October 19, 2015 - Fondazione Prada - Gianni Piacentino / Recto Verso
October 19, 2015

Fondazione Prada

Gianni Piacentino, BUILD SEAPLANE (MC72)_4, 2010. Courtesy of the artist and Michael Werner Gallery.

Gianni Piacentino
November 7, 2015–January 10, 2016

Recto Verso
December 3, 2015–February 7, 2016

Fondazione Prada
Largo Isarco, 2
20139 Milan

T +39 02 5666 2634

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / #fondazioneprada

Fondazione Prada presents the autumn program for its Milan venue, comprising an anthological exhibit devoted to Gianni Piacentino and thematic show Recto Verso.

From November 7, 2015 to January 10, 2016, Fondazione Prada will present an anthological exhibition devoted to Gianni Piacentino (Turin, 1945), curated by Germano Celant. The exhibit, hosted on the two levels of the Podium, comprises more than 100 artworks and retraces the career of the artist in anti-chronological order, starting from his most recent works from 2015 to those dating back to 1965. Piacentino’s research has begun in an artistic and cultural background characterized by an increasing detachment from the subjective dimension which had animated Action Painting and Informalism, as well as by the development of a new visual language mixing the attention to pop and consumeristic imagery and the appreciation for both geometrical and primary forms. The work of Piacentino did not embrace either of the dominant tendencies of those times—Pop art and Minimal art—but, according to the original reading of his work provided in this exhibition, operated an osmosis between the two. Through the presentation of his vehicles in the 1970s and 1980s, carrying cultural and aesthetic symbols, and the further production of decorated bars and canvases inspired by the world of aeronautics, from Combine Paintings to the metallic structures of the more recent Cantilevers, Piacentino has revealed his attraction to constructive disciplines entailing elegance and perfection as well as a preference for the absolute control of the physical and chromatic properties of materials. 

The thematic exhibition Recto Verso will present artworks that consciously foreground the hidden, concealed or forgotten phenomenon of “the back.” Recto Verso will be installed in the Nord gallery from December 3, 2015 to February 7, 2016. Conceived by the Fondazione Prada Thought Council, whose current members are Shumon Basar, Elvira Dyagani Ose, Cédric Libert and Dieter Roelstraete, the exhibition combines notable works from the Prada Collection as well as others on loan from international and national museums, galleries and collections. Western art tradition has mainly conceived of paintings as frontal (“recto”) artifacts. The back (“verso”)  carries significantly less cultural meaning, destined to be beyond the public’s perception, and only visible to the artists themselves or staff at museums and galleries. In this exhibition, artists flip the back of a canvas to the front by using, for example, the traditional trompe-l'œil technique, already made famous by Flemish painters, to foreground the frame not the picture. Or, double exposure photography is used to see through the work itself and emphasise the structural and physical features of the object. In other works, cryptic messages are stowed away in the back, waiting to be acknowledged. Artists from different generations and genres—such as Carla Accardi, Louis-Léopold Boilly, Gerard Byrne, Enrico Castellani, Sarah Charlesworth, Daniel Dezeuze, Lucio Fontana, Llyn Foulkes, Philippe Gronon, Roy Lichtenstein, Matts Leiderstam, Gastone Novelli, Giulio Paolini and Pierre Toby—turn a simple gesture into a rich historical examination of truth, illusion and ways of seeing.

Free activities at the Accademia dei bambini, Fondazione Prada’s project for children—curated by Giannetta Ottilia Latis—will continue every Saturday and Sunday throughout the autumn. The flexible spaces of the Accademia, whose layout was designed in collaboration with a group of young students from the École supérieure d’architecture de Versailles, will host two new workshops: from October 10 to November 8, a thematic activity conceived by professor Roberto Pittarello based on Mail art will take place, followed by a creative workshop titled “Il falò, la neve e la luce d’inverno” (The bonfire, the snow and winter light), led by artist and playwright Marcello Chiarenza and scheduled from November 14 to December 20.


Press contacts
Fondazione Prada
T +39 02 56 66 26 34 / press [​at​] fondazioneprada.org

Fondazione Prada
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