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Here we’ve put together a list of the museum and gallery shows you’ve got to see in Milan, plus what’s on view at the always-anticipated foundations and collections.
Post Zang Tumb Tuuum. Art Life Politics: Italia 1918–1943
Fondazione Prada, Vigentino
February 18–June 25
Fondazione Prada is showing “Post Zang Tumb Tuuum. Art Life Politics: Italia 1918–1943,” curated by Germano Celant. The exhibition explores the world of art and culture in Italy during the interwar years. Based on documentary and photographic evidence of the time, it reconstructs the spatial, temporal, social, and political contexts in which the works of art were created and exhibited, and the way in which they were interpreted and received by the public of the time.
Domus 90: Gio Ponti
Fondazione Sozzani, 10 Corso Como, Porta Volta
April 15–May 6
On the occasion of the 90-year anniversary of Domus, the Fondazione Sozzani presents “Domus 90: Gio Ponti.” The architect and designer was founder and director of Domus for more than forty years. He designed for many houses over the course of his career, creating interiors, dishes, vases, furniture, chairs, fabrics, and postcards. He was interested in the expressive potential of materials. Those choices in materials are the basis for the Domus exhibition, which traces Ponti’s vision and extraordinary design ability.
“Between the Lines”
Fondazione Carriero, San Babila
November 17–June 23
“Between the Lines” is curated by Francesco Stocchi and Rem Koolhaas and organized with the Estate of Sol LeWitt. The exhibition offers a new perspective on the artist’s practice, process, and methods of investigation. On view are seven Wall Drawings, 15 sculptures including Complex Form and Inverted Spiraling Tower, and the photo series “Autobiography.” Site-specific in nature, the show also marks Koolhaas’s first foray into curating.
The Szechwan Tale: China, Theater and History
Frigoriferi Milanesi, Porta Vittoria
April 12–July 15
“The Szechwan Tale: China, Theater and History” rethinks the evolution of contemporary art in China. Curated by artistic director Marco Scotini in collaboration with a board of Chinese advisors and the Mei Lanfang Archive, the exhibition juxtaposes works by Chinese artists with those of international artists. It traces the relationship between East and West through a lens of theater and history, continuing Scotini’s ongoing investigation of contemporary Chinese art.
Torbjørn Røland: The Touch That Made You
Fondazione Prada Osservatorio at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza del Duomo
January 2–February 23, 2018
“Torbjørn Rødland: The Touch That Made You” is conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Amira Gad for Serpentine Galleries in London and organized in collaboration with Fondazione Prada. It brings together a wide selection of photos and videos made by the Norwegian photographer. On view is a diverse selection of works from the past two decades, which demonstrate the breadth of subjects captured and scenarios created by the artist. It also included Rødland’s film 132 BPM (2005), animating subjects with the continuous, metronomic beats of dance music.
Trussardi Foundation, Porta Venezia
April 12–April 15
The Fondazione Nicola Trussardi is presenting “Sacrilege,” a major outdoor installation by the celebrated British artist Jeremy Deller, curated by Massimiliano Gioni. Deller, winner of the 2004 Turner Prize, was invited to realize his first solo project in collaboration with an Italian institution. With “Sacrilege,” the artist brings to the heart of the CityLife sculpture park a giant inflatable installation that is a life-sized reconstruction of the archeological site of Stonehenge, a historic monument that is an icon of British culture and heritage.
“But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise”
Galleria D’Arte Moderna, Porta Venizia
April 11–June 17
“But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa” is presented in partnership with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and UBS. It marks the final installation of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. “The intersecting themes of the exhibition address the most vital points of contemporary society’s connection with the past and present, and the variety of accompanying programs align with the spirit of openness and dialogue that characterizes the cultural message of Milan’s museums,” said Anna Maria Montaldo, director of Polo Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Milan.
“Punto e Basta”
Lia Rumma, Bullona
April 18–June 1
Lia Rumma is presenting a personal exhibition of work by Armando Testa that explores the point between representation and abstraction. “I want to go on painting because it is one of my few moments of freedom. And I am convinced that painting and advertising must totally interact,” said Testa. On view are works in photography, sculpture, and design, characterized by the artist’s signature note of irony. In the age of social media, a new generation of artists and critics are looking at Testa’s work in a fresh light.
Armani/Silos, Porta Genova
March 8– July 29
Paola Ventura’s “Racconti Immaginary” takes place in the ground floor of Armani/Silos. On view are approximately 100 works, including photographs, set designs, and some objects selected by the artist. The exhibition will be divided in three sections based on the artist’s works: The Automaton (2010), Short Stories (2013–2015), and La Città infinita (2013–2018). For La Città infinita, the artist has created new works expressly for the exhibition at Armani/Silos.
“To Breathe – The Flags”
Raffaella Cortese, Città Studi
March 14–May 5
This is Kimsooja’s fourth exhibition with the gallery, running concurrently with her site-specific installation The Breath for the Cappella Portinari at the Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio. Kimsooja is an internationally acclaimed, Korean-born conceptual multimedia artist. Combining performance, video, photography, and installation, her work addresses issues of the displaced self and the other, while investigating the dualistic and existential nature of philosophy, such as the relationship of yin and yang to life and death, mobility to immobility, and location to dislocation.
Lina Bo Bardi Giancarlo Palanti
“Studio D’Arte Palma 1948–1951”
Nilufar Gallery, Quadrilatero della Moda
April 17, 2018–March 9, 2019
This is the first exhibition on the work of the two Italo-Brazilian designers, investigating their extraordinary original projects. The show, produced in collaboration with Instituto Bardi, São Paulo, is the result of extensive research conducted by Nina Yashar on Lina Bo Bardi and her activity as a designer of furnishings, an often overlooked aspect of her work. The exhibition takes on a subject of fundamental importance for design history and collectors, investigating the forgotten work of Giancarlo Palanti and the less familiar aspects of the output of Lina Bo Bardi from 1947 to 1987.
“The Dream Machine Is Asleep”
Pirelli HangarBicocca, Bicocca
February 15–July 22
“The Dream Machine Is Asleep,” a solo show by Eva Kot’átková curated by Roberta Tenconi, is conceived as a path of imagery and words, a labyrinthine and surreal world that invites us to produce dreams and develop our imagination, highlighting individual fantasies, fears, and the challenges of contemporary society. Kot’átková has developed an original and immersive installation starting from a vision of the human body as a machine and from the idea of sleep as a moment in which, through our dreams, we come up with new visions and enter parallel worlds.
“Elliptical Machine Gun”
Massimo de Carlo, Quadrilatero della Moda
April 6–May 12
On view this spring at Massimo De Carlo is an exhibition of work by the American artist Nate Lowman. The New York–based artist produces painting and sculpture with an interest in appropriation, assemblage, collage, and found objects. Lowman explores ideas involving desire using references and iconography from American Pop culture. Images of crosses, angels, hearts, air fresheners, smiley faces, pizza, and more tell a story of modern life in America that is often overlooked.
Stories, Italian Design
Triennale Design Museum, Parco Sempione
14 April–20 January
The 11th edition of the Triennale Design Museum tells the story of Italian design through a series of stories, which together illustrate its complex nature. The display goes in two directions: On the one hand, the story unfolds diachronically, while on the other, five themes are examined in a way that allows design to be interpreted through the lens of other disciplines. On view are 180 works dating from 1902 to 1998, arranged around several themes: Politics, curated by Vanni Pasca; Geography and Economics, both curated by Manolo De Giorgi; Technology, curated by Raimonda Riccini; and Communication, curated by Maddalena Dalla Mura.
Kaufmann Repetto, Piazza Lega Lombarda
April 11–May 31
Kaufmann Repetto is presenting work by the Los Angeles–based artist Andrea Bowers. Her work merges art and activism, exploring issues of sexuality, gender, worker’s rights, and the Occupy movement. Her practice involves video, drawing, and installation. Included in the show are works by the feminist artist including Protest (Original screen-printed poster by See Red Women’s Workshop, London, 1973) (2017) made in acrylic marker and cardboard, and ReSisters (2017), made from cardboard and color-changing LED lights.
Padiglione D’Arte Contemporanea Milano, Porta Venizia
March 28–May 20
With her work’s peculiar affinity for crude realism, Teresa Margolles’s poetics attest to the complex nature of contemporary society, which is nearly demolished by the disturbing proportions of the organized crime tearing parts of the world—especially Mexico—apart. Characterized by a minimalistic yet compelling stylistic grammar that essentially forces itself onto a conceptual plane, Margolles’s works tackle the taboo subjects of death and violence, investigating them in connection with the social and economic inequality currently predominant in many of our everyday realities.
“Furla Series #01”
Fondazione Furla at Museo del Novecento, Piazza del Duomo
April 13–April 14
Curated by Bruna Roccasalva and Vincenzo de Bellis, this special performance by Christian Marclay marks the last event in Furla Series #01—Time after Time, Space after Space in the Sala Fontana. Marclay’s Concerto Spaziale is an improvisation based musical performance in which the sounds of instruments blend with noises made by using, striking, and rubbing everyday objects he has come across and selected during his stay in Milan. Performing along with him are the Korean cellist and composer Okkyung Lee and the Swiss percussionist Luc Müller, creating a free-form composition that mingles music with acoustic and visual stimuli, while the space itself is activated by the performers.