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The Best Contemporary Art Galleries in Rome

With works by the likes of Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Raphael taking pride of place in its museums, Rome’s reputation as an artistic haven is well known. It’s not all ancient sculptures and historic paintings though. The city’s contemporary art scene is on the rise, with modern artists celebrated in galleries, exhibition spaces, and institutions across town too.



Gagosian Gallery


Established by art dealer Larry Gagosian in Los Angeles in 1980, Gagosian is a big hitter on the global gallery scene. Their sleek showrooms are found in arts and culture epicenters such as New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris, and, Basel. Since opening its doors in 2007, the Rome location has exhibited works by notable artists including Cy Twombly, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, Richard Serra, and Giuseppe Penone. (Side note: head to Palazzo Fendi off Via del Corso to see Penone’s Foglie di Pietra sculpture. The striking bronze and marble sculpture stands 18 meters tall outside the fashion house’s doors). In 2023, Gagosian Rome hosted LA artist Alex Israel, who utilized the writing abilities of ChatGPT for the exhibition press release and some texts. A comment on the “intersection between technology, art, and media.”



© Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna


Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna


Approach the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, or GNAM for short) from Villa Borghese gardens for views with full dramatic effect. The monumental staircase sweeps visitors up and into the grandiose Palazzo delle Belle Arti, which was designed by Cesare Bazzani and built between 1911 and 1915. Inside, past the towering columns and intricate friezes of the façade, is an impressive collection of 19th- and 20th-century art. Homegrown artists are represented by the likes of Giacomo Balla, Alberto Burri, Antonio Canova, Giorgio de Chirico, and Amedeo Modigliani while international works on display come from Alexander Calder, Cézanne, Degas, Mondrian, Monet, Jackson Pollock, Rodin, Van Gogh, and more. Come here to enjoy a real smorgasbord of contemporary artists, mediums, and genres.



© Chiostro del Bramante


Chiostro del Bramante


Originally part of the baroque Santa Maria della Pace church next door, the Chiostro del Bramante now hosts colorful contemporary art exhibitions that are always high points in Rome’s event calendar. Artists like Banksy, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Escher, and Basquiat have all been celebrated here, while the space also plays host to more broadly themed immersive and interactive exhibitions too. Expect showstopping pieces and the crowds to match. The chiostro, or cloister, itself is a wonderful example of High Renaissance architecture and best admired from the atmospheric coffee shop, drink in hand.



© Contemporary Cluster


Contemporary Cluster


Founded in 2016, Contemporary Cluster is a creative space housed in Palazzo Brancaccio near Piazza Vittorio. Encompassing art, architecture, music, fashion, and design, the concept is multi-disciplinary and encourages experimentation, collaboration and cultural exchange. Check the Facebook page for details of the latest events held at Contemporary Cluster, from exhibitions, workshops, literary presentations, and more. Don’t leave without thumbing through the carefully curated selection of independent magazines.







The Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO for short) is a bright and modern space, with many interesting architectural elements like glass walkways, metal pipes and tubing, oh, and a giant red structure forming an auditorium in the middle of the museum. On one side of the building, alongside these radical design features, are the words ‘Società Birra Peroni Ghiaccio’ – the site was once home to a Peroni beer factory. Now, art lovers come here to immerse themselves in diverse, thought-provoking exhibitions.



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