The runway on the roof of the former Fiat factory in Turin is now home to a lush open-air art space


The Pinacoteca Agnelli Art Center sits on the top floor of one of Turin’s most recognizable buildings, the Lingotto, a sprawling reinforced concrete and glass structure that’s a little unwieldy.

The former Fiat car factory closed in 1982 and was once hailed by Le Corbusier as one of the most impressive sights in history.In fact, it has one particular success: the roof pista The new car was once tested at high speed on a pair of parabolic curves.

Three years later, the test track is now given purpose again.To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the arts institution launches La Pista 500, a new public art space occupies more than a kilometer of the old highway on its roof, alongside a renovation project aimed at correcting some of the omissions of its interior collection.

Agree all Sylvie Fleury (2022).Photo: Sebastiano Perion di Persano

Some 40,000 verdant plants share space with the open-air exhibition space and are now available to the public. Works by Shilpa Gupta, Louise Lawler, Valie Export and Cally Spooner are on display as part of a relaunch aimed at highlighting women’s practice.A work by feminist artist Sylvie Fleury greets visitors at the top of the museum’s new entrance Letters with red neon light.

“The idea really started with pista and transform it into a park,” said Ginevra Elkann, president of Pinacoteca. “We want the opportunity to be more than just an isolated museum, but to be part of a larger reality.” Since opening in 2002, Pinacoteca Agnelli was funded by Fiat and its main mission was to display the esteemed private collection of the late couple Giovanni and Marella Agnelli, the glamorous heirs to the Fiat royal family and grandparents to Elkann. In general, though, museums are still relatively niche.

All three grandchildren, including Elkann, are on the museum’s board, presiding over the family’s impressive 400-piece art collection, which includes works by Giacomo Balla, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Agnelli Collection. Courtesy Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin. Photo: Mybosswas

Sarah Cosulich, who was recently appointed Artistic Director of Pinacoteca, has been instrumental in shaping the museum’s revised agenda, including establishing a more modern, international and public-facing program. This dynamic and esteemed curator brings a wealth of experience to his most recent tenure as Art Director for the Quadrennial in Rome and as Art Director for the Artissima Art Fair.

“I like the idea of ​​working with museums that have historical traditions and collections, and open up to the contemporary without being forced, but trying to build a bridge in the project,” Cosulich said. One of the reasons for the access to the roof, it has a nominal fee of 2 euros.

In an impressive six-month time span, the all-female team brought together eight international artists to bring two new commissions to their first outdoor projects, including Kelly Spooner Fascinating Dead Time (melody’s warm-up) (2022), sound work for Bach cello practice Cello Suite No. 1 Interspersed with the sound of cars; the piece reverberates around the car ramp, its response like a sound box.

start to crumble under my feet (2022) by Mark Leckie.Photo: Sebastiano Perion di Persano

Elsewhere, a great video by Mark Leckey start to crumble under my feet (2022), mounted on a huge LED screen, contains the parabolic curves of the track and features a changing landscape of the Alps, from a majestic snow-capped mountain range to a post-industrial barren landscape.

“Artists are fascinated by the history of this space—in fact, it’s both a place for cars and a place for factories,” Cosulich said.

In a reflexive patriarchal country with the lowest levels of gender equality in the EU in the workplace, gender politics has become one of the most exciting aspects of the new Pinacoteca programme. Elkann and Cosulich chose to address the traditional male narrative that permeates the history of such buildings—not only in the car factory itself, but also in the Agnelli collection, which especially includes only male artists.

Cosulich said the new plan would “open up” the agency “to presences not normally associated with the space.” This is indeed highly visible, especially in its inaugural solo show, a highly entertaining and poignant retrospective of pioneering feminist artist Sylvie Fleury. its title “turn me on” It’s cheeky puns about porn and lust, and turning on the ignition of a car.

Sylvie Fleury’s exhibition “Turn Me On”. Image credit: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

On the fifth floor of the Renzo Piano-designed museum, where the permanent collection makes its home, the commitment to subverting traditional narratives is also evident in its new exhibition”Pablo Picasso and Doramar. A conversation with the Beyeler Foundation.

The exhibition focuses on Marr’s significant influence on the practice of male painters, starting with Picasso’s portraits Homme appuyé sur une watch (1915-16) hanging Conversation with three works by the artist on loan from the Swiss foundation Beyeler, all of which depict the artist Dora Marr. Maar’s photo is on equal footing. This is called “beyond the collection,” will use a piece from the collection as a key tool to express absence from the collection.

Elkann credits the women’s team for an important turnaround at Pinacoteca Agnelli. “It’s creative, it’s caring, it’s looking at the future, the community and its needs,” she said of the new project. “Bringing together nature and art is vital to the soul. I think we need it now more than ever.”

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