Cool Exhibition of the Month: An Exploration of Italian Art and Culture during Fascism at Fondazione Prada in Milan

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 00:00
Prada Foundation Milan

The exhibition currently on view at Fondazione Prada in Milan, “Post Zang Tumb Tuum. Art Life Politics: Italia 1918-1943,” explores 20th-century Italian art and culture between the two world wars, in the Fascist era.

It does so through a selection of more than 600 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, pieces of furniture, architectural models, and 800 period documents, including images, original publications, letters, magazines, press clippings, private photographs, by about 100 authors. It’s a journey into not only the world of Italian art during Fascism, but also into the historic and political context of those years.

The project creator and curator, Germano Celant, worked closely with  New York-based design studio 2x4, responsible for the exhibition set up, to express the idea that is at the core of the exhibition: the close connection between art and the current social climate. As explained on the Fondazione Prada website, the exhibition “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.”

Indeed, the mood of that time is perceived: culture was used by fascism to ‘mold’ Italians, to shape their experience of the world. Thus, paintings by Giacomo Balla, Carlo Carrà, Giorgio De Chirico, Fortunato Depero and Mario Sironi among others, sculptures by Adolfo Wildt and Arturo Martini, projects by Piero Portaluppi are displayed in 24 partial reconstructions of public and private exhibition rooms, among themed spotlights on influential intellectuals and writers of the time, such as Margherita Sarfatti, Alberto Moravia, Carlo Levi, Antonio Gramsci, and among photographs of period exhibitions.

“Post Zang Tumb Tuum. Art Life Politics: Italia 1918-1943”  is set up in the South Gallery, the Depot, the North Gallery and the Podium, encompassing 12,300 square meters of the almost 19,000 square meters that make up the Prada Foundation by OMA Rem Koolhaas, which opened in 2015 in the industrial architecture spaces that belonged to the former  distillery Società Italiana Spiriti.

Founded in 1993 by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, the Fondazione has long supported multi-disciplinary collaboration between the arts, architecture, and culture through many exhibitions, publications and events.

“Post Zang Tumb Tuum. Art Life Politics: Italia 1918-1943” is on view until June 25, 2018.

Opening times: Mon-Thu, 10am-7pm; Fri-Sun, 10am-8pm. Closed on Tuesday.

Entrance fee: €10.

More info here.