Before Fondazione Prada came along in 2015, HangarBicocca was the place to to see large scale contemporary art exhibits in Milan. There are also several smaller places, but HangarBicocca is one of the big guns.
The space itself is magnificent, and its more than 15,000 square meters of space house so much more than just art; HangarBicocca is an institution. The space itself is owned by Pirelli tires and in 2004, they converted this former manufacturing city into a sprawling cultural center that not only showcases art, but offers workshops, talks, events.
Getting here used to not be so easy, but thankfully, due to the relatively new M5 Linea Lilla metro, I can get there from my apartment door to door in less than 30 minutes, that is of course, if the trains are running smoothly.
The permanent “three-year” exhibition is Anselm Kiefer’s “The Seven Heavenly Palaces” which comprises seven towers and five paintings. For the temporary exhibits, you’ll find “GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center” by Laure Prouvost (through 9 April 2017) and “Situations” by Kishio Suga, which runs through 29 January 2017. Other artists who have shown here include Marina Abramovic, Carsten Höller, Petrit Halilaj, Mike Kelly and Fausto Melotti .
The best part? Admission is free!! A rarity for Milan. A yearly membership will only set you back 30 euro a year, and includes all sorts of perks like members-only previews, tours, workshops etc as well as certain discounts on merchandise, etc. When I think of NYC museum membership prices, this seems like a steal.
HangarBicocca also has a cool bar/restaurant called Dopolavoro (after work) which helped make the institution even more appealing despite it’s way off the beaten path location. People can meet there to hang out before or after (both) viewing one of the exhibitions.
Despite there being a metro stop on the M5 (the purple line) named Bicocca, that’s not actually the stop. Stay on the train and get off at Ponale.
HangarBicocca; Via Chiese, 2; +39 02 6611 1573; website