Bologna, Italy

Christopher Williams

Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna

“THE ACHIEVEMENTS of the Italian Communists are nowhere more evident than in the city of Bologna.” Thus Donald Sassoon opened his introduction to the English version of the collection of essays Red Bologna (1977), which familiarized an international audience with the progressive policies of the Italian town’s Communist government. Among Bologna’s ambitious projects of the time was an impressive new building for the town’s Galleria d’Arte Moderna, which was officially opened on May 1, 1975. Designed by Leone Pancaldi and situated in the industrial north of the city, the building appeared somewhat Brutalist; inside, the architect had fashioned open and well-lit areas for the display of art.

Over the years, however, the building slowly darkened. Fake walls were constructed over once-generous windows; existing walls were extended and the gaps that used to afford visitors fluid passage through

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