the Roman Spring

AT ONCE SUBLIMELY EVANESCENT and maddeningly dysfunctional, Rome remains suspended between a venerable past and a chaotic present, bewildering even to its oldest habitués. In this labyrinthine metropolis, contemporary art suffers the same fate as everything else, emerging from this ancient maze only to disappear into its tangled arteries. Initiatives for exhibitions, even at the highest level, are almost exclusively the product of iron—willed individuals who somehow manage to function in the absence of an adequate infrastructure for support of the arts. Navigating the logistical complexities of mounting exhibitions in Rome is a task that often seems daunting, even to those who ought to know how to slip through secret alleys.

The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna is the only state museum dedicated to contemporary art in Italy. Its new director, Sandra Pinto, has sought to revive the

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