Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content
Betye Saar: The Alpha and The Omega | Atlas

Since 2018, “Atlas” brings together works from Collezione Prada in Torre's six floors, in the form of an exhibition project. Starting June 17, 2021, the fourth floor is reopening to the public with an unprecedented dialogue between the works by Goshka Macuga and an installation by Betye Saar. Using various juxtapositions and combinations between different artists, "Atlas" represents a possible mapping on the ideas and visions that guided the shaping of the collection and the collaborations with artists that contributed to the activities of Fondazione Prada.

At the core of Betye Saar's practice (Los Angeles, 1926) it is possible to identify several key elements: an interest in the metaphysical, the representation of feminine memory, and African-American identity. "Atlas" presents the installation The Alpha and the Omega (The Beginning and the End) (2013-16), a circular environment alluding to the initiatory journey and the experience of human life. This work was conceived on the occasion of “Uneasy Dancer”, a solo show of the artist organized by Fondazione Prada in Milan in 2016.

Inside 6 exhibition levels of Torre, project “Atlas”, emerged from a dialogue between Miuccia Prada and Germano Celant, is unveiled. It hosts works from the Prada Collection displayed in a sequence of environments incorporating solos and confrontations, created through assonances or contrasts, between artists such as Carla Accardi and Jeff Koons, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer and Pino Pascali, William N. Copley and Damien Hirst, John Baldessari and Carsten Höller.

The group of exhibited artworks, realized between 1960 and 2016, represents a possible mapping of the ideas and visions which have guided the creation of the collection and the collaborations with the artists that have contributed to the activities of the foundation throughout the years. “Atlas” therefore traces an evolving path between the personal and the institutional, open to temporary and thematic interventions, special projects and events, with possible integrations from other collections and institutions. Its open nature should be consider as a paradigm for a reflection on the function and necessity of the permanent collection for a place dedicated to contemporary art

Since the opening of Fondazione Prada’s new venue in 2015, the collection has become one of the available tools for the development of the foundation’s cultural program, taking different configurations – from thematic to collective shows, from anthological exhibitions to artist-curated projects – and now finding in Torre its permanent exhibition space.

Installation view of “Atlas”
Torre – Fondazione Prada, Milano
Photo Delfino Sisto Legnani and Alessandro Saletta Courtesy Fondazione Prada