Recto VersoFondazione Prada

3 December – 7 February, 2016

“Recto Verso” presents artworks that consciously foreground the hidden, concealed or forgotten phenomenon of “the back”.
The exhibition combines notable works from the Prada Collection as well as others on loan from international and national galleries and collections. 
The core concept of “Recto Verso” is the dualism between the front and the back of the artwork.
Western art tradition has mainly conceived of paintings as frontal (“recto”) artifacts. The back (“verso”) carries significantly less cultural meaning, destined to be beyond the public’s perception, and only visible to the artists themselves or staff at museums and galleries.

In this exhibition, artists flip the back of a canvas to the front by using different methods. For example, the traditional trompe-l’œil technique, already made famous by Flemish painters, to foreground the frame not the picture. 
Or experimenting with double exposure photography, used to see through the work itself and emphasize the structural and physical features of the object. 
In other works, cryptic messages are stowed away in the back, waiting to be acknowledged.
 Artists from different generations and genres turn a simple gesture into a rich historical examination of truth, illusion and ways of seeing.