The Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Turin (Italian: Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino, GAM) is located in via Magenta 31 in Turin, Italy. GAM – the Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Arts – is Italy’s oldest modern art museum. Since opening to the public in 1863 numerous masterpieces has been added to its collections over time. At present, GAM’s collections comprise over 47,000 works, ranging from paintings and sculptures to installations and photographic art, as well as a rich collection of drawings and engravings, and one of the largest artist’s film and video collections in Europe. It was founded around 1891-95. It houses the permanent art collections of the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Around the collection of 45,000 works from the nineteenth century to today, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, installations, videos and photographs, GAM offers the public a rich program: from major exhibitions of Italian and international artists to more contemporary research dedicated to Young people. A lively museum, able to cure and propose new projects, conferences, meetings as well as to collaborate with the most important museums and institutions in the world. Articulated along a path that winds along the four floors of the museum, the collections and exhibitions will surprise the visitor for their wealth.
It is part of the Fondazione Torino Musei, which also includes the MAO (Museum of Oriental Art), Palazzo Madama and Casaforte degli Acaja (Civic Museum of Ancient Art), the Borgo and the Medieval Fortress.
Alongside research and conservation, sharing and education are the main functions of a museum and one of the fundamental objectives of the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Turin. With a patrimony of over 40,000 works including painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, works on paper, film and video, the Museum is aimed at an audience as broad as possible and responds to its requests for knowledge through the permanent exhibition, exhibitions temporary, study, dissemination and training activities.
On the strength of this heritage, GAM continues to implement its original commitment to contemporary research by constantly linking its historical works with today’s cultural debate and ensuring that the exhibition programme is closely correlated with the collections. Works from the collections are exhibited in thematic groupings that change over time, ensuring that visitors always see the collections from a new angle and can make a fresh analysis of the Gallery’s masterpieces.
Works by both the leading Italian nineteenth-century artists, like Fontanesi, Fattori, Pellizza da Volpedo and Medardo Rosso, and the twentieth-century masters, including Morandi, Casorati, Martini and De Pisis, have reacquired their capacity to speak to the present, and to show off all their complexity on a par with works from the historic international avant-gardes, outstanding examples of which are also in the collection: from Max Ernst to Paul Klee and Picabia, as well as works by the new post-war avant-garde movements, with one of the largest collections of Arte Povera – including works by Paolini, Boetti, Anselmo, Zorio, Penone and Pistoletto – but also the current artistic output to which GAM dedicates extensive exhibition space.
The collection of Modern Art by the city of Turin began from the foundation of the Museo Civico in 1863, the first city in Italy to promote a public collection of modern art. This collection stood with the collections of Ancient Art in a building near the Mole Antonelliana.
From 1895 to 1942 it was exhibited in a pavilion in Corso Siccardi (now Corso Galileo Ferraris) which was destroyed during the Anglo-American bombing during World War II.
In the same place, began the construction of the building designed by Carlo Bassi and Goffredo Boschetti that was inaugurated in 1959. The collection of Modern Art was moved to the two floors of the new building, at the behest of the director Vittorio Viale.
Destroyed this pavilion during the Second World War, on the same site arose the current building designed by Carlo Bassi and Goffredo Boschetti, which was inaugurated in 1959. The building was reopened to the public in 1993. The building was re-opened in the early 1980s. after a profound renewal.
The interventions have enlarged the exhibition area, have equipped it with modern systems and have made it accessible in all its parts to the disabled. Since 2003 he is part of the Torino Musei Foundation.
An extensive work of conservation and restoration has been carried out in the meantime on the art collections. The museum complex comprises, as well as galleries for permanent exhibitions, rooms for temporary exhibitions, and environments for educational activities. The art library and the photographic archive of the Fondazione Torino Musei are located at the GAM and are open to the public.
After the renovation project of September 1999 with the re-construction of the nineteenth century section (located on the second floor) and the twentieth century (on the first floor), the intervention in the bookshop, café and atrium areas was also opened to the public the video library service: an essential tool for the knowledge and study of video and of the artist’s cinema.
1333 Artist Videos – 1320 documentaries on the History of Art from 800 to today.
The collection of artist videos, for the importance and quantity of works, is a unique example in Italy. It collects some of the most significant works of art history of video and artist’s cinema, from the ’60s to the most recent research, with some views on the history of experimental cinema of the early’ 900. Thanks to the support of the CRT Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art, the collection is constantly growing.
The Archive of the Documentary on Art preserves some of the most remarkable Italian examples of author documentaries dedicated to artists and movements in the international history of art. The acquisition lines pursue the dream of a total archive, capable of guaranteeing as many future images as possible of artists at work in their studio, an archive where they can keep track of their gestures, their gaze and their words.
Cabinet drawings and prints
The GAM – Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Turin opens to the public, in the year in which the civic collection celebrates 150 years since its establishment, the new Cabinet of Drawings and Prints. This is a space for the conservation, storage and consultation of the Museum’s extensive graphic collection, created thanks to the support of the Council for the Promotion of Artistic and Cultural Heritage of Turin. The Cabinet of Drawings and Prints is located in the rooms of the basement of the Museum, already used for the storage of unexposed works.
Consultations of materials stored in the Cabinet for Drawings and Prints take place by appointment.
In 2009 the collection was reorganized no longer following the chronological sequence of the exhibited works, but rather a logical plot of View, Gender, Childhood and Specularity.
Following the new reorganization of 2013, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the GAM collections, the Infinity, Speed, Ethics and Nature paths were established. The gallery’s heritage consists of over 47,000 works including paintings, sculptures, installations and videos. In the underground there are also important exhibitions and a very rich video library is available.