Influential Dealer Lia Rumma Gifts Arte Povera Works to Italy

Dealer Lia Rumma, who runs a gallery with spaces in Milan and Naples, has donated more than 70 works made by prominent Italian artists to the country’s government. The works are to be displayed in a national museum in Naples.

Many of the works included in the gift are by artists affiliated with Arte Povera, a movement from the 1960s and ’70s in which artists used crude materials like soil, rags, rocks, and duct tape to craft sculptures. They saw their work as being positioned outside the market.

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Among the 30 artists represented in the gift are Vincenzo Agnetti, Giovanni Anselmo, Enrico Castellani, Luciano Fabro, and Michelangelo Pistoletto, and others.

The works will be displayed permanently at the Palazzina dei Principi, a building on the campus of the Capodimonte Museum, one of Italy’s foremost institutions. Housed in its collection are works dating from the 13th century to the present. The museum currently owns around 160 works of contemporary art.

Rumma, who started out as a collector while living in Salerno, began amassing works by the artists in the early 1960s with her partner, the curator Marcello Rumma. He was one of the people who asked German Celant to curate 1968’s “Arte Povera + Azioni Povere,” one of the first significant shows devoted to the movement. Following Marcello’s death in 1971, Lia opened a gallery in Naples dedicated to Minimalist and Conceptual art, showcasing artists like Joseph Kosuth and Enrico Castellani.

In a statement, Sylvain Bellenger, the director of the Capodimonte Museum, said that the gift reflects a period in which “Italian art radically entered the contemporary world.”


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