New American Realism at Palazzo Barberini

New American Realism Rome

Palazzo Barberini hosts a selection of works by American artists in “Day for Night: New American Realism”

From 14 April to 14 July 2024, the public is welcome to explore American culture from the critical perspective of present-day American artists. The collection is curated by Massimiliano Giono and Flaminia Gennari Santori and features over 150 pieces created by a diverse set of American artists seeking to pose deep questions about American society with their works.  

The exhibition gets the first part of its title from a cinematic technique referred to as “Day for Night” that allows night scenes of film to be shot in the daylight. Working from this theme of false representations, “Day for Night: New American Realism” is meant to expose a dark reality and complexity of contemporary American culture.

Artists such as Cecily Brown, George Condo, Nicole Eisenman, Urs Fischer, Wade Guyton, Julie Mehretu, Richard Prince, Charles Ray, David Salle, Dana Schutz, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Henry Taylor, Christopher Wool, and many others bring their grievances with modern day American culture to this global stage. These artists use a multitude of mediums to represent the truth of America as they see fit.

New American Realism Rome

Each room of the exhibition fixates on a different facet of contemporary America. The artworks make assertions about global warming, racism, the representation of women and more hot button issues being debated in America today.

This myriad of works has several emotions to covey. Some works are captivating and engrossing, some are disturbing and uncomfortable, but all have an important statement to make about the unfavorable aspects of American society that are distorted by present-day media. 

Not only are the reality of these issues called into question, but the concept of realism is challenged as well. These artists take on new approaches to realism which are juxtaposed alongside the rest of the works in Palazzo Barberini such as the most important collection of Caravaggio paintings that altered the concept of realism for all of Europe from the seventeenth century and on. 

The setting of Palazzo Barberini therefore amplifies the statements of the contemporary works. Visitors can examine the American art set against the architectures of the Italian Baroque. In this way two ends of the dialogue, old establishments and their new challengers, can be felt in one space.

New American Realism Rome

This exhibition is the perfect setting for the examination of reality, power, and the spectacle. The display comes to a grand conclusion in the in the so-called Eighteenth-Century Apartment, a unique Rococo interior in Rome, on the second floor of the Palazzo that is rarely accessible to the public.

For its intriguing insights into contemporary American debates set against the prestigious halls of the Palazzo Barberini, this exhibition is a must-see. 


Until 14 July 2024

Palazzo Barberini

Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13

Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 7pm

Tickets: Tickets €15
(one ticket valid for 20 days for both Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Corsini)

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