ON 9 MAY 2015, FONDAZIONE PRADA OPENS ITS NEW PERMANENT MILAN VENUE
AND PRESENTS A NEW EXHIBITION IN VENICE
Milan, 2 May 2015 - The new Milan venue of Fondazione Prada opens to the public on
Saturday 9 May 2015. In conjunction with the Milan spaces, the Fondazione venetian outpost
will continue to operate in the 18thcentury palazzo Ca' Corner della Regina, where a new
exhibition launches on the same date.
New Milan venue of Fondazione Prada Architectural project by OMA Photo: Bas Princen 2015 Courtesy Fondazione Prada
The architectural project developed by OMA, led by Rem Koolhaas, expands the repertoire of spatial typologies in which art can be exhibited and shared with the public. Characterized by an articulated architectural configuration which combines 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. In the project conceived by OMA, two conditions coexist: preservation and the creation of a new architecture which, although separate, confront each other in a state of permanent interaction. Located in Largo Isarco, in the south of Milan, the compound develops on an overall surface of 19.000 m 2/205,000 ft Torre (tower), currently undergoing construction work, will be open to the public at a laterstage.
Fondazione Prada was created in 1993 as an outpost to analyze present times through the staging of contemporary art exhibitions as well as architecture, cinema and philosophy projects. The diversity of the new spaces has become the incentive to develop an experimental, stimulating program in which different languages and disciplines, though independent from each other, coexist in order 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. Fondazione Prada relies on an open structure, whose program is the result of a confrontation between the curatorial departments of the Fondazione, coordinated by Astrid Welter, Mario Mainetti and Alessia Salerno, the Thought Council, a group whose members will vary over time and founded by Shumon Basar, Nicholas Cullinan and Cédric Libert, soon to be joined by Elvira Dyangani Ose and Dieter Roelstraete in May, the Presidents Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli and the artistic and scientific Superintendent Germano Celant.
New Milan venue of Fondazione Prada Architectural project by OMA Photo: Bas Princen 2015 Courtesy Fondazione Prada
The exhibitions 'Serial Classic' (Milan, 9 May – 24 August, 2015) and 'Portable Classic'
(Venice, 9 May – 13 September, 2015)—conceived by Salvatore Settis— ideally join the two venues of the Fondazione throughout the summer. The two exhibition projects, for which OMA has designed the display, analyze 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.
Exhibition 'Serial Classic', co-curated by Salvatore Settis and Anna Anguissola, is open in Milan from 9 May to 24 August 2015 and occupies the two levels of the Podium. 'Serial Classic' focuses on classical sculpture and explores the ambivalent relationship between originality and imitation in Roman culture and its insistence on the circulation of multiples as an homage to Greek art. We tend to associate the idea of classical to that of uniqueness, but in no other period of western art history the creation of copies from great masterpieces of the past has been as important as in late Republican Rome and throughout the Imperial age. The exhibition comprises more than 70 artworks and opens with an in-depth analysis of
lost originals and their multiple copies, represented by two particularly renowned series such as the Discobolus and the Crouching Venus. Two other important sections are devoted to the materials and the colours of classical bronzes and marbles. The Kassel Apollo, for instance, is presented in two recent plaster casts which reproduce the original bronze
surface of the lost Greek original and the colours of its Roman marble copies. Another section of the exhibition illustrates the technologies and methods used in the making of the copies, presenting two essential moments such as the creation of the plaster cast and the translation of proportions and measurements on the new block of marble. Two famous series
are also featured in the exhibition, the Penelope, and the Caryatides, on the prototype of the Erechtheion in Athens.
Discobolus 2nd century AD Courtesy Musei Vaticani
Photo: © 2014. Foto Scala, Firenze
Exhibition 'Portable Classic', co-curated by Salvatore Settis and Davide Gasparotto, is presented in Venice from 9 May to 13 September 2015. 'Portable Classic' explores the origins and functions of miniature reproductions of classical sculptures, showcasing more than 80 artworks on the ground and first floor at Ca' Corner della Regina. Both in ancient Rome and modern Europe a true 'canon' of sculptures was created, considered as an undisputed peak of excellence of a given subject. Their prestige was so high that, since it was almost impossible to acquire the originals, their reproductions, even on a small scale, were eagerly sought for by well-read audiences. An example of this is the Farnese Hercules ,displayed in a 317 cm high plaster cast exhibited next to a series of modern smaller-scale reproductions in marble, bronze and terracotta, measuring 15 to 130 cm. Some classical small-scale masterpieces are presented along with Renaissance multiples, through the examples of the Marsyas ('Ignudo della paura')and the Crouching Venus. Another section of the exhibition is devoted to important art collectors from the 1500's. In a selection of paintings by Lorenzo Lotto, Tintoretto and Bernardino Licinio, the subjects are portrayed among classical sculptures and plaster casts from their personal collections. Starting from the emblematic cases of the Belvedere Torso and the Laocoön, the exhibition illustrates how Renaissance artists employed small-scale copies to elaborate hypotheses on the missing portions of the classical originals.
Crouching Venus 2nd century AD Courtesy Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli - Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli Photo: Giorgio Albano
At the Milan venue of the Fondazione, three different exhibition projects which use the Collezione Prada as a research and investigation tool are presented. The Sud gallery and part of the Deposito, the imposing warehouse located on the west limit of the compound, host 'An Introduction' (9 May 2015 – 10 January 2016), an exhibition showcasing more than 70 works. Intertwining research and a passion for art which has acquired both a private a public status, the curiosity, impulses and aspirations which have contributed to the creation of the collection and led to the opening of a foundation are explored. The exhibition starts in the 1970's artistic realm, from New Dada to Mi nimal art, with works by Walter De Maria, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Donald Judd and Barnett Newman. It testifies a love for socially engaged, critical art with works by Pino Pascali and Edward Kienholz. It proceeds with a studiolo dating back to the end of the 15th century, as a symbol of the continuity of knowledge through history. A quadreria including works by various artists, from William N.
Copley to Lucio Fontana, from Mario Schifano to Jeff Koons, from Gerhard Richter to Goshka Macuga, documents the transformation of personal notions and passions into a collection animated by a multiplicity of artistic and cultural interests which encompass contemporary times. The exhibition ends with a series of 'artists' cars', realized by Elmgreen & Dragset, Carsten Höller & Rosemarie Trockel, Tobias Rehberger, Gianni Piacentino and Sarah Lucas among others, an immersion into a dimension where life is intertwined with the artists' personal and artistic contributions, toward a more extended horizon represented by the activities of the Fondazione.
Exhibition 'In Part', curated by Nicholas Cullinan, is 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 work of John Baldessari, David Hockney and Francesco Vezzoli, in the use of the photographic close-up to cr op the body in the paintings of William Copley, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Domenico Gnoli, in the collaged and defaced portraits of Llyn Foulkes, in the partial silhouettes of Yves Klein and in the superimposition of figures in the
painting of Francis Picabia. What all these works have in common is the concept of the synecdoche, or the use of the part to refer to an absent whole.
Additional works by Charles Atlas, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, Man Ray and Richard Serra, on loan from international museums and private collections and some not exhibited publicly before, round out this investigation of the tension between the part and the whole. The spaces of the Cisterna, a preexisting building made up of three adjacent vertical structures, host 'Trittico'. The project, conceived by the Thought Council, presents three works from the collection on a rotational basis, juxtaposed to create an interplay of formal cross-references, conceptual affinities and exceptional concentration. The first selection for 'Trittico' includes Case II (1968) by Eva Hesse, Lost Love (2000) by Damien Hirst, and 1metro 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.
Jean-Baptiste Boudard (attrib.) Farnese Hercules 1752 - 55
Courtesy Liceo Artistico Statale Paolo Toschi di Parma
Photo: Nunzio Garulli
The Cinema hosts a project titled 'Roman Polanski: My Inspirations'. In this documentary conceived by Roman Polanski for Fondazione Prada and 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), David Lean's Great Expectations (1946), Carol Reed's Odd Man Out (1947), Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948), Vittorio de Sica's
The bicycle thieves (1948) and Federico Fellini's 8½ (1963). These six films, along with a selection of 15 motion pictures by Polanski, will be screened in a dedicated film festival ev ery Friday and Saturday from 22 May to 25 July 2015.
The Cinema foyer houses a historic work by Lucio Fontana. Battaglia, a fluorescent painted polychrome ceramic frieze, was created by the artist in 1948 for the Cinema Arlecchino in Milan, designed by architects Roberto Menghi and Mario Richini. It is a reference to the artistic and cultural rebirth of the city in those years, marked by the restless rhythms of post- war reconstruction. The experimental use of ceramic and its luminous effects allowed Fontana to explore the fourth dimension of sculpture in this work, anticipating Spatialism. An underground space of the Cinema houses Thomas Demand's permanent installation Processo grottesco (2006-07), which was presented for the first time in Venice in 2007. In Processo grottesco the public can explore the different phases that led to the realization of Demand's famous photograph Grotto. The installation presents the visual material (postcards, books, tourist guides, photographs and catalogues) collected as the iconographic source for the elaboration of the final shot and the 36-ton cardboard model made up of 900,000 sections that reproduces every last detail of one of the Cuevas del Drach on the island of Majorca. In this work, Demand creates a short-circuit between reconstructed form and real vision, and uses the impersonal instrument of the camera to provide a personal interpretation of the image.
Joseph Chinard Laocoon Before 1520
Courtesy Lyon MBA - Photo RMN / René-Gabriel Ojéda
Photo: René-Gabriel Ojéda
The secluded spaces of the Haunted House, a four-story building at the center of the compound, host a permanent installation conceived by Robert Gober and two works by Louise Bourgeois. On the higher floors of the building works by Gober, whose art explores sexuality, relationships, nature, politics, and religion, are exhibited. The American artist combines new installations with existing works, spatial interventions with objects and sculptures incorporated in the different rooms. Gober's works, which reverberate connections to childhood and to body parts, find a counterpart in Louise Bourgeois's Cell (Clothes) (1996) and Single III (1996), displayed on the first floor of the building.
From May 2015, in conjunction with the ongoing activities at the new venue in Milan, the educational program at Accademia dei Bambini, a project conceived by neuropediatrician Giannetta Ottilia Latis, will also get under way. The design of the space has been developed in collaboration with 18 students from the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Versailles, coordinated by professors Cédric Libert and Elias Guenoun. The Accademia devoted to children between the ages of four and ten is an ideal place to host workshops and events that are not necessarily linked to the foundation's program, where a dialogue between grownups and children is fostered as well as a wide range of creative and learning experiences. It is a flexible and multifunctional platform which brings together six different archetypal and spatial configurations: Palestra (gymnasium), Tavolo (table), Studio, Museo (museum), Camera (bedroom) and Teatro (theatre).
On the occasion of the opening of the new Milan venue, a temporary artistic intervention by Andreas Slominski titled Die Geburt des Buches aus dem Geiste der Natur (The birth of the book as the spirit of nature) is also presented. In the room adjacent to the Accademia dei bambini, the German artist has created an installation with multiple hints to the future destination of this space, which will house t he library of the Fondazione. The intervention comprises sculptures Himmel (sky) and Erde (earth), an overturned truss and toilet box, usually employed at construction sites and a series of 16 paintings.
The Bar Luce, conceived by American film director Wes Anderson and located in the entrance building of the new venue, recreates the atmosphere of a typical Milanese café. The ceiling and wall decorations suggest a miniature version one of the city's landmarks, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele; while the formica furniture, chairs, and terrazzo floor pay homage to Italian movies of the 50's and 60's, especially to two Milanese films in particular: Miracle in Milan (1951) by Vittorio De Sica and Rocco and His Brothers (1960) by Luchino Visconti. Although inspired by the 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."