By Elora Weill-Engerer

The Collezione Maramotti is the prestigious contemporary art collection created by the will of entrepreneur and patron Achille Maramotti and based in Reggio Emilia in the former factory of the Max Mara fashion house.
In 2021 Sara Piccinini, after holding several important roles within the Collection that ranged from communication to the creation of exhibition and editorial projects, became director.


  • Can you tell us about the history of the Collezione Maramotti ? What is its guiding principle and to what extent is the collection committed to contemporary creation?
    The Collezione Maramotti opened to the public in 2007 and is dedicated to the contemporary collection of the Maramotti family but Achille Maramotti, the first collector of the family and the Max Mara founder started to collect contemporary art in the early 60’s. And already in the seventies he had the idea to open a space and the share the collection with the public but in the end the ideal place came when Max Mara moved from its original quarter to Reggio Emilia in another place. So this building was the original headquarter of Max Mara and it was renovated in a very respectful way to host the collection of art. We have two huge floors dedicated to his collection basically which is our permanent display. And then we have several spaces for the temporary exhibitions. So in the present I would say that our support to the creation is inviting emerging and mid-carrer artists, Italian and international, to realize new works for the Collezione. We show them and we also acquire these works so it’s really something growing together through conversation with these artists especially in painting. The collection also includes sculptures of the Arte Povera but is mostly painting.
  • How did the Collezione Maramotti accompany the Max Mara Award winner throughout her residencies in Italy? What is the impact of this residency for the Collezione Maramotti ?
    The prize was established in 2005 so the collection was not there yet. It was a first partnership between Max Mara and the Whitechapel Gallery because Max Mara of course a brand dedicated to women because it’s only a brand for women and the Whitechapel Gallery has a long history of supporting and promoting the work of women artists. So they had this idea to really give an opportunity just to women artists and then the collection entered two years ago as a third because we are the italian institutional partner and taking care of the specifically of the residency and the second venue for the exhibition and then we also acquire the work from the Max Mara prize. Starting from the proposal of the winning artist we try to find the best institutions and single individuals that might be the tutors for the artist and we discuss with the artist about the plan. All the tutors really shared with Emma their expertise and their experience. She had an open mind and her project was one of the most structured projects I have seen for that prize, with a very clear idea in mind but nevertheless she really wanted to experience this residency just absorbing things. 
  • What are the main tasks you would like to carry out for Collezione Maramotti in the coming years?
    They are many ! We would like to make this project of giving the possibility to artists who haven’t had any exhibition in Italy before to support their work. Because it’s mostly what is happening with our exhibition and I think that the Collezione gives them an opportunity to take their time, to make something challenging and to be sure that this will lead to an exhibition and that their work will also enter such a collection. 
  • How works a visit at the Collezione ?
    The Collezione is completely free of charge and the visits are limited to 25 people at a time in a place that is huge. We want to preserve a very calm visit, like a privileged situation that we have experienced with the pandemic when the new things have had limited access at the time and we were ready like this. Here, you don’t consume the visit. You have to take your time, to visit in peace. It is very intimate.
  • For someone who has never seen the collection, could you tell them what they might find there?
    There are two floors dedicated to the permanent collection which means works from the late 40’s to 2018. It is mostly italian, european and american art. And then the temporary exhibitions of course. Many people also come especially for the architecture which is a radical building from 1957 with this wonderful relationship between the interior spaces and outside, with the windows with natural light coming. It is a very concrete structure. We make also other events, for example every two years we have specific performances of dance, thanks to the collaboration with the theaters of Reggio Emilia. We had Trisha Brown Company, Wayne McGregor, many important and international choreographers who specifically conceived a performance for the galleries in dialogue with the architecture or with a single work of the Collezione.
  • So, in a one word, the Collezione Maramotti is the perfect place for an artistic and meditative experience ?
    Yes. It gaves time to the viewer. And it is not located in a big city. It is in Reggio Emilia so you have to come to this place, it is really something you have to be motivated and this make the experience even more fascinating.
Crediti: Ph. Bruno Cattani

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This