ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 128

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 |
Milan, Italy
by Ludmilla Radchenko
In Milan, creativity in all its forms plays a decisive role in many aspects of city life, and comes to life in paintings, photographs
and installations. The city boasts a number of prestigious academies which work to promote new talent and emerging artists.
With its numerous museums, art galleries, foundations and associations, Milan possesses a rich heritage of art and culture.
Diverse exhibitions, art events and expositions can be found around the city, and anyone immersing themselves in these op-
portunities will find themselves enjoying in a world of colour, shape and the raw materials of history and creativity.
One of the most potent symbols of Milan’s rich history and impressive and diverse collection of art is La Galleria d’Italia Piazza
Scala, which is housed in three adjoining mansions of undeniable charm (Anguissola,Beltrami and Brentani), once the for-
mer seat of Banca Commerciale Italiana. Designed by leading Italian architects between the end of the 18th century and the
beginning of the 20th century, the museum sits proudly at the entrance to the famed Piazza, opposite the world-renowned
opera house, La Scala (Teatro alla Scala).
The design of the museum is truly remarkable, with some of the bank’s period furnishings still in place, including some origi-
nal bank counters which have been tastefully integrated into the design of the museum.
The collection of 19th century Lombardy art which is housed here offers a fascinating insight into the Milan of bygone times
and includes masterpieces featuring the Duomo, the former Naviglio canals and highlights from the battle scenes of the
The museum also presents an ambitious project which includes 189 works of art from the 20th century arranged in 12 sec-
tions. It was a century of many different artistic movements, and those reflected in the museum’s collection include Art In-
formel, Spatialism, Nuclear Art, Concrete Art, Programmed and Kinetic Art, Arte Povera, Conceptual Art and Italian Pop Art.
Artists include Lucio Fontana, Fausto Melotti, Bruno Munari, Renato Guttuso, Afro, Alberto Burri, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Pietro
Consagra, Emilio Vedova, Mimmo Rotella, Enrico Baj, Piero Dorazio, Tancredi, Gastone Novelli, Piero Manzoni, Mario Schifano,
Enrico Castellani, Giulio Paolini, Alighiero Boetti and Emilio Isgrò. If you want to see a reflection of Italy’s engagement with the
art of the 20th century, this is the place to visit.
I was fortunate enough to be approached to take part in a notable event that took place in La Galleria d’Italia Piazza Scala,
which aimed to develop the contemporary art scene of Milan by drawing attention to the major artists of the city. I was
acutely aware of the rich history and impressive collection that surrounded me there, making the experience an unforgettable
one. Milan is a city which combines an appreciation for its past with an excitement about the future – and for that reason,
contemporary art in particular is a vital part of the fabric of urban life here.
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