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Art Diary

Piranesi and the Modern

2 September 2022

The National Museum in Oslo (9 September–8 January 2023) reveals how the 18th-century artist and architect helped shape the modern world. From the works of Pablo Picasso to film franchises such as Star Wars, the exhibition explores how Piranesi’s sprawling cityscapes and depictions of prison scenes influenced how modernist artists perceived space. Highlights include several of the copper printing plates the artist used to create Campo Marzio (1763), a labyrinthine reconstruction of the map of the Campo Mania area of ancient Rome, as well as the complete set of 14 sketches from the Imaginary Prisons (1761) series. Also in the exhibition are works influenced by Piranesi, such as a series of architectural models by the contemporary Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, which have never previously been exhibited. Find out more on the Nasjonalmuseet’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

The Drawbridge, Carter d’Invenzione VII from Imaginary Prisons (1761), Giovanni Battista Piranesi. 

OMA (2002), Rem Koolhaas. Courtesy Rem Koolhaas/OMA, Rotterdam

Campo Marzio (1762), Giovanni Battista Piranesi. British School at Rome, Library and Archive Collections.