Milan has been giving us a lot of good news lately. Not only on the food side, but also on the art one. So to say, Milan residents love their food, but they are also hungry for art. Recently we have seen the opening of Mudec, a museum I already wrote about, and the art scenario has welcomed the openings of Fondazione Prada and Armani Silos – I still have to visit the latter.
Last weekend I went to the new art village designed by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, in the south outskirts of Milan, not the heart of the city life for sure. Here are my first impressions.
WHAT’S THERE. In the almost 20thousand square meters of the area, of which almost a half is dedicated to exhibition activities, there is the Podium, a kind of transparent box that is the piece de resistance of the building, together with the golden tower. There are the South and the North Galleries and the Deposito, possibly the nicest and brightest space. There is the antique Cisterna and the Cinema, an underground space to discover. And then there is bar Luce, the café designed by the director Wes Anderson that recreates the atmosphere of the cafés of the olden days. Take a seat, flip through the pages of a book and if you wish play at the pinball machine! I would have liked to try their specialties but the queue at the entrance put me off…I hope you will have more luck!
FROM THE OUTSIDE. Avantgarde and classical art, modern buildings mixing with Art Nouveau buildings where once there used to be a distillery. The strong point of Fondazione Prada is, in my opinion, the ability to mix and match different styles with grace and balance, creating a laudable and tasteful final effect. Getting here is not impossible, but it is not the easiest mission either. I drove my car parking nearby. Otherwise you can take the metro to the Lodi stop, or tram number 24.
FROM THE INSIDE. The location, designed by Rem Koolhaas, presents temporary exhibitions with no fixed itinerary. You choose where to enter and where to go. Currently, 10 days after the official opening, the peaking exhibition is the Serial Classic one, on the relationship between originality and imitation in Roman culture: 60 artworks among which you can see copies of antique monuments as The Discobolus and the Crouching Venus. There are also several other exhibitions like An Introduction, on artistic happenings from the 60’s and the Triptych with artworks by Eva Hesse, Damien Hirst and Pino Pascali, all about the subject of the cube. There is an underground Cinema with the permanent installation by Thomas Demand, Processo grottesco (Grotesque Process): a full size reproduction of a grotto on the island of Maiorca. Opening (or closing) the itinerary you will find the North gallery with the In Part exhibition, possibly the most interesting, with artworks by Maurizio Cattelan, Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein. Last, the Deposito hosts a parking of artistic vehicles that create a dazing effect. What I understood of these exhibitions? Sadly, a little. There are no texts or explanations on the sides that could guide us to understanding artworks that are not easy to interpret being pieces of Contemporay Art. The crowded spaces didn’t help either, offering an experience that doesn’t measure up to other museums in the city.
THE COST. The visit to the open spaces of Fondazione Prada is free. If you want to enter the exhibitions (and I highly recommend it) the price of the ticket is 10 euros (with a reduction if you are under 26). You can enjoy free guided tours at 10:30 and at 16:30 during the weekends and by appointment only.
Read the original article on Conosco un Posto. All English versions are translated by Tamara Ilic.