The Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
presents 'Eccentrica', an exhibition displaying over 50 works from artists including Fontana, Boetti, Warhol, Richter, Kounellis, Bonvicini, Schnabel, and Fumai. Curated by director Stefano Collicelli Cagol
, this exhibition marks the first time the museum's permanent collection is on display since its establishment in 1988. Formafantasma developed the exhibition design for ‘Eccentrica’.
The Centro Pecci
is situated in the city of Prato, in shear proximity to Florence, Italy.
The city began to specialize in textiles in the 12th century when garment manufacturing was regulated by the 'Arte della Lana' wool merchants guild. The exhibition design departs from the city’s textile legacy: the artworks are rhythmed by textile partitions that reconfigure the space into four sections. The partitions are made from regenerative wool, meticulously cut and stitched by local fabric manufacturer Manteco
The use of textile inscribes the collection in the long history of Prato as a transnational center for the production and manufacturing of textiles for the fashion and furniture industry especially in woolen yarns and fabrics. Formafantasma explores wool here as a museological tool, inscribing the artworks in a quasi-domestic setting, deviating from the conventional white cube environment associated with modern and contemporary art. The exhibition design attempts to challenge some of the tropes of the 'white cube' by suspending large-scale artwork on the ceiling, and putting archival documents in dialogue with artworks.
The partitions serve multiple purposes, including providing individual focus on some artworks, facilitating the dialogue between pieces, hosting a drywall, dividing sections, and creating layered interpretations. The sequence formed by the partitions slowly reveal the architecture and artworks to the visitors.
The exhibition design aims to also respond to the peculiarity and complexity of the curved space: The gradual asymptotic nature of the curve determines the placement of the artworks, with larger pieces positioned at the beginning, allowing smaller works to unfold later along the visitor's path.
The artworks are predominantly hung on industrial aluminum pole extrusions, echoing the unfinished ceiling of the space. The pole system allows for a level of flexibility and adaptability, enabling future rearrangement of the eclectic collection, formed by a myriad of paintings, photographs, archival material, video projections, and sculptural works.
On the left side of the space, a folded stainless steel shelf punctures the wall. This evolving, still 'in progress' shelf is the product of ongoing discussion with the museum’s educational program and the city’s council. The 'shelf of collective readings’ serves as a platform for captions, tactile devices, and other similar elements, in the hope of amplifying the experience of the artworks to the widest possible audience.
The left wall also hosts windows that have been upholstered with the same woolen textile. These windows serve a dual purpose: hosting artworks in two instances while providing seating spaces for visitors in the other two. This arrangement invites visitors to pause and immerse themselves in the interplay between the cityscape outside and the artworks within.
The lighting of the space was entrusted of FLOS.