It’s my duty and honor as an art history major and art lover to visit the major galleries and museums while here in Rome. What could be better than that?! Last night I had a life changing experience; a gallery opening for artist Franz West at the Gagosian Gallery Roma. To sum it up nicely, it was AWESOME. A stone throw away from the Spanish steps sits the beautifully architectured Gagosian Gallery, which anyone can spot from a couple streets away. I was lucky to have heard of the opening and have an invitation through my Galleries and Studios Contemporary Art class.
Before I get started about the opening, let me talk about the artist Franz West. I hadn’t heard of him before this week so it was nice to expand my horizons on a new artist. It goes without saying that he is a big deal, I mean, he is showing at the Gagosian Roma. An Austrian artist who now lives in Vienna, Franz West makes radical art through notions of moving figures and contorted body movements. Without reading about this, one wouldn’t get an idea of figures out of his work, but more of an abstract, contorted and wrapped, twisted sculpture piece that flows and balances in one continuous way.
Before the gallery opening we strolled over to see a temporary installation by Franz West that the Gagosian was able to achieve. I say the word achieve because Rome is a historical city and throughout the years contemporary art has been trying to makes its way in, and it’s doing a good job so far. This installation piece sits one block away from the Pantheon! Now that’s amazing. A radical contemporary art piece, having nothing to do with the site, sitting right in the middle of historic Rome… I like it. Good job Gagosian. It shows the power that Gagosian has and is able to pull off. The location of the gallery itself is also amazing. It isn’t an accident that the Gagosian sits one block from the Trevi Fountain, off Via del Corso, and a couple doors down from Prada and Gucci. Enough said.
Ok, lets get back to the opening. So after seeing the installation piece we walked back over to Gagosian where we saw the creme de la creme group of people being dropped off by their drivers to attend the show. I felt a little under dressed in my sneaks and jeans standing next to a gorgeous Italian women in Pumps and a fabulous dress. Upon entering the gallery we took some information on the artist and the exhibit. We walked up the stairs into a great big circular room filled with 7 huge Franz West pieces. Paper mache sculptures at least 15 feet high with colored paint poured on top of them were balancing perfectly on little paint or mop buckets. Amazing, I loved it. I met a few fabulous people and chatted it up with them about the artist and about their lives as gallerists, dealers, and just Romans in general. Overall it was a GREAT night, I’m excited for more openings in the future. 🙂