10 Must-See Exhibitions in Milan this December

New openings: from Robert Capa to Raphael. We rounded up the best exhibitions you shouldn’t miss during the holiday season.

How bodies and performance are connected to society, environment and technology? The new exhibition “Japan. Body Perform Live,” on view at the PAC tries to answer to this question. Contextualizing the poetics of Japanese contemporary art of the 2000s, the exhibition deals with existential, political and social matters, carrying out multilayered dialogues between the works displayed. Above: Mari Katayama, you’re mine #001, 2014. Mari Katayama

“La Carità e la Bellezza” at Palazzo Marino

Thanks to the synergy between the cities of Milan and Florence, Palazzo Marino opens its doors during the holiday season with a special exhibition: “La Carità e la Bellezza.” Four masterpieces of Florentine and Tuscan art, all created between the 14th and 15th centuries, are on display in the magnificent Sala Alessi of Palazzo Marino immersed in lights and textiles, and can be admired free of charge. The exhibition features the “Madonna con Bambino” painted by Sandro Botticelli from the Stibbert Museum in Florence; “L’adorazione dei Magi” by Beato Angelico, a precious tabernacle belonging to the Museum of San Marco; the “Madonna con Bambino” from Palazzo Medici Riccardi, created by Filippo Lippi; and “Carità,” a sculpture by the Sienese Tino di Camaino, from the Bardini Museum in Florence.

“Maria Mulas. Milan, portraits of the late 20th century” at Palazzo Reale

100 photos selected from Maria Mulas’ large archive are on display in the Appartamento dei Principi of the Royal Palace, the exhibition documents the photographer’s thirty-year relationship with Milan and its protagonists. At the turn of the century, Milan established itself as the capital of design, fashion, and advertising. It was a place that attracted various talents arriving from all over Italy and the world, and Maria Mulas, who arrived in her early twenties in 1956, portrayed them with great intensity. By making the city her epicenter, Maria Mulas has shown in an extraordinary way the face of the Milanese, Italian and international artistic and cultural world.

“Japan. Body Perform Live” at PAC – Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea

The exhibition, curated by Shihoko Ilda and Diego Sileo, investigates the Japanese contemporary art of the 2000s focusing on how bodies and performances are connected to society, environment, materiality and technology. Contextualizing the poetics of the artists invited in the genealogy of the post-war Japanese avant-gardes or in the recent past, the exhibition deals with existential, political and social matters, carrying out multilayered dialogues between the works displayed. The exhibition features works by: Makoto Aida, Dumb Type, Mari Katayama, Meiro Koizumi, Yuko Mohri, Saburo Muraoka, Yoko Ono, Lieko Shiga, Chiharu Shiota, Kishio Suga, Finger Pointing Worker/Kota Takeuchi, Yui Usui, Fuyuki Yamakawa, Ami Yamasaki, Chikako Yamashiro, Atsuko Tanaka, Kazuo Shiraga.

“L’Arte del Dono. Da Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli a Oggi” at Museo Poldi Pezzoli

The exhibition, curated by Annalisa Zanni, Director of the Museum, and Federica Manoli, presents 39 works including paintings, sculptures, clocks, cabinets and fans, covering a chronological span from the 14th to the 20th century. The first work visitors encounter is the 14th-century triptych attributed to Niccolò di Ser Sozzo, which will enrich the Poldi Pezzoli’s collection. The central area of the Fresco Hall gathers works of different origins and media from the 15th and 16th centuries: a triptych from 1416, a wooden relief depicting the Imago pietatis, the Virgin reading, an extraordinary work attributed to the early Antonello da Messina, and three cabinets covered with embossed and damascened steel plaques of Milanese workmanship that, with those already in the museum’s collection, constitute one of the most important collections of furnishings of this kind.

“Robert Capa. In the History” at MUDEC

On the 110th anniversary of Robert Capa’s birth, Mudec pays tribute to the great Hungarian photographer with a solo exhibition encompassing his major war and travel reportages. A journey through Capa’s 20-year career, which unfolded during some of the crucial moments in the history of the 20th century. The exhibition includes seven sections and a diachronic itinerary through the most important black-and-white reportages by Robert Capa, from the beginning of his career in Berlin and Paris, to the Spanish Civil War; from the Japanese invasion of China to World War II.

Robert Capa’ exhibition featurs also works from his travel reportage in the Soviet Union to the one about the birth of Israel and his last assignment as a war photographer in Indochina. Above: Robert Capa, Stalingrado, U.S.S.R., 1947. Courtesy by © Robert Capa and © International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos.

“Patrons, Collectors, Philanthropists. From the Medici to the Rothschilds” at Gallerie d’Italia

The exhibition can be an opportunity for original insights and a reconsideration over the centuries of the phenomenon of patronage through the analysis of figures who have made an incisive mark on the history of collecting. The exhibition features more than 120 works from different periods from prestigious international museums. On display there are masterpieces by painters such as Verrocchio, Michelangelo, Bronzino, Caravaggio, Van Dyck, Angelika Kauffmann, Francesco Hayez, and a never-before-seen work by Giorgio Morandi. Many of the greatest patrons, collectors, and philanthropists of all time were great bankers who wished to consecrate their social ascendancy by competing with the aristocracy and sovereigns in protecting and encouraging artists, including by purchasing their works. Some of these collections have been dispersed, others have found their way into museums, and finally others, which have come down to Gallerie d’Italia, are still owned by the heirs of those who amassed them.

“Silke Otto-Knapp” at Casa Mutina

Curator Sarah Cosulich has imagined a space in which the paintings by Silke Otto-Knapp interact with the ceramics opening a dialogue between figuration and abstraction. At Casa Mutina, painting overlaps with the articulated ceramic setting, creating new perspectives in the encounter between movement and solidity, body and matter, form and scenery. The artist’s paintings, rigorously black and white, represent figures that fluctuate in space in an interplay of between positive and negative. Obtained through the use of watercolours in a complex process of absorbance and stratification, the forms seem to move on a stage with no thresholds; a type of theatre in which subject and background exchange the role of protagonist.

“The Predella from the Oddi Altarpiece by Raffaello” at Museo Diocesano

The Museo Diocesano presents the Predella from the Oddi Altarpiece from the collections of the Vatican Museums, an early masterpiece by Raphael, one of the greatest exponents of the Italian Renaissance.
The work is divided into three compartments depicting the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Magi and the Presentation in the Temple. For this exhibition, curated by Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums, and Nadia Righi, director of the Diocesan Museum in Milan, the predella underwent restoration. The precious colors used by Raphael have thus recovered their original brilliance.

“Moonpaintings by Lenz Geerk ” at MASSIMODECARLO

Lenz Geerk explores intimate, alienated worlds inhabited by pensive, dreamy figures. Depicting timeless melancholic environments, Geerk suspends and wraps the viewer in the mysterious and emotional intensity of his paintings. At times on their own, at times together, Geerk’s figures permeate a sense of nostalgia, estrangement and emotional turmoil. The androgynous and anonymous faces depicted by the artist effortlessly portray a humanity that is psychologically exposed. Willingly blurring skin colours and features, the artist draws relatable figures, establishing a direct relationship with the viewer. Moving sensuously yet wildly on the canvas, the characters exude a contemporary ennui that materializes in a muted colour palette.

“Fluxus, Arte per Tutti” at the Museo del Novecento

Curated by Patrizio Peterlini and Martina Corgnati the latest exhibition at the Museo of the 20th Century focuses for the first time on the Italian publishing experience and the activities of its protagonists: Rosanna Chiessi, who founded “Pari&Dispari” editions in 1971; Francesco Conz, whose editions began in 1972; Gino Di Maggio, Beppe Morra and the historic ED 912 editions animated by Gianni Emilio Simonetti and Daniela Palazzoli. Born in the late 1950s and early 1960s thanks to the artist, architect and cultural organizer George Maciunas, Fluxus developed mainly in the United States, Europe and Japan, and was at the center of an aesthetic and social revolution that aimed to intertwine visual and performing arts, experimental music and theater while also giving birth to festivals, happenings and concerts with the desire to eliminate the division in the arts and, in general, the division between existence and artistic creation.

News staff