The extensive exhibition set up in the spaces of Fondazione Prada, and curated by Nicholas Cullinan, investigates the history and interprets the meanings of folding screens.

Paraventi: Folding Screens from the 17th to 21st Centuries

Fondazione Prada, Milan

From October 26th, 2023 until February 26th, 2024


The historical legacy and contemporary interpretations of this timeless object, the screen precisely, is analyzed in Western and Eastern contexts. In terms of history, culture, and society, but also by interpreting its deeper and more hidden meanings. The exhibition Paraventi: Folding Screens from the 17th to 21st Centuries traces the fine lines of a silent contamination between East and West, following the processes of hybridization between different artistic approaches and practical functions. There are creative unions that lead to the creation of unique and unprecedented works. The screen embodies the concept of the boundary between two conditions, perceived not only metaphorically but also literally, in the inherent transversality of related but different disciplines and worlds. Nicholas Cullinan is the curator of the entire exhibition, telling how the exhibition manages to examines the many questions and paradoxes surrounding the unfolding history of the paravent. This history of the folding screen is one of cultural migration, hybridization and of what is concealed and revealed.

Eileen Gray. ‘Brick’ Screen. c. 1925. Lacquered wood, with steel rods. 213 x 178 x 2 cm Joe and Marie Donnelly Collection, Paris. Photo: François Halard. Courtesy J&M Donnelly.
Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Face Value, 2021. Textile, acrylic, wooden paravant.
160 x 150 cm. Courtesy of the artist, Karma International (Zurich) and Foksal Gallery Foundation (Warsaw.
Mona Hatoum, Grater Divide, 2002. Mild Steel.
204 cm x variable width and depth. © Mona Hatoum. Courtesy White Cube (Photo: Iain Dickens).
Franz West, Paravents, 2010. Pink paravent, metal, wood, acrylic paint.
195 x 53 x 220 cm. Museum MMK Für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Wolfgang Günzel.

The exhibition hosts over seventy screens, selected from works of great historical value, more recent works chosen from international museums and private collections, and also includes new creations commissioned especially for the occasion. The installation enters into a perfect dialogue with the works on display, curvilinear and transparent Plexiglas walls alternate with curtains with soft lines, the purpose is to bring the environment in which the observer walks to evoke the forms of these objects, creating a series of spaces characterized by different lighting conditions that amplify the visual rendering of the exhibition. The screen is a seemingly timeless object that has become a medium that projects a layering of the most diverse images, intimate and private dimensions of domestic environments, as well as bucolic representations of unspoiled nature. The importance that the screen has also assumed over time has been to serve as an avowedly transgressive decorative element, a means and instrument of political propaganda, a manifestation of strength and wealth, as well as an ostentation and construction of narratives capable of influencing the course of a society’s history. As we shall explore, this history, and especially the way it manifests in the present, is one of liminal objects and of liminality itself; in the process collapsing the rigid distinctions and hierarchies between the different disciplines of art and architecture, decoration, and design, Nicholas Cullinan concludes.

William N. Copley, Konku, 1982. Acrylic and marker on canvas in wood frame screen. 194.95 x 193.04 x 5.72 cm. Collection Von Storch, Koln, Germany. Photo: Christopher Burke. © 2023 William N. Copley Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
William Kentridge, Untitled, 2023. Drawing in Indian ink on multiple painted canvas panels, hinged to form a paravent.
Five panels: Each 165 x 45 x 2.5 cm [overall 165 x 230 x 2.5 cm]. Courtesy the artist.
Sol LeWitt, Untitled Screen, 1987. Ink on screen boards.
184 x 384 x 2.5 cm. © Lewitt Collection. Courtesy Lisson Gallery.
Macau and Cantão folding screen. China, 2nd half of the 18th century. Six-leaf folding screen, lacquered wood, polychrome, silver, gold, paper, brass.
216 × 330 × 2 cm. Fundação Oriente – Museu do Oriente. © Hugo Maertens – BNP Paribas/Fundação Oriente – Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal.
Wade Guyton, Untitled, 2023. Epson UltraChrome HDX inkjet on linen. Five panels, overall dimensions: 213 x 430 x 66 cm. Courtesy the artist. Photo: © Wade Guyton.


Roe Ethridge. Happy Birthday Louise Parker


Returned to the city as an important space for cultural dissemination, the exhibition floor unveils to the public for the first time the first part of the program that interweaves – with an international gaze – visual arts, fashion, design and the publishing scene. An unprecedented experience of discovery and fruition takes visitors through the environments in an ascending climax.

Miranda July: New Society


Osservatorio Prada presents the first exhibition dedicated to the work of Miranda July that traces the 30-year career of the American artist, filmmaker and writer through her short films, performances and installations.




London’s Tate Britain presents HAPPY GAS, Sarah Lucas’ solo exhibition exploring the British artist’s forty years of work.




Anderson’s new film is about a desert town where a group of young geniuses gather for an invention contest. It is a dreamlike place, à la Anderson, where the universe, the meaning of life and the meaning of death are contemplated. Like any place of the director, it is unexplored and unknown…