Milan’s exciting contemporary art scene
September 23, 2021
The Museo delle Culture (Museum of Cultures), or MUDEC, has an outstanding modern and contemporary art collection featuring works by household names such as Paul Gaugin, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Miró and Banksy. Located south-west of the city in the trendy Zona Tortona neighbourhood, it’s housed in the former ship-building Ansaldo factory, with a geometric glass structure redesigned by David Chipperfield. Upstairs, a lofty central piazza is home to over 200 works from the permanent collection.
MUDEC, Via Tortona 56
Triennale di Milano
The Art Deco Palazzo dell’Arte, designed in 1933 by architect Giovanni Muzio, is the setting for Triennale Milano, a leading cultural institution showcasing design, architecture, performing arts and visual arts. Moving with the zeitgeist, contemporary social issues and public debate are encouraged here through art. Visit in 2022 for The International Exhibition, which aims to create a dialogue between scientific research and art. Stefano Boeri, president of International Exhibitions of Triennale Milano, summarises the concept: “We don’t know that we don’t know.”
Triennale Milano, Viale Emilio Alemagna 6
Another post-Industrial masterpiece, the Pirelli HangarBicocca is a former locomotive factory and today one of the biggest exhibition spaces in Europe. Lose yourself amid captivating installations, and don’t forget to explore Anselm Kiefer’s monumental work titled ‘The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004–2015’. Presented at the institution’s opening in 2004, it features seven 18m/59ft towers of ‘dilapidated majesty’, inspired by the Hebrew Book of Palaces/Sanctuaries from the 4th and 5th centuries AD.
Pirelli HangarBicocca, Via Chiese 2
Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, this nine-storey tower rises from the ashes of an old distillery. Fondazione Prada holds works dating from the 1950s to the present day and is Milan’s largest contemporary art space, featuring major artists including Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. Film screenings take place in the building’s mirror-clad cinema and there’s a Wes Anderson-designed Bar Luce, where you can relax with an aperitivo in an atmosphere only Anderson could conjure.
Fondazione Prada, Largo Isarco 2
Galleria Carla Sozzani
One of Italy’s most prominent galleries for contemporary photography, the eponymous Galleria Carla Sozzani opened during the heady days of nineties high fashion and shows the likes of Helmut Newton and Annie Leibovitz. It’s set in a courtyard of 10 Corso Como, Milan’s iconic design store, so it’s worth spending some time in the charming garden café and bookshop. Venture up the curving gallery staircase to soak up panoramic views of the city on its flower-filled rooftop terrace.
Galleria Carla Sozzani, Corso Como 10
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