Piemonte's long historic passion for art began in Torino in 1863, with the establishment of the GAM - Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, The first public collection of modern art in Italy. Today Torino is recognized as the capital of contemporary art with international events such as Artissima Fair and Contemporary Art Week, as well as Luci d'Artista (Artist Lights), the series of open-air installations by international artists that brighten the city winter with lights and colours. Torino is a widespread museum network, which gives a voice to a lively atmosphere of cultural ferment, with the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and the Fondazione Mario Merz, the MEF - Ettore Fico Museum and the impressive former railway workshop complex, OGR - Officine Grandi Riparazioni Ferroviarie, today an avant-garde cultural centre, the Giovanni and Marella Agnelli Picture Gallery and CAMERA - Italian Centre for Photography. A place of inspiring contaminations between past and future is the Castello di Rivoli, the UNESCO Royal Residence of the House Savoy that houses an extraordinary permanent collection and hosts international exhibitions, along with a broad range of cultural and educational activities. Works and installations “interact” with the environment at the PAV (Living Art Park), an experimental contemporary art centre with an open-air exhibition site and interactive museum, and at the MAU - Museum of Urban Art.
In the region
Following an ideal art-mapping itinerary, the territory reveals a rich heritage that ranges from the historical avant-gardes to contemporary artists. It is all accessible to the public thanks to numerous public and private foundations, such as the Castello di Rivara. On the route between Torino and Asti, this artists' residence invites famous names and emerging talents to create new and ambitious works. The castle is home to the Museum of Italian Art, a permanent collection of creations on site since the 1980s, and houses international exhibitions. In Biella, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto embodies the art manifesto of Michelangelo Pistoletto, a leading figure of the “Arte Povera” movement. In the Langhe area the Big Benches by Chris Bangle are eye-catching artworks between vineyards and hazelnut trees, like the Chapel of Barolo, painted in vibrant colors by Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett, and the “small church” of Coazzolo, on Asti hills. A short distance, in Castelnuovo Calcea, the Art Park La Court is conceived as a landing art project among the rows of Moscato and Barbera wine, set up with Ugo Nespolo's "Artistic Gate on the Vineyards" and Emanuele Luzzati's installations. In Asti the exhibitions at the eighteenth century Palazzo Mazzetti give an intense contribution to contemporary art diffusion. In Guarene (Cuneo), Palazzo Rebaudengo is the historic headquarters of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, and an innovative exhibition center, whereas in Busca La Gaia opens to the public one of the largest collections in Europe with over 2000 pieces from the 1900s to today. In Alba, the restored Choir of the Church of Mary Magdalene welcomes performances of significant world artists.