Defining space: the role of the folding screen

As the folding screen makes a comeback as a key presence in the contemporary home, a milanese exhibition retraces its history and employment.


dates and location: until Feb 24, Fondazione Prada, Milan

A vintage folding screen masterfully defines a living space with a strong decorative accent and versatility: the 17th c. Japanese example in the picture is installed on the wall becoming a 3Dimensional painted sculpture!

As for the 20th c., Piero Fornasetti's examples are certainly unmistakable... although the history of the folding screen is firmly anchored in ancient China.... The origins and evolutions of the room divider are re-conytextualized in an expansive exhibition at the Fondazione Prada in Milan, through the examples of 70 designers and artists of different times: “Paraventi: Folding Screens from the 17th to 21st Century” is on till February 2024!

Painting or sculpture? Art or design element? The spectacular show spans from ancient paravents to contemporary art pieces by Francesco Vezzoli and Mona Hatoum, passing through 20th c. iconic screens realized by Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Eileen Gray or Alvar Aalto.

Showstopper: a precious embroidered folding screen depicting three heroines and designed by Arts and Crafts father William Morris in 1860. Worked by embroiderer Elizabeth Burden, it evokes the original functions of the paravent to give intimacy in the home.

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