The Collection

25 highlights from the Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Permanent Collection

Breathing (1969) by Giovanni AnselmoCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea


Two iron beams separated by a sea sponge constitute Breathing, a work that brings into proximity a natural, soft, elastic element and a heavy, compact, industrial product.

The work is created by the energy that is liberated from the encounter between the two materials; variations in temperature produce minor alterations in the dimensions of the iron beams, which then modify the shape of the sponge.

Lucrezio's Dwell (1981) by Giulio PaoliniCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

House of Lucretius

Four fragments of a plaster slab featuring a carved drawing of a labyrinth, which were discovered in the house of Lucretius in Pompeii, are joined with four casts, two intact and two shattered positioned on four bases.

According to Giulio Paolini’s ideas, it is in the fragments, traces of possible forms of elusive bodies, that we can glimpse the fullness of classical beauty and its formal and intellectual perfection.

Milarepa’s Circle (1982) by Francesco ClementeCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Milarepa' s Circle

From June to September 1982 Francesco Clemente painted Milarepa' s Circle, the subject was inspired by East Asian tradition, and the suggestion of a figure of Buddhist monk who devotes his entire existence to the search for enlightenment is borne out in the dense material surface, formed from many pictorial layers.

Venus of the Rags (1967) by Michelangelo PistolettoCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Venus of the Rags

Michelangelo Pistoletto's art is open to dialogue and exchange. In Venus of the Rags the reproduction of a Greek statue, the Callpigia Venus, a metaphor for memory, relates to a multicolored pile of discarded garments, symbolizing everyday life, in a dense dialogue between past and present.

From Where … (1983-7) (1983) by Emilio VedovaCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

From Where...– (1984--1)

The title of the work of Emilio Vedova emphasizes an important feature of all the artist ’s work: it is gesture that sets out to delineate the original hypotheses of form; it touches the origins of language.

La Cabane éclatée n.3, travail situé (1984) by Daniel BurenCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Exploded Hut n.3

Daniel Buren's artwork, made with white and yellow striped canvas, is articulated on the relationship between the square and its possible triangular subdivisions, based on a geometry identified as part of the decorative system of the Castello di Rivoli.

The work was born on the occasion of the opening exhibition of the Museum in 1984.

Untitled (1985) by Marisa MerzCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea


Marisa Merz' s work is a large blue drawing, on cardboard, resting on a tall, narrow table made of metal shelves.

The portrait emerges from the layering of lines and signs, and suggests an exercise that is both spiritual and physical, aimed at the exploration of open systems and boundless space.

Fountain (1986) by Ettore SpallettiCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea


According to Ettore Spalletti, blue is fundamentally an atmospheric color, one that exists as an environmental condition all around us, as depth rather than surface.

Spalletti transformed a sculpture into an urban object that redesigns the space in a non-monumental key.

I Have No Hands that Caress My Face by Mario GiacomelliCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

I Have No Hands Caressing My Face

The widely acclaimed series I have no hands caressing my face, shot in a seminary in Senigallia, captures young trainee priests at “play” during their free time, and showcases Giacomelli’s hallmark use of high-contrast tones to produce striking graphic effects, exemplified here by the dramatic way the black-clad figures of the priests stand out against the stark white background.

Breathing the Shadow (1999) by Giuseppe PenoneCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Breathing the Shadow

Breathing the Shadow belongs to a group of more recent works in which Giuseppe Penone elaborates visual and sensorial paths in his expressive world through large installations.

The research started with the Breaths in which the artist investigates and penetrates the moment of inspiration.

Grand Suite (1986) by Jan VercruysseCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Grande Suite

A luxurious red velvet chaise longue and a series of frames hung on the wall in a careful arrangement make up Jan Vercruysse's work Grande Suite.

Incomplete, the frames contain no images and remain a field of infinite potential, available to contain the totality of art.

Significantly, the chaise longue is empty, staging an absence that is a constant element in Vercruysse’s work.

Coat of arms (1988) by Haim SteinbachCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Coat of Arms

“I don’t make objects, I find and present them,” Haim Steinbach has said. coat of arms, is a unique work that features a closet like structure containing a series of men’s suits by well-known designers together with four suit sculptures carved in wood by a Venetian artisan.

The shelf supports a nineteenth-century French bronze sculpture of a man splitting a log, juxtaposed with four brass tubas.

The archetype, metonymy, and seriality are some of the keys that Steinbach employs in this work, exposing the formal conventions and myths that dictate our social behavior.

Charlie Don’t Surf

The title of Charlie don’t surf, 1997, comes from the movie Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola.

Developing a further reflection on the infinite variations of human cruelty, Maurizio Cattelan's work takes the form of a mannequin with the features of a young boy, seated at his school desk.

Apparently diligent, the pupil is constrained into a situation of forced immobility. A closer look reveals that, pierced by pencils, his hands are nailed to the desk.

Novecento (1997) by Maurizio CattelanCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea


A different allusion to an existential condition, where the subject is deprived of any possibility of action, is elaborated in Novecento (1900).

Maurizio Cattelan's work consists of an embalmed horse hung from the ceiling by a sling. The animal’s neck is bent downward and the hooves, stretched out during taxidermy, extend toward the ground. A new take on the concept of natura morta (“still life,” literally “dead nature”), the final image is one of frustrated tension, of energy destined to find no outlet.

By the artist’s own admission, insecurity is a defining aspect of his approach, and the idea of failure is a theme that recurs in many of his works.

The Paradise Institute (2001) by Janet Cardiff & George Bures MillerCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Paradise Institute

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller explore emotions, memory, intimacy, and the private realm of talking-listening. The Paradise Institute combines sculpture, performance,video and sound.

Seeing Knowing (2004) by Joseph KosuthCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Seeing Knowing

Seeing Knowing is a work created by Joseph Kosuth specifically for the spaces of the Museum.

Conceived in two parts, theoretically in dialogue with each other, the work consists of two back-lit panels, one installed outside on the roof of the Manica Lunga building, the other positioned inside, on the third floor of the Castello.

On both panels, one can read in Italian on the outdoor panel, in English on the other the phrase, of the philosopher Giovanbattista Vico.

A Journey That Wasn't (2006) by Pierre HuygheCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

A journey that wasn't

The Pierre Huyghe's film is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, who elaborates on this concept in The Adventures of Gordon Pym, Huyghe investigated the conditions relating to the birth of a story.

Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano (2008) by Allora & CalzadillaCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano

The work of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla uses a wide range of means of expression, from installation to sculpture, from music to performance.

Attentive to the relationship between the work of art as an object and its meaning, the artists seek an active involvement on the part of the viewer, inducing him to reflect on issues such as ecology, democracy, communication.

Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano brings together several of these elements.

Untitled (2009) by Jannis KounellisCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea


Moving to Italy from his native Greece in 1956, Jannis Kounellis exhibited while still a student at the Academy of Rome.

A series of coats and shoes arranged in order to compose a compact set, laid on a large floor surface. Worn and then disused, the garments preserve the traces of the people who wore them, testifying to their historical truth but also affirming their inevitable absence.

No specific sign of culture is independent of a broader historical text, and no broad historical text or world view is independent of the broader enigma of the universe (2009) by Fabio MauriCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

No Specific Sign of Culture Is Independent of a Broader Historical Text, and No Broad Historical Text or World View is Independent of the Broader Enigma of the Universe

Fabio Mauri an exponent of the post-Wolrd War II Italian avant-garde. He was a writer, a playwriter, founder of magazines, and a tout court intellectual.

Mauri puts some thoughts, phrases, reflections on the ground and makes them read and trample on by those present. The paths of incomplete thought are metaphorically.

Their sense is to be inside the thought, trampling it, you can not escape being within its meaning.

The GFT Fish (1985/1986) by Frank O GehryCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

GFT Fish

The GFT Fish is a project of Frank O. Gehry, for a dwelling in the form of a fish, building-object that contains in itself the hypothesis of buildings still to be designed.
The project was commissioned for an exhibition presence of the Turin textile group GFT.

Stain III (1968) by Gilberto ZorioCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Macchia III

Gilberto Zorio realized Macchia III by scattering on the ground, in concentric circles, liquid rubber. Subsequently, the rubber is suspended in space by ropes whose tension is never definitive.

Igloo (Gheddafi's Tent) (1968/1981) by Mario MerzCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Igloo (Gaddafi's Tent)

The artwork is covered with a canvas of iuta painted with the motif of the spears.

Mario Merz worked to his first Igloo in 1967, a hemispherical domed structure that represents an ideal temporary and nomadic architecture, and ancient and contemporary house at the same time, a symbol of celestial vault and conviviality.

Cutting Through the Past (1992/1993) by Rebecca HornCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Cutting Through the Past

In Rebecca Horn's work Cutting Through the Past, five doors bearing the signs of time are installed on a platform.

Their discharged nature suggests a domestic environment, within which private stories take place. A pointed metal rod is laid horizontally in the center of the platform.

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