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History of the Collection

The works in the permanent collection are a record of recent expressions of the Italian Novecento, of figurative art after World War II, the influence of abstract art on figurative painting and sculpture, abstract naturalism, neo-naturalismo padano, abstract and concrete art, kinetic and technological art, environmental art, Art Informel, conceptual art, pittura pittura, the transavanguardia, post-modern, the "new-new", anachronists and pittura colta, the new realism, the new futurism, abstraction redefined, astrazione povera, multimedia art, the new artistic languages and Italian design. The major artists in the collection, with works on display in the gallery’s exhibition rooms, include Afro, Massimo Bartolini, Vanessa Beecroft, Bianco-Valente, Enrica Borghi, Carlo Carrà, Alice Cattaneo, Loris Cecchini, Gianni Colombo, Dadamaino, Chiara Dynys, Luciano Fabro Lucio Fontana, Piero Gilardi, Renato Guttuso, Piero Manzoni, Fausto Melotti, Ennio Morlotti, Mocellin e Pellegrini Bruno Munari, Adrian Paci, Giuseppe Penone, Enrico Prampolini, Ernesto Treccani, Giuseppe Santomaso, Mario Sironi, Atanasio Soldati, Studio Azzurro, Emilio Vedova and many others. The collection of the MAGA has increased through a number of important deposits and donations of private collections, like the Consolandi Collection that has been partly granted to the museum after the important exhibition dedicated to the collector Paolo Consolandi.

The rich collection of graphic works, whose core dates back to the 6th Premio Gallarate in 1957, has been extended over the years until it now comprises 1711 items. It testifies to the freedom of expression and research of the leading artists of the twentieth century through experiments with different techniques.

In 1989 the museum established the Design Commission to constitute a section of objects of Italian design from the fifties to the nineties as a focus of debate, dialogue and analysis and to prompt further study embracing both collectible artworks and industrial products. With the seventeenth edition of the "Design of Objects", the National Award of the Visual Arts of the City of Gallarate, in 1993 the Museum acquired objects by leading designers such as Zanuso, Pozzi, Sapper, Munari, Mari, Colombo, Ponti, Sottsass and Ferrieri.


The MAGA also holds the archives of the MAC, MADI, Mail Art and the Premio Gallarate.