrico Castellani.
In a statement, Sylvain Bellenger, director of the Capodimonte Museum, said the donation reflects a period in which “Italian art entered the contemporary world radically”.