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.