I don’t know what possessed me, exactly, but a recent whirlwind tour of art museums may have been triggered by the simple purchase of a 3 day, Torino+Piedmonte card. It is a promotional gimmick that offers “free” entry to more museums than you can possibly see in 36 hours, free public transport, and discounts on everything from the opera to river rafting. We North Americans like we have to get our money’s worth.

Turin is blessed with several collections of modern art that are dispersed around the city in some interesting buildings. The GAM was first on my list, since it is within walking distance of where we live. Its official name is the Galleria Civica d’arte Moderna e Contemporanea. It holds an extensive collection of art ranging from the late 18th C up to the present day. There were two ongoing exhibits, one on the designer, Enzo Mari, another on concepts of time and photography. Good for an afternoon.

To get to Castello di Rivoli by public transportation, you have to take the subway to the end of the line and then figure out where to take the connecting bus. The museum is located 17 km west of the city at the head of the Susa Valley.

Begun as one of the Savoy family’s residences, it suffered a series of major setbacks through its long history. Fortunately, it was rescued, imaginatively restored and re-opened in 1984. It is a stunning setting for an excellent collection.

I made it back to the city in time for a tour of the luminous art installations currently on view in Turin, Luci d’art. The guide spoke French as well as Italian, but he naturally favored his Italian audience. A Belgian family and I got an abbreviated repetition at the end of each monologue.

On Sunday I managed to squeeze in yet another exhibition at the light-filled, but warehouse-shaped building called Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. Most of the works were by Paul Chan, a Hong Kong based artist. Then I hoofed it over to the old Fiat factory. The Pinacoteca of Giovanni Agnelli is unique, perched like a Frank Lloyd Wright structure on top of the factory (now converted into a very popular shopping mall that is packed on Sundays). Nearby is the “Bolla,” an ultramodern conference hall that looks ready to take off.

Surrounded by the rooftop test track, Agnelli’s elegant Scrigno (casket) holds a small number of paintings from his personal collection—Matisses, Canalletoes and a very nice Modigliani, in addition to traveling exhibits.

Too much art in too few days. Basta! I have a headache already and I haven’t visited a single palace, church or the famous shroud. Ciao for now.

Advertisements