Triennale Milano Celebrates Italian Painting

Maddalena Tesser, Il Tappeto dei Respiri

As a part of its centenary celebrations, Triennale Milano is hosting Italian Painting Today from October 25, 2023, to February 11, 2024, an exhibition which draws inspiration from the institution’s history of promoting painting as an art form and features works from 120 notable Italian artists spanning multiple generations, celebrating contemporary Italian painting.

The exhibition has been curated by Damiano Gullí through consultation with an international Honorary Board consisting of Francesco Bonami, Suzanne Hudson and Hans Ulrich Obrist, and showcases over 120 works by various artists, emphasising the dynamic interplay between figuration and abstraction in contemporary Italian painting.


The exhibition unfolds through an itinerary that features over 120 works by artists of different generations, including Stefano Arienti, Francesca Banchelli, Lorenza Boisi, Pierpaolo Campanini, Guglielmo Castelli, Adelaide Cioni, Chiara Enzo, Paolo Gonzato, Giulia Mangoni to name just a few.

Patrizio Di Massimo, Cover-up, 2022

The exhibition – named after the volume published by Multhipla/Giancarlo Politi in 1975 – is linked to the history of the institution insofar as it draws inspiration from the mural painting exhibitions organised in the Palazzo dell’Arte since 1933, as well as from Luciano Baldessari’s project for the 9th International Exhibition in 1951. The aim is to highlight how painting has been an object of analysis and display for Triennale since its founding – based on a lively dialogue between different disciplines.


Stefano Boeri, President of Triennale Milano, has stated: “After the renewed Museum of Italian Design and the Home Sweet Home exhibition, we are presenting a third exhibition project conceived for the Triennale’s centenary: a major exhibition on the state of contemporary Italian painting, starting from the recovery of the institution’s history and providing an opportunity to interpret the contemporary art scene through the expressive language of painting.”

Gianni Politi, INSOSTENIBILE DARE UN TITOLO (Bruciare da Dentro), 2020-2021, © Galleria Lorcan O’Neill

The exhibition features individual examples created between 2020 and 2023 – one work per artist – that provide cross-generational perspectives and original interpretations of contemporaneity. The result is an intergenerational mapping, a prismatic reconstruction of the multiple facets of the practice of painting today. The time frame considered has seen exceptional historical, social and economic transformations and upheavals – from a pandemic to wars, not to mention the dreaded undermining, and disappearance, of authorship through the evolving applications of Artificial Intelligence. Direct and indirect reflections of such events are detectable in many of the works on display.


The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, published by Electa, with institutional introductions by Stefano Boeri, President of Triennale Milano, and Pierpaolo Piccioli, Creative Director of Valentino; critical contributions by Damiano Gullì, curator of the exhibition; Francesco Bonami, art critic and curator; Susan Hudson, art critic and art historian; and Davide Ferri, art critic and curator; a conversation on painting between Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries, London, and Katharina Grosse, artist, moderated by Larissa Kikol, art critic and historian; a text on the history of Italian painting from 1959 to 1979 by Laura Cherubini, art historian and critic, and Andrea Viliani, Director of the Museum of Civilizations in Rome, and another text on the history of mural paintings at Triennale by Marilia Pederbelli, assistant curator of Triennale; a text on the exhibition design by architect Italo Rota; and information sheets about the works written by critics and curators Lisa Andreani, Annika Pettini and Simona Squadrito.

Francesco Lauretta , Oxigen, 2023

In addition to the catalogue, the exhibition will be accompanied by a podcast, produced by Triennale Milano and written and produced by Tiziano Scarpa, which will explore the themes of the exhibition.

The exhibition is produced in partnership with Valentino, Institutional Partners Lavazza Group and Salone del Mobile Milano, and the Technical Partners ATM and Saviola are supporting Triennale Milano in this project.

Triennale Milano
Viale Alemagna 6
20121 Milano
T. +39 02 724341
Triennale Milano opening hours
October 25th, 2023 – February 11th, 2024
Tuesday – Sunday
11 am – 8 pm (last admission 7 pm)

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