Fondazione Prada will hold its first performance art project this September. ‘Atlas of Gesture’ by choreographer Virgilio Sieni will involve both professional and amateur dancers and will play out five different parts, called Origin, Ritual, Announcement, Gravity and Nudity. To get you accquainted with Prada’s rich, artistic history we’ve showcased some of the most prevalent exhibitions to have been hosted by Mrs. Miuccia Prada herself.
By Christopher Prince
Originally founded in 1993, the Fondazione Prada institution moved to a new permanent Milan venue in Largo Isarco this May. Devised by OMA – a design firm led by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the 24-karat gold leaf clad structure includes a renovation of a former distillery dating back to the 1910s. Roughly 118,000 ft2 is dedicated as exhibition space which has hosted works from the Prada Collection as well as screenings of Roman Polanski’s documentary series, along with a series of site-specific installations from artists Robert Gober and Thomas Demand. Prior to the launch of Atlas of Gesture the Fondazione Prada is hosting two ancient art exhibitions, Serial Classic (ending on 24 August 2015) and Portable Classic (ending on 13 September 2015), themed around miniature reproductions of classical sculptures by Salvatore Settis.
Inaugurated in 2005, the permanent Prada Marfa installation designed by artists Elmgreen and Dragset, reflects the land-art movement of the early ’00s. Situated 2.3 km northwest of Valentine, Texas, off the U.S. Highway 90, and about 42 km northwest of the city of Marfa, the installation mimics a makeshift Prada retail store filled with handbags and shoes. Uniquely, Prada Marfa was never intended to be repaired which may result in the building degrading back into the Texan landscape.
Providing an in-depth showcase of all things Prada, the Pradasphere exhibition held in Hong Kong last November was unveiled after a worldwide tour, debuted in London in May 2014. Inside the custom-built structure built over the city’s Central Ferry Pier, the retrospective traced the multivalent obsessions of one of the world’s most iconic brands. Pradasphere combined all the elements of Miuccia’s creative psyche, displaying a menagerie of creations from seasons past, as well as an exploration in art, film and music. Read our Artist in Exhibition feature published last September for an in-depth look at Pradasphere here.
Prada: The Iconoclasts closed in Paris on 11th March, where the Prada Faubourg Saint Honoré store played host to the legendary costume designer, Milena Canonero with an ancient Chinese philosophy-inspired interpretation of the SS15 collection. Canonero boasts impressive collaborative efforts on the set of Hugh Hudson’s Chariots of Fire, Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa and more recently Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. In light of her work for Prada, Canonero poignantly noted: “I sought to reinterpret the collection through the four elements – water, fire, air and earth – and create imaginary situations that culminate in the fifth element, human love.”
Prada, The Collections
Mrs. Prada has never been one to restrict her creative boundaries, as evidenced in many of her past collections. This season Prada looked to cartoonish graphics to outfit her saccharine sweet debutantes. Three seasons prior the focus was on the political street art of L.A., Mexico, and South America. SS13 referenced Japanese blossoms sketched in chalk-like panels. The SS11 collection incorporated a hybrid Jazz Age superwoman a la Josephine Baker, and SS08 was a play on all things Art Nouveau-ish.