Four exhibitions at Milan’s MUDEC

Gauguin rubs shoulders with Barbie.

In an eclectic programme to delight a wide range of art and design aficionados, Milan’s newest museum MUDEC opens four very different exhibitions on 28 October, ranging from 70 masterpieces of painting and sculpture by Paul Gauguin to a celebration of the Barbie doll.

Tales from Paradise includes several Gauguin masterpieces never before seen in Italy, including his Self-Portrait with Yellow Christ, on loan from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and Day of the God from the Art Institute of Chicago. The ten zincographs of the Volpini Suite are considered one of the most striking proofs of Gauguin's artistic standing. The exhibit stays open until 21 February 2016.

A beautiful confluence celebrates the work of German artists Anni and Josef Albers, exiled by the Nazi regime and founders of a huge collection of primitive Mexican and South American arts and crafts. The exhibition explores the synergy between their collection and their own artistic production: Anni as a weaver and print maker, and Josef as a painter, print maker, teacher, writer, and maker of furniture, glass constructions, and metalwork. The exhibit closes in February 2016.

Milano Città Mondo #01 is the first in a projected series of exhibits on Milan’s various international communities, this one focussed on the Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants with a photographic exhibition by Alan Maglio and Medhin Paolo. Photographs from the early 1980s are juxtaposed with objects, documents, and first-hand accounts from the City of Milan collections that cover the ill-fated period of Italian colonialism in the Horn of Africa. This exhibit closes on 10 January 2016; the second “chapter” will be dedicated to the city’s Chinese community, but no date has yet been announced for the opening.

Barbie the icon celebrates a global icon rather than a doll, who in her 56 years of life has managed to knock down every linguistic, cultural, social, and anthropological barrier. Barbie has over the decades represented some 50 different nationalities, has had hundreds of careers: she has been to the moon, been a UNICEF Ambassador, worn 1 billion outfits equal to 980 million metres of fabric. But most importantly, Barbie has changed as the times – not just fads and fashions – have changed, always in step with the world, say the museum’s curators. This exhibit is open until 13 March 2016.

Opening times and prices are detailed on the Museo delle Culture website.