Recycling Beauty
Nicolas Cordier, La Zingarella, 1607–1612. Courtesy Galleria Borghese. Photo by Luciano Romano.


Fondazione Prada
L.go Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano MI


17 Nov 2022 - 27 Feb 2023




Editors’ Pick

Recycling Beauty

The exhibition is part of a broader investigation undertaken by Fondazione Prada since 2015. The underlying premise of Recycling Beauty is the need to think of the classical not simply as a legacy of the past, but also as a vital element with the power to affect our present and future. Such themes as seriality, reuse, and recycling in art are closely linked to our conception of modernity, but they also attest to the extraordinary persistence of certain classical values, categories, and models.

Despite its cultural relevance and wide spread diffusion, the reuse of ancient materials has been studied in depth only recently. In the last few years detailed attention has been devoted to the essential aspect of this phenomenon: the visual and conceptual interaction between the reused ancient elements and the post-Antique context, far from their origin, they became part of “Recycling Beauty,” instead, aims to draw attention to the moment when an antique artifact crosses the boundary between its condition of abandonment among ruins and the moment its value is reactivated through its reuse. Each recycled piece thus transforms its new context and is in turn transformed by it, in keeping with an intertextual mechanism of mutual legitimation and attribution of meaning. Exploring the fluidity of meaning of art objects that in time shift their use, reception, and interpretation means to reflect on the unstable and transformative nature of artistic processes.