Conversation Piece at La Galleria Nazionale

Juan Munoz Conversation Piece
Juan Muñoz, Conversation Piece, 1995

A contemporary conversation with works from La Caixa

Taking the name of the sculptural ensemble by Juan Muñoz, Conversation Piece has brought together just over a dozen works from the Spanish La Caixa Contemporary Art Collection. The aim of this modern and minimalist selection, hosted by La Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, is to highlight the relationship between architecture, sculpture and the human figure, all the while maintaining the contemporary aesthetic.

Thomas Schütte For the Birds
Thomas Schütte, For the Birds, 1997

Despite having a temporal range of 50 years, the works displayed each present a challenge of the world that we share, and the exhibition invites us to reinterpret these challenges to fit current relevance. Drawing heavily on the discourse between feeling and form and the narratives created between space, structure and human experience, Conversation Piece is an exhibition that is quietly captivating.

Jana Sterbak Defence
Jana Sterbak, Psi a Slecna (Defence), 1995

From the clean cut, geometric order of Agnes Martin’s canvasses to the more ominous Crosby by Richard Serra, in which black is the only colour he uses; don’t be lead to think that the understated and minimalist works of Conversation Piece are devoid of emotion. Each artist seeks to evoke feeling within the viewer. Doris Salcedo expresses the conflict and violence of her native country of Colombia with her furniture installation, whilst the video showcase by Ignacio Uriarte in which actor Michael Winslow attempts to imitate 100 years of typewriter sounds poses a question to man’s relationship with technology.

Ignacio Uriarte The History of the Typewriter
Ignacio Uriarte, The History of the Typewriter recited by Michael Winslow, 2009

Julião Sarmento’s First Easy Piece sees a 3D printed reinterpretation of Edgar Degas’s La Petite Danseuse de quatorze ans poised on top of an empty wooden pallet with smaller works hanging on the grey wall behind. Here Sarmento seeks to strike up a discourse between past, present and “human finiteness” – a perfect complement to the gallery’s on-going Time is Out of Joint retrospective.



From 19 May to 17 September 2017

The National Gallery of Modern Art

Viale delle Belle Arti, 131

Open Tue-Sun 8.30am-7.30pm

Entry Fee €10, reduced €5

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