About Il Ponte Contemporanea
“Since the beginning, the fundamental idea of Il Ponte Contemporanea …
… has been to create exhibitions especially conceived for the space, as a meeting between artist, curator and gallery. This complicity has helped to explain the work of our artists from different generations, with our choice of both established practices and emerging currents, to best reflect the ever-changing nature of contemporary art.”
(founder, Il Ponte Contemporanea, Rome)
For almost 30 years, under the direction of Giuliano Matricardi and Bruno Puiatti, Il Ponte Contemporanea has been a nomadic gallery within the Italian capital, moving to different areas of the city, responding and adapting to changing social conditions. Since its inception, Il Ponte Contemporanea has been creating dynamic art projects based on the specific exhibition space and the flavour of its neighbourhood.
The new space can be found in the Flaminio quarter in Rome, in close proximity to MAXXI (the National Museum of the XXI Century Art and Architecture designed by Zaha Hadid) and the public music complex at the Parco della Musica designed by Renzo Piano. Our position is strategic in its ease of access to the ever-growing international public. The split-level space of Il Ponte Contemporanea at via Giovanni Paolo Pannini 3 (on the corner of via Guido Reni) is divided into three galleries, allowing for solo and thematic exhibitions by Italian and international artists.
Our focus is on the best of global talent including those artists who are part of our own history, while continuing our policy of collaborating with different art professions. At the same time, Il Ponte Contemporanea is activating its New York office to represent the gallery in the cultural hub at 4 Walker Street in Lower Manhattan.
When it all started …
Il Ponte Contemporanea was launched in 1993 with a series of alternative projects and ground-breaking catalogues, with the circus-themed Pop Show by Ford Beckman accompanied by a soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo, an exhibition of portraits of saints and sinners especially conceived for the eternal city by French duo Pierre et Gilles, and Dino Pedriali‘s black and white photographs from his series Hammamet – il bagno del piacere.
Since 1993, Galleria Il Ponte Contemporanea has changed location within Rome several times, moving to larger spaces or responding to more dynamic areas of the city – via della Lungara 15 (Trastevere), via di Montoro 10 (ancient centre), via di Monserrato 23 (ancient centre), via Giovanni Castel Bolognese 81 (Trastevere-Testaccio) and via di Panico 55-59 (Castel Sant’Angelo). From 1997 to 2001, together with the collector Giovanni Giuliani (Rome) and curator Jonathan Turner (Sydney), it established the radical, alternative space Il Ponte Projects (via di Montoro 5), which was set up to organize last-minute contemporary art events, performances and installations. This idea helped to change the concept of how art was presented in the Roman capital.
The China Experiences
In 2014, Il Ponte Contemporanea began a new adventure in China creating Il Ponte Chu Contemporanea.
This functioned as a bridge between the western and the eastern worlds, with a large location in the Jewish Ghetto featuring an underground bunker for special projects called STRONGBOX, plus a vast space in Wuhan in China.
In 2019, Il Ponte Contemporanea re-established the gallery in via dei Magazzini Generali in Testaccio, as the result of an innovative managerial vision to better approach the transformation of the model of the traditional gallery. This idea of modifying the exhibition site from a physical space into a media/communication show-space free from pre-established borders has now continued in the latest split-level vision of Il Ponte Contemporanea near MAXXI.
It is a concept which reflects the contemporary currents of research and innovation. “The idea is to create connections and bridges between the generations”, affirms Cecilia Alemani in 2022, in her role as the curator of the 59th Biennale di Venezia.
The history of Il Ponte Contemporanea is one of active collaboration.
Over the years, it has worked closely with a large number of major curators including Luca Beatrice, Francesco Bonami, Achille Bonito Oliva, Cecilia Casorati, Martina Cavallarin, Laura Cherubini, Mario Codognato, Cristiana Collu, Louise Déry, Gianluca Marziani, Cristiana Perrella, Jonathan Turner and Peter Weiermair.
For various projects, the gallery has been supported by the national embassies, academies and cultural departments of Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Tibet, United Arab Emirates and USA.
Since 1993, Il Ponte Contemporanea has participated in the following international art fairs with stands at: Art Basel, Art Basel Editions, Chicago International Art Exposition, Grammercy Park Hotel Art Fair New York, Frankfurt Art Fair, Stockholm Art Fair, Melbourne Art Fair, ARCO Madrid, FlashArt Fair, Arte Fiera Bologna, Artissima Torino, MiArte Milano, Bozen Arte, and Road to Contemporary Art–Rome.
The gallery has worked as commissioner for all seven editions of RipARTe (Rome), Chicago International Art Exposition and Arte Roma.
As publisher, the gallery has overseen three books recording the contemporary history of art in the Italian capital, plus a broad series of exhibition catalogues, monographs and RipARTe art fair guides.
“Since 1993, the Gallery Il Ponte Contemporanea has been hosting exhibitions which well-represent the international scene. Fulfilling its name, it has been a location of transit, contact and exchange for many international artists of different generations. The participating artists always broke through the wall of inertia, looking for a chance to represent the relationship between the subject and history, in order to maintain their imperative not to become historians of the moment. This is also why the public has always been an active participant to the events and exhibitions at Il Ponte Contemporanea, since it is representative of the work: the social body giving flesh and substance to the skeleton of history.”
Achille Bonito Oliva – The Bridges of Art, published by Skira in 2003, the first of three volumes documenting two decades of the activity of Il Ponte Contemporanea.
(please visit our Publications section for further details)