The 2022 summer exhibitions in Milano

From contemporary art to the masters of photography

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Stimulating, visionary, immersive. The 2022 summer exhibitions in Milano speak to the contemporary world and invite reflection on the present and on the future. Man is at the centre, both as an artist and as an object of investigation: the relationship with himself and with the body, the environment and nature, mystery and knowledge. From contemporary installations to the great masters of photography, here are the must-see exhibitions in July, August and September. Get inspired.

23rd Triennale Milano International exhibitions

Triennale di Milano - from July 15th to December 11th 

Inauguration on July 15th, under the title “Unknown Unknowns. An Introduction to Mysteries” of the 23rd Triennale Milano International Exhibition. In 2023, the renowned institution celebrates the hundredth anniversary of its foundation.

One of the largest and most important international events dedicated to design and architecture addresses the theme of the unknown, questioning the mysteries of the known world. Conceived as a space for open, multilateral debate, a space for reflection, it tries to answer a series of questions about what we still “don't know what we don't know”. 


The great thematic exhibition, Unknown Unknown, will be the nerve centre of this exhibition; curated by Ersilia Vaudo, astrophysicist and Chief Diversity Officer at the European Space Agency, it is envisioned as an opportunity to open up to brand-new prospects: from the most distant universe to dark matter, extra-terrestrial space becomes a dimension to be lived in. Over 100 works, projects and installations by international artists, researchers and designers address the theme. 


This thematic exhibition is flanked by two other important shows. Mondo Reale, curated by Hervé Chandès, general artistic director of Fondation Cartier, a reflection on the secret wonders of our planet, through the work of 17 artists. Plus, La Tradizione del Nuovo, curated by Marco Sammicheli, Director of the Triennale’s Museum of Italian Design, which illustrates how Italian design has always adopted a courageous and dedicated approach to exploration and research.

Role Play

Osservatorio Fondazione Prada - until September 26th

The rise of the Metaverse and virtual platforms, the proliferation of digital and cosplay avatars, plus the aestheticization of everyday life on social networks all call into question the concept of identity. Role-playing and creating alter egos can represent an aspiration, a desire to escape from oneself, from the surrounding reality, but also a possible strategy for reuniting with each individual’s essence and persona. Has this escape from reality by inventing new worlds really become the only way to express ourselves?


Role Play - the exhibition curated by Melissa Harris at the Osservatorio Fondazione Prada, in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, reflects upon this concept.

Through images and videos, 11 international artists explore the idea of ​​alternative identity, poised between authentic, idealized and universal selves, questioning gender metaphors, stereotypes and the sense of place.

Useless Bodies?

Fondazione Prada - until August 22nd 

In the post-industrial era of Big Tech, social media and data commodification, our physical presence seems to have lost its centrality, so much so that it becomes almost superfluous. Will this actually be the case? Useless Bodies? by the duo Elmgreen & Dragset explores the theme of body perception in the 21st century.


The installations, conceived for four gallery spaces and the courtyard of the Fondazione Prada, prompt the visitors to question the role of the body in the past and in the present, to reflect on the dehumanization of domestic and work environments, on imperfection and the obsession with beauty and wellness. But they are also invited to wander and to interact with the works by changing environments and atmospheres to gather clues and make up stories. An experience that requires the use of the real body in a world of “Useless Bodies” but, not surprisingly, with a question mark. Provocative. 


From July 1st to 30th and from September 2nd to October 1st, 2022, the exhibition will become a hybrid environment with Multiple Canvases, the Fondazione Prada open-air cinema with movable walls. 10 feature films proposed by Elmgreen & Dragset will be screened every Friday and Saturday. 

LaChapelle. I believe in miracles

MUDEC - until September 11th 

Humans in relationship with themselves, with the environment and with nature. Their passions, insecurities, ideals and solitude. Life, death and miracles. The mystical and pop deviations. All this is encompassed in the great exhibition that MUDEC dedicates to David LaChapelle. The 90 works on display - comprising large format images, site-specific shots, new productions and a video installation - outline the artist’s personal journey that is immersed in memory and feelings yet characterized by an acute awareness of the time in which we live. Commencing from the artworks that decry the vulnerability of the planet, to move on to the iconic repertoire that blurs the boundary between pop culture, social denunciation and spirituality (ranging from Kim Kardashian-Magdalene to the new Holy Family in the jungle), we arrive at the artist's vision of a new world where man, nature, spirituality, love and beauty coexist harmoniously. David LaChapelle believes in miracles. And he makes us believe that, maybe, another horizon is possible. Visionary indeed.

STEVE MCQUEEN Sunshine State

Pirelli HangarBicocca - until July 31st

Last few days to visit the exhibition dedicated to Turner prizewinning artist and Oscar winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, one of the most important contemporary artists admired for his radical outlook on the human condition and for his ability to provocatively grasp current issues such as the construction of identity, the sense of belonging and the right to freedom. With Sunshine State, McQueen brings an immersive experience to Pirelli HangarBicocca: six film works and one sculpture, to penetrate reality and try to grasp the deeper meaning of existence. 


Visitors to Sunshine State can also take the opportunity to appreciate the work of Korean artist Anicka Yi, showing at the same venue with her Metaspore exhibition - which has been extended until August 7th - or to walk amongst the mega Seven Heavenly Palaces, the permanent site-specific installation by German artist Anselm Kiefer.

Entry is free to all the Pirelli HangarBicocca exhibitions and, until September 29th, every Thursday, they will be open until 11 pm.


From July 11th to 12th, Pirelli HangarBicocca will host the Milano Re-Mapped, multidisciplinary festival dedicated to music, performing arts, video, publishing and graphics: two evenings of visual and sound performances, screenings, concerts and DJ sets. The final mega date before the venue’s summer closure, from August 8th to Wednesday September 14th.

Elliott Erwitt. 100 photographs

Diocesan Museum  - until October 16th

The Diocesan Museum's summer tradition of presenting a photography exhibition continues for 2022 with evening opening hours thanks to the "Chiostro d'Estate" (Summer Cloister) initiative. An aperitif and engaging art talks precede a visit to the exhibition.


100 shots selected from the most iconic images, both in black & white and in colour; this retrospective dedicated to Elliott Erwitt, one of the most extraordinary contemporary photographers, shows the many themes addressed during his long career: from famous portraits of personalities from politics and the star system, to childhood subjects and travel reports. To view the world with the enquiring, poetic but also ironic gaze of a photographer who has always managed to stimulate new reflections with his art: “If my images help someone to see things in a certain way, it is probably by looking at the subjects with more light-heartedness’. Everything is serious but it also may not be”. 

Magnum Photos - Colors, Places, Faces

Armani/Silos, until November 6th

Curated by Giorgio Armani in collaboration with Magnum Photos, the exhibition offers an eclectic perspective as perceived by ten international photographers and their respective understanding of photography. Some of these artists are still active today, others have passed away, but they are united by a desire to explore reality, translating suggestions and emotions into images.

The spectrum is broad: from Christopher Anderson’s China, focusing on people’s faces rather than architecture, to Olivia Arthur’s Dubai, seen through the eyes of a castaway who returns after fifty years to a city that has grown from a village into a megalopolis; from Morocco by Bruno Barbey, a long tale of a country that has escaped modernity, to Werner Bischof’s New York, portrayed in color shots that immortalise its dynamism; from architecture seen as socio-political space by René Burri, to coasts seen as borders between land and water by Harry Gruyaert; from Martin Parr’s biting dissection of English life, to Tokyo and Venice captured by Gueorgui Pinkhassov through stolen shots and unexpected angles; from Iran depicted in its day-to-day life by Newsha Tavakolian, to the saturated colors of Latin America and the Caribbean as seen by Alex Webb.

Performing PAC. Take me to the place I love

PAC - from July 12th to September 11th

An exhibition that investigates the relationship between contemporary art, man and nature. The PAC - Pavilion of Contemporary Art invites a series of international artists to narrate the interaction between living beings, places and landscapes with their own poetic and artistic vision. Videos, photographs, installations and documents create an evocative itinerary between immersion in nature, memory, mythologies of places, the relationship between man and the environment, climate and politics.


As for every Performing PAC event, the starting point is an exhibition sourced from the Museum Archive with the aim of re-reading and reconstructing some of the institution’s most significant past exhibitions. 


This year’s starting point is the Richard Long - Jivya Soma Mashe exhibition Encounter in India, from 2004. The environmental work Warli Spiral, was recreated in site-specific format by Long and then acquired by the Municipality of Milan.

Oliviero Toscani. Professione Fotografo (Profession Photographer)

Palazzo Reale - from June 24th to September 22nd 

The Oliviero Toscani Profession Photographer exhibition at Palazzo Reale is also dedicated to master of the eighth art.  

The exhibition, which is a complete synthesis of Oliviero Toscani's work, celebrates the 80th anniversary of this prolific photographer and artist who was able to exploit advertising channels as a means of conveying a message, to discuss, to provoke and to reflect on current issues and influence the culture of entire generations. 800 of his most iconic, and some lesser-known, shots are exhibited in a unique exhibition layout that sees the Palazzo Reale spaces adorned with posters glued the walls, as if they were street billboards.

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