In May the new Milan venue of Fondazione Prada opened to the public, creating a new permanent home for the foundation to continue to showcase arts and culture exhibitions & events. The foundation’s outpost in Venice continues to operate in conjunction with the new space, from the 18th century palazzo Ca’ Corner della Regina where a new exhibition also launched in May.
Created as an outlet to analyse present times through the staging of contemporary art exhibitions as well as architecture, cinema and philosophy projects, the Fondazione Prada was initially conceived in 1993. Throughout the last 20 years it has brought contemporary artists such as Anish Kapoor to Italian audiences, and has masterminded projects around the globe drawing iconic patrons such as Mick Jagger.
The new spaces have offered a diversity of influences allowing the foundation to develop an experimental, stimulating program in which different languages and disciplines coexist and activate an ever-changing evolving intellectual process. Various interests and researches are pursued and examined through a flexible approach, founded on the idea that culture is an effective knowledge and learning tool.
Fashion legend Miuccia Prada is the president of the foundation, which relies on an open structure, and she explained to the New York Times; ‘After more than 20 years of staging exhibitions around the world, my husband said he thought it was about time we do something permanent in Milan.’
Led by Rem Koolhaus and his company OMA the new addition was an architectural project that expanded on the traditional expectations of spatial design and how art can be exhibited and shared with the public. Characterised by an articulated architectural configuration which combine seven existing buildings with three new structures (Podium, Cinema and Torre), the new venue is the result of the transformation of a distillery dating back to the 1910’s.
There are many exhibitions taking place at the new centre including the ‘Serial Classic’ and ‘Portable Classic’ which actually joins the two venues throughout the summer. Both projects, for which OMA designed the display, analyse the themes of seriality and the copy in classical art and of the reproduction of Greek-Roman statuary on a small scale from the Renaissance to Neoclassicism respectively.
Further highlights include ‘In Part’ curated by Nicolas Cullinan, staged in the Nord gallery, one of the former industrial structures originally included in the compound. Built around a thematic group of works selected from the collection, the exhibition explores the idea of the fragmented body in the sculptures of Lucio Fontana and Pino Pascali, through the representation of ruins in the works of artists such as David Hockney, and more mediums from esteemed artists.
In the Cisterna, a pre-existing building made up of three adjacent vertical structures, the ’Trittico’ exhibition is held. The project, conceived by the Thought Council, presents three works from the collection on a rotational basis. The first selection includes Case II (1968) by Eva Hesse, Lost Love (2000) by Damien Hirst, and 1 metro cubo di terra (1967) by Pino Pascali, three works that all develop minimalistic geometries by associating objects and elements of nature with the shape of the cube.
There are so many spaces and buildings to explore, including the Haunted House, a four story building at the center of the compound which hosts a permanent installation conceived by Robert Gober and two works by Louise Bourgeois.
Roman Polanski has conceived a project which is hosted in the Cinema on the complex, titled ‘Roman Polanski: My Inspirations’. In this documentary directed by Laurent Bouzerau, the sources of inspiration behind Polanski’s cinematographic work are retraced by analyzing some of the films that have most influenced him, such as Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (1941) and Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (1948) to name two of a total of six that are being shown alongside 15 motions pictures by Polanski until the 25 July.
A real melting pot of talents and ideas the Fondazione Prada also boasts iconic American film director Wes Anderson as the brains behind Bar Luce, which is located in the entrance building of the new venue. He has created the space to recreate the atmosphere of a typical Milanese café. The ceiling and wall decorations suggest a miniature version of one of the city’s landmarks, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele; while the formica furniture, chairs, and terrazzo floor pay homage to Italian movies of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Although inspired by cinema, Anderson says his intention was ‘to design not a set but a space for real life – but maybe it will be a good place to write a movie.’
Fast becoming Milan’s most fashionable gallery, the Fondazione Prada’s new permanent Milan venue is a must visit for everyone. Be inspired and shop the Italian Home Fashion edit of stylish home accessories from the most iconic designer brands.