Vintage map

Browse all

The italian exhibitions to see in May

From the group exhibition focusing on the breast to the photography of Vivian Maier

The italian exhibitions to see in May  From the group exhibition focusing on the breast to the photography of Vivian Maier

Visiting an exhibition is like traveling to many different worlds, letting ourselves be surprised, inspired and sometimes even shocked by a photographer or painter's interpretations of the contemporary and beauty. All it takes is the right ticket to have experienced creativity up close, getting lost among paintings, sculptures and installations and, perhaps, forgetting the stress and problems of our lives. This dreary May that seems far from spring warmth offers us experiences for every taste, from lovers of black and white photography to those who prefer design. Just point your finger at Italy and choose. There is not only the Venice Art Biennale 2024. In Milan there is the retrospective dedicated to Alessandro Mendini, in Riccione the portraits of Vivian Maier, in Naples you can admire the erotic drawings of Federico Fellini, and in Rome the protagonists are the symbolisms that link the female figure to birds. Here are the exhibitions to see in May in Italy.


The Farnese Aviaries, located within the Farnese Gardens on the Palatine Hill, serve as the striking venue for RARA AVIS. Fashion in Flight, an exhibition that explores the symbolism connecting the female figure to birds. The result is a colorful wunderkammer unfolding within two pavilions, divided into three sections: The Myth, Kaleidoscopic Visions, and The WINGS, unREAL, reAL, plus a section dedicated to the feathered accessories of Anna Piaggi. Among the creations visitors can admire are the white swan dress complete with wings by Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior; the black swan dress created by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy's FW97; the hybrid model between a paradise bird and butterfly from the Haute Couture FW97 by Thierry Mugler; the golden micro-dress, in metal mesh and huge ostrich feather wings worn by Katy Perry on the red carpet of the Met Gala 2018 and designed by Donatella Versace.

Title: RARA AVIS. Fashion in Flight

When: until July 21, 2024

Where: Farnese Aviaries, Archaeological Park of the Colosseum, Rome

Iside - Turin

Turin celebrates the tricentennial of the Museum of Antiquities, founded in 1724, by retracing its history and the protagonists of these three centuries with a series of initiatives promoted by the Royal Museums. The first is dedicated to the excavation of Industria and the cult of Isis, an eastern goddess defined as "The scandalous and the magnificent" in the 3rd-4th century BC hymn found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt. Through the exhibition of 75 objects including statues, statuettes, and inscriptions, in bronze and marble, visitors to the Sabauda Gallery will embark on a journey to the Roman city of Industria-Bodincomagus, an alpine Roman city with strong cosmopolitan connotations linking local and eastern cults, economic and cultural relations with the eastern Aegean.

Title: The Scandalous and the Magnificent. 300 years of research on Industria and the cult of Isis in Piedmont

When: until November 10, 2024

Where: Sabauda Gallery, Turin

Blue Sicily - Modica

The sea of Sicily has inspired many artists since the early decades of the 20th century. Each with their own style and art, from painting to photography, has paid homage to this fascinating element of the island's identity, touching on themes of strong social and environmental impact. Any names? Fausto Pirandello, Renato Guttuso, Bruno Caruso, Piero Guccione who, through their works exhibited at the Blue Sicily exhibition at the Workers' Mutual Aid Society of Modica, "will contribute to a closer understanding of the emotions that the Sicilian sea can offer and to reveal how it can fill the memory with indelible memories".

Title: BLUE SICILY. The sea in Sicilian art from the 20th century to the present day

When: until November 3, 2024

Where: Workers' Mutual Aid Society, Modica

Vivian Maier - Riccione

Vivian Maier photographed throughout her life while working as a nanny. Her talent was enormous, but no one noticed until 2007 when John Maloof rediscovered her work and introduced it to the world. Those unfamiliar with Maier will have the opportunity to catch up thanks to the exhibition curated by Anne Morin in collaboration with Alberto Rossetti, held in Riccione until November 3, 2024. It features 92 shots taken first with a Rolleiflex camera and then with a Leica, and some Super8 videos that ideally transport visitors among the people Maier encountered on the streets of New York and Chicago. They are portraits of anonymous strangers, children, and many self-portraits in which the continuous play of shadows and reflections show the artist's presence-absence.

Title: Vivian Maier. The portrait and its double

When: until November 3, 2024

Where: Villa Mussolini, Riccione

Breasts - Venice

Breast are normal. Yet they also are symbolic, extremely political, divisive, and still subject to many prejudices. The art world has often used them as an element to reflect on motherhood, empowerment, sexuality, illness, and to initiate socio-political discussions. The breast now becomes the focus of a collective exhibition with over thirty artists from around the world, curated by Carolina Pasti at Palazzo Franchetti. The exhibition is divided into five chapters: the historical representation of the breast and the construction of narratives related to the female body through the works of the great Masters of the Renaissance like the Madonna of the Milk, an iconic image that influenced, among others, Cindy Sherman; the re-elaboration of the décolleté through sculptural language with Marcel Duchamp, Claude Lalanne, and Prune Nourry; photography by Robert Mapplethorpe and Irving Penn; the breast as a marketing tool with Oliviero Toscani; and finally, a new vision of this body part with works by Chloe Wise, Sarah Lucas, Louise Bourgeois, Aurora Pellizzi, and Laure Prouvost.

Title: Breasts

When: until November 24, 2024

Where: ACP Palazzo Franchetti, Venice

Federico Fellini - Naples

We all know Federico Fellini as a director, but perhaps many are unaware that he loved to express his creativity through drawing, cartoons, and comics. The Al Blu di Prussia Gallery in Naples dedicates an exhibition to these works titled Federico Fellini: erotic drawings and photographs from the set. Until October 31, 2024, visitors can admire a corpus of 29 works on paper and 6 cinematographic shots from the set of La città delle donne, which portray "a series of characters dialoguing with their sexual alter-ego, protagonists" and "a series of characters baring their own genitals".

Title: Federico Fellini: erotic drawings and photographs from the set

When: until October 31, 2024

Where: Al Blu di Prussia, Naples

Biennale Donna - Ferrara

The Biennale Donna, a historic event dedicated to contemporary female creativity promoted by UDI – Union of Women in Italy, celebrates its twentieth edition with Yours in Solidarity – Other stories between art and word. The exhibition, curated by Sofia Gotti and Caterina Iaquinta, explores the theme of female solidarity in a context of global challenges and some peculiar aspects of the Ferrara event thanks to installations, sculptures, performances, and textile works. From April 14 to June 30, 2024, the exhibition spaces of Palazzo Bonacossi, in Ferrara, will host the creations of six international artists: Binta Diaw, Amelia Etlinger, Bracha L. Ettinger, Sara Leghissa, Muna Mussie, and Nicoline van Harskamp.

Title: XX Biennale Donna Yours in Solidarity - Other stories between art and word

When: until June 30, 2024

Where: Palazzo Bonacossi, Ferrara

Alessandro Mendini - Milan

Triennale Milano and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain dedicate a retrospective to Alessandro Mendini and his work, which can be visited until October 13. An eclectic and talented artist, he was a complex figure within the international scene of design, architecture, and art, as evidenced by the over 400 works of different formats, materials, and subjects on display. The exhibition path is divided into six thematic nuclei: Identikit, a series of self-portraits; Gulliver's syndrome, with extra-large objects like the Proust armchair and the Petite Cathédrale; Architectures, which presents the architectural works of the Atelier Mendini, including the three stations of the Naples Metro; Fragilisms, a nucleus dedicated to the research that led to the manifesto of fragilism; Radical Melancholy, a section dedicated to the years of radical design, of which Mendini was one of the main theorists; Rooms, three immersive environments designed by Mendini, in which citations, memories, dreams, and nightmares reside.

Title: I am a dragon. The true story of Alessandro Mendini

When: until October 13, 2024

Where: Triennale Milano, Milan

Small is Beautiful - Milan

After collecting 250,000 visitors between Paris, New York, and Brussels, Small is Beautiful, the largest international exhibition entirely dedicated to miniature art, arrives in Milan. Those who go to the Fabbrica del Vapore will be catapulted into a journey beyond reality, where like Gulliver in Lilliput, proportions are overturned, evoking worlds rich in poetry and unusual. The merit of this magic belongs to the mignon works with maniacal details, created by some of the greatest artists of the movement like Vincent Bal, Danny Cortes, Cabin David Mansot, Lucia Dolgopolova.

Title: Small is Beautiful

When: from May 9 to September 22, 2024

Where: Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan

Boldini, Erler, Selvatico - Treviso

The Luigi Bailo Museum in Treviso dedicates an exhibition to the leading female figures of the belle époque between the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Eleonora Duse or the members of the bourgeoisie and nobility of Treviso, Veneto and Italy. Through the canvases of artists such as Giovanni Boldini, Giulio Ettore Erler and Lino Selvatico, they take us back to the Belle Époque, giving us the representation of a minority and privileged part of society, made up of romanticism, charm and decadent worldliness.

Title: Fashion and Modernity between the 1800s and 1900s. Boldini, Erler, Selvatico

When: through July 28, 2024

Where: Luigi Bailo Museum, Treviso