Since 2004, the former Ansaldo-Breda factory, located in the Bicocca district of Milan, hosts shows, events, installations and free exhibitions. Over the past few years, however, the building has become something more. A place capable of attracting tourists and locals to this area, which isn’t exactly central. Capable of attracting the workers of the area, thanks to its resto-bar Dopolavoro (which translates to “after work”). Capable, above all, to bring to town some of the most interesting and eclectic artists in a creative and international panorama. Mea culpa, I had never been before. A few weekends ago I made up for that, and went to explore. Here is what I found at this museum located in the extreme northeast of Milan, near the university and the Arcimboldi Theatre!
WHAT CAN YOU FIND? The art at Hangar Bicocca is contemporary: names such as those of Marina Abramovic, Christian Boltanski and Alfredo Jarr found their place here much earlier than elsewhere. The temporary exhibits vary according to different months (I saw the one dedicated to Petrit Halilaj, nothing special really), whereas the permanent installation – the biggest in Europe inside a closed space – is Anselm Kiefer’s Seven Heavenly Places. Perhaps that day I wasn’t in the mood for such great leaps because it didn’t impress me that much, in spite of the grandeur of the display.
FROM OUTSIDE. The most significative sight is surely the structure of the Hangar Bicocca itself, from which one can easily recognize its industrial past, transformed with true magic by Pirelli. At the entrance of the museum one can admire “The Sequence”, the monumental work of art by Fausto Melotti. Seeing it at sunset is quite the sight.
FROM INSIDE. The dimensions of the space are extraordinary (around 15 thousand square meters) and allow for impressive art works to be shown. Another plus of this museum is the research, which attracts artists that are far from banal and predictable.
THE FEE. Incredibly for Milan, but also for the rest of Europe, visiting the Hangar Bicocca is completely free of charge. Getting there isn’t too difficult, thanks to the new metro station on the M5 (lilac) line, Ponale, from which the museum is just a short walk away.
Via Chiese 2, Milan
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Opening Hours: from Thursday to Sunday (11:00am-10:00pm)
Read the original article on Conosco un Posto. This English version was translated by Kelsey Rivett.