Expo Milano: highlights for art lovers

"Arts & Foods": Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, "Leaning Fork with Meatball and Spaghetti II," 1994, part of the "Arts & Foods" exhibition (1994 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen/Photo courtesy the Oldenburg van Bruggen Studio and Pace Gallery)


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Preparations for the Expo Milano are revving up, and with the event officially opening on May 1, art exhibitions and venues are beginning to open around the city.

"Art & Foods: Rituals since 1851"
La Triennale
Through November 1

The first Expo pavilion to open to the public got underway this week, exploring the culture surrounding how we prepare, consume and artistically depict our food. Curated by Germano Celant, it covers 7,000 square meters and includes 15 installations dedicated to dining rooms, kitchens, bars and picnic areas, plus art by Monet, Andy Warhol and more.

"Leonardo 1452-1519"
Palazzo Reale
April 15 - July 19

The largest exhibition dedicated to the artist ever to take place in Italy will run for three months, presenting paintings, drawing and manuscripts introduced by masterpieces by the artist's predecessors. Highlights include a full-scale video reproduction of "The Last Supper" with descriptive panels and interactive stations and more than 100 original drawings by the artist.

Città delle Culture

British architect David Chipperfield's newly opened Città delle Culture is home to the recently inagurated MUDEC (Museo della Culture), one of several museums housed in the complex. Programming begins with "Africa: The Land of the Spirits" (running through August 30) and "Mondi a Milano" (or "Worlds in Milan," through July 19).

Fondazione Prada
Opening May 9

Prada is opening the doors to its art foundation, redesigned by Rem Koolhaas's firm OMA with a bar designed by movie director Wes Anderson. Among the first programs planned: Robert Gober and Thomas Demand will realize site-specific installations, Roman Polanski will explore his inspirations, and "Serial Classic" (May 9 through August 24) will analyze the themes of seriality and copy in classical art.