From the Art


Prada isn’t the only lux­ury brand ped­dling cul­ture but of all its ri­vals, it has cre­ated the most de­lib­er­ately sep­a­rate foun­da­tion. Un­like the oth­ers, the Fon­dazione Prada has very lit­tle to do with its own­ers’ per­sonal col­lec­tion, it doesn’t bear its par­ent com­pany’s logo, nor does it func­tion solely as a mu­seum or an art cen­tre. In essence, Prada’s in­sti­tute is an or­gan­i­sa­tion ded­i­cated en­tirely to the dis­play, dis­cus­sion and de­vel­op­ment of art and, over the last 20 years, it has pro­moted a rich cul­tural pro­gramme, such as film fes­ti­vals, multi-dis­ci­plinary and phi­los­o­phy talks and ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign projects as well as many art ex­hi­bi­tions of course. “I started with the idea of mak­ing cul­ture at­trac­tive to the young,” Mi­uc­cia Prada said. Cul­ture, she in­sists, must come to be per­ceived not as an ex­tra but as a ne­ces­sity to one’s life. To achieve this goal, she de­cided that she and her hus­band should take a back seat in their foun­da­tion, so they put to­gether a panel of ex­perts, scholars, his­to­ri­ans and cu­ra­tors they call the Thought Coun­sel for di­rec­tion. Just this May, the Fon­dazione Prada un­veiled its new per­ma­nent artis­tic head­quar­ters in Mi­lan, in an old dis­tillery in the in­dus­trial zone of Largo Isarco. The venue, con­ceived by the ar­chi­tec­ture firm OMA – led by Rem Kool­haas – ex­pands the reper­toire of spa­tial ty­polo­gies in which art can be ex­hib­ited and shared with the public. Not only is it the first mod­ern art mu­seum in Mi­lan, it’s a feat of ar­chi­tec­ture, gallery de­sign, and of course, col­lect­ing prow­ess.

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