In the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the Stelline Foundation has designed and produced a major international exhibition entitled The Last Supper after Leonardo, which will be held from April 2 to June 30, 2019. The exhibition will feature six key figures in the contemporary art scene: Anish Kapoor, Robert Longo, Masbedo, Nicola Samorì, Wang Guangyi, Yue Minjun. The exhibition, produced by the Foundation itself and curated by Demetrio Paparoni, one of Italy’s most recognized critics and curators, is included in the institutional schedule Milan and Leonardo 500, the program of initiatives and projects celebrating Leonardo’s work and thought on the occasion of the fifth centenary of his death, and will be the opening event of Milan Art Week 2019 (1-7 April).
Six major international artists from different cultural traditions have reinterpreted the theme of the Last Supper from Leonardo‘s depiction of it, making it one of the highest expressions of our culture in an original dialogue between East and West. The Last Supper after Leonardo aims to highlight how Leonardo’s work continues to contaminate contemporary art. This exhibition includes, in addition to Wang Guangyi’s never before exhibited in the West The Last Supper, works expressly made by Robert Longo, Nicola Samorì, and Yue Minjun, a video by Masbedo focusing on the hands that restored the work, and a tribute by Anish Kapoor to the work of Leonardo
As he was a brilliant and multifaceted figure, his thought and work lend themselves to providing insights for developing new languages and addressing classic themes in innovative ways. As curator Demetrio Paparoni explains, the presences in the exhibition respond to precise criteria: Anish Kapoor is the artist who more than any other embodies Leonardo’s spirit, focusing his research on the relationship between art and science, between the disappearance and appearance of form; Robert Longo is the American artist who has redefined a reinterpretation of past masterpieces in a contemporary key, making them an expression of the present. Making the theme of the biological death of painting palpable, Nicola Samorì tackles the narrative of classical works, charging them with new meanings; the multimedia artists Masbedo focus their attention on the hands of Pinin Brambilla Barcilon, the restorer who saved Leonardo’s Last Supper in more than 22 years of constant and uninterrupted work. And again, Yue Minjun investigates the theme of the confusion of the mind through the impenetrability of the sacred image; Wang Guangyi, in a large sixteen-meter polyptych, which is the most important depiction of the Last Supper made in recent times in China and never exhibited in the West, superimposes Leonardo’s iconography on the landscape and traditional Chinese painting technique of Wu Lou Hen.
Accompanying the exhibition is a catalog published by Skira Editore (24×28 cm, 168 pp., cover price: € 29.00). The extensive critical survey of the works of artists who have looked at the painting of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan – Salvador Dalí, Shusaku Arakawa, Mary Beth Edelson, Marlen Dumas, Andy Warhol, Andres Serrano, Vik Muniz, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Zhang Huan, Zeng Fanzhi, Wang Guangyi, Yue Minjun, Robert Longo, Anish Kapoor, Masbedo, and Nicola Samorì – and previously unpublished interviews with the artists featured in the exhibition make this book a document on the generative capacity of Leonardo’s work. Interviews by Maria Cannarella, Marta Gnyp, Alessandra Klimciuk and Richard Milazzo.
There will also be guided tours during the exhibition, the first ones will begin with Milan Art Week during which, from April 2 to 7, the exhibition can be visited with reduced admission. On this occasion, four free guided tours (apart from the special ticket for Milan Art Week) will be held on Saturday, April 6, from 5-7 pm.
THE LAST SUPPER AFTER LEONARDO
curated by Demetrio Paparoni
2 April – 30 June 2019
Openings: Tuesday – Sunday, h. 10 am – 8 pm (Monday closed)