great mother 1

The Great Mother / curated by Massimiliano Gioni / Palazzo Reale, Milan / August 26 – November 15, 2015 | Opening August 25, 2015.

Comune di Milano | Cultura and the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi present The Great Mother, an exhibition curated by Massimiliano Gioni, promoted by the Cultural Office of the City of Milan, conceived and produced by the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in partnership with Palazzo Reale for Expo in Città 2015, and supported by BNL – BNP Paribas Group as main sponsor.

The exhibition, which will be open to the public from August 26 to November 15, 2015, is a collaboration between the public and private sectors to bring contemporary art into Palazzo Reale, the city’s most prestigious exhibition venue, as the pivotal event on the Expo in Città calendar for the second half of Expo 2015 in Milan.

With work by 127 international artists and an exhibition layout that will cover some 2000 square meters (20,000 square feet) on the piano nobile of Palazzo Reale, The Great Mother will analyze the iconography of motherhood in the art and visual culture of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, from early avant-garde movements to the present.

From the Venuses of the Stone Age to the bad girls of the postfeminist era, and through centuries of religious works depicting innumerable maternity scenes, the histories of art and culture has often centered on the figure of the mother, often adopted as a symbol of creativity and metaphor for art itself. In the more familiar version of “Mamma”, it is also a stereotype closely tied to the image of Italy.

The Great Mother will be an exhibition about women’s power: not just the life-giving creative power of mothers, but above all, the power denied to women and the power won by women over the course of the twentieth century. In undertaking an analysis of the representation of motherhood, the exhibition The Great Mother will trace a history of women’s empowerment, chronicling gender struggles, sexual politics, and clashes between tradition and emancipation.

Conceived as a temporary museum that blends art history with visual culture, the exhibition will reconstruct a story that spans the twentieth century, exploring female icons and clichés of femininity, and developing a complex reflection on woman as an active participant in representation, no longer just a passive subject of it.

Visuel : Alice Neel : Nancy and the twins, 1971 / Oil on canvas 101 x 153,4 cm / © Estate of Alice Neel

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