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Art & History

Milan museums: PAC, the Contemporary Art Pavilion

News > Art & History | Milan museums: PAC, the Contemporary Art Pavilion

There are many museums in Milan. From the museum of comic art to the one dedicated to the XX century art, the city is plastered with posters indicating the new exhibitions planned. However, among these, we rarely see mentions of contemporary art, which indicates that Milan is not so centred on this kind of art. Perhaps, it only takes one place if it’s good enough.
And the PAC is the best someone could ask for.

The history of PAC

Pavilion of Contemporary Art in Milan

The PAC is the pavilion of contemporary art of Milan.
Its story begins in 1947, when the City Hall was looking for a new space to treasure its XX century collection. It soon became fond of a location standing next to the Giardini of Porta Venezia and once part of the royal stables.

It’s architect Ignazio Gardella who takes charge of the project, managing to synthesize two opposing currents: the most conservative, that wanted the spaces maintenance, and the reformative one, which would rather do something completely new.

Gardella’s project wants the new museum to occupy the same rooms the stables used to, but at the same time it also looks for something new and able to re-modernize it. Thus, he decides to develop the building on three floors, each devoted to one specific art: sculpture in the first floor, paintings in the second, and drawing and objects in the last one. The result is an architecture which keeps its unity while at the same time branching out.

The PAC inaugurated in 1954. Initially considered a classic museum, it soon took over the function of gallery for temporary exhibitions, research tools and new experiments.
Soon, the floors were not as strictly linked to their function as they were projected. The architecture itself becomes an exhibition, sensitive to the issues presented.
Thus, the space is both content and container.
A modern and grandiose space, which will be largely destroyed in 1993 by Mafia-bombings.
In 1996, it was rebuilt and, since then, it has always been considered a reference point of international modern art.

What to see at the PAC

Milan museums: PAC, the Contemporary Art Pavilion

Entering the PAC means living a double experience and having to pay attention to two equally important aspects: that of the container and that of the content, the space and the exhibitions.

Next to the PAC, there is the GAM, the Gallery of Modern Art. For years, the PAC has lived under its shadow: we recommend you to visit them both, and to pay particular attention to Gardella’s work.
Upon crossing the threshold, you’ll meet a trapezoidal space divided into three vertical levels, each one dialoguing with each other. The first overlooks the gardens of Porta Venezia and it’s illuminated by a large window.

In the second floor, the light is softer, while the third owns a wide terrace. The visitor, moving from one space to another, can feel the complexity and the harmony of the three environments and their oblique perspectives.
In addition to the exhibition space, also the temporary exhibitions are worth your attention.

One of the most anticipated is the one that will be held from 05 July to 12 September 2016. The rooms of the museum will treasure CUBA. Tatuare la storia. The exhibition aims at showing to the Italian public the Cuban history and traditions, thus promoting its understanding.

All the events organized by the PAC have a strong visual impact and a great communicative, social and artistic value.
In addition, the PAC carries on an educational project to promote knowledge of contemporary art.

For example, there are free guided tours and other events that make it possible to foster a deeper insight and understanding of the topics covered by the exhibited artists.
The PAC has survived time, attacks and competitors.
For these reasons, it should be granted at least one visit.

Credits photos: PAC website www.pacmilano.it

PAC Milano

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