Madre: the museum of contemporary art in Napoli

This piece, first published in April 2016, was written after my first visit to the Madre in Naples. I loved the museum’s calm space, the range of its exhibits … and its roof terrace.

The Phraser

Internal courtyard of the Museo Madre in Naples, Italy with art by Mimmo Paladino on the roof Internal courtyard of the Museo Madre in Naples, Italy with art by Mimmo Paladino on the roof

Art is a place to be, a place that tries to reach us, provoke us. It swallows the rules, the clocks, the to and fro, and waits for us to respond.

Much of Naples itself is art – ancient, modern, faded, alive – but it does not have the quiet, the spaces between, that the Madre brings to its displays.  This is the luxury of a visit to the Madre, the chance to leave the hectic city and step into its  calm.

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The horse that followed me to Benevento

A look back (first published in April 2015): since this visit to Benevento I’ve discovered another horse of Mimmo Paladino’s in Naples. This horse, possibly even more striking than the others, stands on the roof of the MADRE (Museum of contemporary Art DonnaREgina) in the city.

The Phraser

Reflection of the horse that followed me to Benevento Reflection of the horse that followed me to Benevento

I didn’t expect to see the horse.  The guidebooks never mentioned that one would be there, nor that others would be hidden in the same space.

My first sight of the horse was in Naples.  He’s tucked around the back of the Royal Palace where he struggles to climb out of a mound of salt.  You don’t forget horses like that.

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Madre: the museum of contemporary art in Napoli

Internal courtyard of the Museo Madre in Naples, Italy with art by Mimmo Paladino on the roof

Internal courtyard of the Museo Madre in Naples, Italy with art by Mimmo Paladino on the roof

Art is a place to be, a place that tries to reach us, provoke us. It swallows the rules, the clocks, the to and fro, and waits for us to respond.

Much of Naples itself is art – ancient, modern, faded, alive – but it does not have the quiet, the spaces between, that the Madre brings to its displays.  This is the luxury of a visit to the Madre, the chance to leave the hectic city and step into its  calm.

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Castel Sant’Elmo, Naples, Italy: built to last

The Castel Sant'Elmo Naples, Italy

The Castel Sant’Elmo Naples, Italy with coat of arms of Charles V and the double-headed eagle

If you find a castle in town you know there’s been trouble … and the bigger the castle the bigger the trouble.

Bump into Castel Sant’Elmo, with Vesuvius just there, and you realise that you probably have no idea what ‘trouble’ even is.

When we visited there was trouble.

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