Paraventi: Folding Screens from the 17th to 21st Centuries at Fondazione Prada Milan, through February 22, 2024 

Paraventi: Folding Screens from the 17th to 21st Centuries is an extensive exhibition curated by Nicholas Cullinan on view at Fondazione Prada’s Milan venue from October 26, 2023 to February 22, 2024. Two complementary shows, organized by Prada with the support of Fondazione Prada at Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai and Prada Aoyama Tokyo from November 3, 2023, will further investigate the historical heritage and contemporary interpretations of folding screens in Eastern contexts. 

The Milan exhibition explores the histories and semantics of these objects by tracing trajectories of cross-pollination between East and West, processes of hybridization between different art forms and functions, collaborative relationships between designers and artists, and the emergence of newly created works. The folding screens embody liminality and the idea of being on the threshold of two conditions, literally and metaphorically. They cross barriers between different disciplines, cultures, and worlds.” — Fondazione Prada 

Exhibition views of “Paraventi: Folding Screens from the 17th to 21st Centuries” at Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photos: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Alessandro Saletta – DSL Studio. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada 

From left to right: Macao and Canton, China, 2nd half of the 18th century. Fundação Oriente – Museu do Oriente, Lisbon. Kurofune, the ‘Black Ship’, Japan, 18th century. Private Collection, Estoril, Portugal.
In the foreground: Luc Tuymans, La corrispondenza, 2023. Courtesy Studio Luc Tuymans, Antwerp.
From left to right: Wu Tsang, Rebellious Bird, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin. Joan Jonas, Double Lunar Rabbits, 2010. Courtesy Joan Jonas and Amanda Wilkinson, London.
From left to right: Chen Zhifo, Fiori stagionali e uccelli, China, 1947. Asia, Private collection. Jim Dine, Landscape Screen (Sky, Sun, Grass, Snow, Rainbow), 1969. Collection of Nina Dine.
In the foreground: Lisa Brice, Untitled, 2022. Rennie Collection, Vancouver.
In the foreground: William Morris (designer), William Morris (designer), Jane Morris, and Elizabeth Burden (manufacturer). Screen with Embroidered Panels Depicting Lucretia, Hippolyte, and Helen, 1860-61. 1860–61 (embroidered panels), 1889 (screen). Castle Howard Collection, Yorkshire.
In the foreground: Carrie Mae Weems, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. The Apple of Adam’s Eye, 1993. Collection of The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Bequest of Marion Boulton Stroud. Anthea Hamilton. Shame Paravent, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.
Exhibition view of “Paraventi: Folding Screens from the 17th to 21st Centuries”. Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Alessandro Saletta – DSL Studio. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada.
From left to right: William N. Copley, Konku, 1982. Private collection. Elmgreen & Dragset, Paravent, 2008. Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris.
From left to right: Goshka Macuga, in time or space or state, 2023. Courtesy of the artist. Mona Hatoum, Grater Divide, 2002. Courtesy of the artist.
In the foreground: Six scenes from the story of Prince Genji (Genji monogatari), Japan, early 17th century. Viktor and Marianne Langen Collection, Neuss, Germany.
“Paravento di Coromandel”, China, late 17th century. Museo Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon.
In the foreground: Folding Screen with Scenes in and around Kyoto, Japan, 18th/19th century. Portugal, Private collection.
From left to right: Yves Klein, Paravent [Screen] (IKB 62), 1957. Private collection. Charles and Ray Eames, Folding Screen FSW 8, 1948. Private collection. Alvar Aalto, Screen, Model nr. 100, 1940. Private collection. Eileen Gray, Brick Screen, 1925 circa. Collezione di J. & M. Donnelly, Paris.
From left to right: Sol LeWitt, Untitled Screen, 1987. Collection of Lisson Gallery, London. Charles and Ray Eames, Folding Screen FSW 8, 1948. Private collection. Yves Klein, Paravent [Screen] (IKB 62), 1957. Private collection.
In the foreground: Cy Twombly, Paravent, 1989. Private collection. In the background: Kerry James Marshall, “Untitled” Rythm Mastr Splash, 2023. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, London. T.J. Wilcox, Radio City Music Hall, 2010. Included Heir and Astaire, 2010, HD Video, 9’50’’, exhibition copy. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.
In the foreground, from left to right: Chris Ofili, Pink Daydream (Ghost), 2023. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner. Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Face Value, 2021. Courtesy of the artist, Karma International, Zurich, and Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. In the background on the left: Wade Guyton, Untitled [WG5525], 2023. Courtesy of the artist.
John Stezaker, Screen-screen, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.
Tony Cokes, Untitled (Sol LeWitt 1967, 1968, 1989), 2023. Courtesy of the artist, Greene Naftali, New York, Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles, FELIX GAUDLITZ, Vienna e Electronic Arts Intermix, New York.
Cao Fei, Screen Autobiography (Milan), 2023. Courtesy of the artist, Vitamin Creative Space and Sprüth Magers.
Wu Tsang, Rebellious Bird, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlino / Berlin.
Keiichi Tanaami, Utopian Situation by “Guernica”, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

 As explained by Nicholas Cullinan, “Painting or sculpture? Art or furniture? Utilitarian or ornamental? Decorative, functional, architectural, or theatrical? This innovative exhibition examines the many questions and paradoxes surrounding the unfolding history of the paravent. This history of the folding screen is one of cultural migration (from East to West), hybridization (between both different art forms and functions) and of what is concealed and revealed. 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.”