November 25, 2015 - Fondazione Prada - Recto Verso
November 25, 2015

Fondazione Prada

Roy Lichtenstein, Stretcher Frame with Vertical Bar, 1968. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / SIAE 2015.

Recto Verso
December 3, 2015–February 7, 2016

Fondazione Prada
Largo Isarco, 2
20139 Milan

T +39 02 5666 2634
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

The thematic exhibition Recto Verso, installed in the Nord gallery at Fondazione Prada in Milan from December 3, 2015 to February 7, 2016, presents artworks that consciously foreground the hidden, concealed or forgotten phenomenon of “the back.”

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 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'oeil 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 emphasize the structural and physical features of the object. In the case of late 1960s French movement Support/Surfaces, the picture plane vanishes completely, and all that is left is the support material. 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. 

Press contact
Fondazione Prada: T +39 02 56 66 26 34 / press [​at​] 

Fondazione Prada
Share - Recto Verso
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York