Salone del Mobile 2017 has arrived, bringing with it a wave of creativity and inspiration. Looking to get out and absorb some culture? Here are 10 art galleries and museums to help you catch the fever:
Originally born as an operation to recover the architecture of the former Ansaldo factory, MUDEC – the Museum of Cultures – makes use of the space’s modular buildings which are coated with zinc and glass. The abandoned factories have been turned into workshops, studios and creative spaces that offer visitors to the city a variety of cultural activities including the permanent non-European art collection and the temporary exhibitions related to educational activities, finishing with the design store.
Dedicated to exploring the relationship between society, the arts and industry, La Triennale is one of Milan’s most important design museums, paying tribute to design icons of the past, and whilst looking to the future. Many art, photography, design and architecture exhibitions take place throughout the year, but it is the small design details that make a visit to the Triennale really exciting.
Housed in the stunning Villa Reale opposite the Public Gardens, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna exhibits the largest civic collection of nineteenth century works, as well as Italian and European artists from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Amongst the artists exhibited are Antonio Canova, Francesco Hayez, Andrea Appiani, Giovanni Segantini e Medardo Rosso and many more.
The PAC was conceived in 1947 by the Commune di Milano, which was looking for a new space for their collection of twentieth century art. The PAC, which first opened in 1948, was designed by architect Ignazio Gardella who sought to reconcile the need for flexibility of the interior space with the possibility of adjusting the light of the environment. In 1979 following a long period of closure for renovations, the PAC has now reopened as a home to priceless works of art. After a Mafia firebombing attack in 1993, the PAC was rebuilt and restored to its original splendor by Studio Gardella, now hosting world-class exhibitions selected by some of the most notable curators in the contemporary art scene.
The Armani/Silos opened on April, 30th 2015 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Giorgio Armani’s career. Spread over a 4,500 square meter space the Armani/Silos showcases approximately 400 outfits and 200 accessories, offering an overview of the designer’s creations from 1980 to the present day. The space also houses temporary exhibitions.
Developed on the grounds of an old distillery, the Fondazione Prada presents contemporary art exhibitions over its 19,000 square meter grounds. Art and architecture are constantly in flux at the Fondazione Prada, with spatial variables being reimagined in a way that challenges audience’s views on every visit.
The Osservatorio was opened in late 2016 as an exhibition space dedicated to photography and the visual arts. Located on the fifth and sixth floors of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Osservatorio offers beautiful views as well as access to some ground-breaking exhibitions.
Designed by Piero Portaluppi for Angelo Campiglio, wife Gigina Necchi and his sister-in-law, Nedda (inventors of the Necchi sewing machine) and built between 1932 and 1935, Villa Necchi Campiglio is now open to the public as a house museum as part of the Comune di Milano’s network of historical houses, where you can admire the works of famous Italian and international artists, as well as the style and furnishings of a stunningly appointed house of the time. A true Art Deco gem.
Achille Castiglioni was one of Italy’s most famous designers, with many of the products he penned for Alessi still being sold in stores today. Milanese to the core, Castiglioni was active throughout the second half of the twentieth century in developing a staggering portfolio of designs that have been preserved with care in the museum/office in Piazza Castello. Amongst Castiglioni’s most famous works were the Arco and Toio lamps for Flos, the Mezzadro and Sella chairs for Zanotta, and ashtrays and cutlery for Alessi. A must for all design enthusiasts.
The Frigoriferi Milanesi opened in 1899 as an ice factory and refrigerated warehouse. Today, the former industrial complex is home to the historic Palace of Ice. Following a recent redevelopment, it is now a multipurpose space which hosts events and exhibitions and promotes new artistic initiatives from around the city. The space hosts literary and cultural meetings, and since April 2016, has become home to FM – the Centre for Contemporary Art, a center dedicated to art and collectibles with exhibition spaces, galleries and artists’ archives.