Prato’s Luigi Pecci Contemporary Art Center, better known as the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, opened in 1988 and was the first museum in Italy built specifically for exhibiting and promoting work by avant-garde international artists.
Over the years, it has established an important permanent collection, made up of works by major artists of the last thirty years. The range of acquisitions is a testament to the center’s well-orchestrated research and exhibition work.
The Centro Pecci collection includes more than 1,000 artworks by over 300 artists: sculptures, installations, paintings and videos carried out from the 1950s up to today, particularly works by members of the Arte Povera movement and the Italian and international Transavantgarde, as well as photography and artwork from the former Soviet Union.
A sampling of the artists with works on display: Mimmo Paladino, Mauro Staccioli, Jan Fabre, Lucio Fontana, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Daniel Spoerri, Barbara Kruger and Nobuyoshi Araki, among others.
The building itself is a work of art: it was originally planned by the Rationalist architect Italo Gamberini, appointed by the Pratese industralist Enrico Pecci, in memory of his son Luigi. Later restructured and expanded by the architect Maurice Nio, it now houses more than 4 thousand square meters of exhibition space, along with an archive and specialized library with 60,000 volumes, an auditorium, restaurant and open-air theatre.