GAM has an authentic Sculpture Garden, and it is a fundamental complement to the Museum’s itineraries, allowing visitors to enjoy a peaceful place with green lawns and bamboo plants.
The green space begins even before the Museum entrance gate where, situated on two large ivy flowerbeds, the monumental In Limineby Giuseppe Penone is found: a sculpture made from Carrara marble with an imposing leaning tree cast in bronze and surrounded by “living nature”: and tree and the ivy. The work acts as a threshold, an entry portal to GAM, a passage from the city space to the museum space. It was made in 2011 and was commissioned by the De Fornaris Foundation to mark the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy.Once visitors pass the main entrance, at the center of the spacious lawn facing the library and events hall, they will find the large sculpture by Fausto Melotti, Ascending Modulation.On the left a little further ahead we find the work Disarticulate a Circleby Riccardo Cordero and in front, along the wall, At the Caudine Forksby Luigi Mainolfi.Visitors can also admire along the Museum entry steps Bicilindrica, a sculpture in polished cement by Paolo Icaro.Further ahead, after the entrance at the ticket office, there is another masterpiece: Light Yearsby Giulio Paolini, a large outdoor arena where visitors can spend time and which represents an imaginary museum whose paintings detach from the walls and soar up into the sky—to admire from above while climbing the fire escape. This is a place of encounter, performance, concerts, and activities organized by the Museum.Beyond the Arena Paolini we find, surrounded by a line of bamboo plants, the bronze Conquerorby Davide Calandra.
The lawns that surround the sculptures are full of wild plants that ensure, at various times of the year, seasonal plants with their typical colors: the white daisies, the yellow dandelions, and the pink clovers.The bamboo plants create screens, paths, and scrub, adding great harmony to the entire garden: the leaves join in leafy branches that bend from their weight and mask the Museum and surrounding buildings; the cylinder shafts, called reeds, at times very tall or very slender, grow at varying and random distances, deceiving the eyes and allowing for quick glimpses of what lies behind. Thus the spaces seem larger and the effect is one of many small bamboo forests that grow in geometric flowerbeds but have an overall effect of being very natural and relaxing.There are at least 4 different species of bamboo in the garden, and one of the most important is the Phyllostachys nigra whose young reeds are born green, and over the course of a year become shiny black and thus create a color contrast of great effect. Another important type of bamboo found in the garden is the Pseudosasa japonica “Metake,” whose large leaves can reach 30 cm in length, creating very dense tufts whose bright green reeds are often covered by yellow or brownish sheaths.