New exhibition by Fondazione Prada offers new perspective on originality and imitation

Updated: 2015-05-03 20:37

By Cecily Liu(

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New exhibition by Fondazione Prada offers new perspective on originality and imitation

Serial Classic exhibition at Fondazione Prada: a display of Roman copies where the Greek originals have been lost (by Cecily Liu)

In contrast, although Roman copies were typically produced in series, yet it is only through copies that most lost Greek originals can be reconstructed. In addition, the exhibition also shows that in no other period of Western art history the creation of copies from great masterpieces of the past has been as important as in the late Republican Rome and throughout the Imperial age.

The exhibition comprises more than 70 artworks, and shows how serial production is created, how copies are made in context and the use of different colors and materials.

It also shows the technologies and methods used in the making of the copies, presenting two essential moments, which are the creation of plaster cast and the translation of proportions and measurements on the new block of marble.

In this exhibition, OMA has reconfigured the exhibition spaces of the Fondazione Prada, creating an imaginative 'landscape' within which ancient statures, gathered together in groups and ordered according to themes and narrative sequence, come to live.

Denying and radically rethinking the ideal of the pedestal, a fundamental element in any traditional exhibition of classical sculpture, the design of the exhibition utilizes instead the dark travertine slabs of the floor, raised up on transparent acrylic bases.

The opening of the exhibition is to be launched in conjunction with the opening of a new Milan venue of Fondazione Prada to the public. The site is built on the site of a former distillery, located in an industrial complex from the 1910's.

This exhibition is also run in conjunction with 'Portable Classic', an exhibition by Fondazione Prada in Venice from May 9 to September 13, which also analyses the themes of seriality and the copy, focusing on Renaissance and Neoclassicism art.