The best exhibitions of 2023 in Italy, featuring art, design, street art and pop culture: a selection made by Interni of what's unmissable in the coming months throughout the whole peninsula

The calendar of unmissable exhibitions in 2023 is very rich and, for Interni readers, continuously updated (starting from January 2023, we offer you our weekly selection, all Wednesday).

To start the year on a high note, however, we have prepared for you a selection of exhibitions that can also be visited in the first months of 2023 (starting with those that close earlier).

What you will find there is a mix of pop culture and sophistication that touches the worlds of art and design but also cinema, comics, video games and even optical illusions…

  • Milano, Triennale. Ettore Sottsass, La Parola

January 20 - April 2, 2023

This is the title of the exhibition which brings together drawings, writings and unpublished works to tell the originality of the narrative vein that has nourished the work of the architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, leader in 1981 of the Memphis Group.

From 20 January to 2 April, Ettore Sottsass. The word - curated by Marco Sammicheli - marks the third stage (after Struttura e colore and Calculation) of the monographic exhibitions that the Triennale has dedicated to the great designer born in Austria and passed away in Milan in 2007.

* Who will like it: fans of the energetic design of the 1980s who want to know more about the soul of one of its protagonists in design and architecture.


  • Turin, National Museum of Cinema, Dario Argento. The Exhibit

Until January 16, 2023

An articulated visual discourse on the imaginary developed by the Roman director in his fifty-year career. We talked about it here, interviewing the co-curator.

* Who will like it: lovers of cinema, spectacular sets, vintage and thrill

  • Florence, Palazzo Strozzi, In your time by Olafur Eliasson

Until January 22, 2023

The artist's installations, mostly made up of new productions, use the building itself, its architecture, its paths, its empty and full spaces, as an art form. To be completed with your own experience of the moment.

* Who will like it: it is an exhibition with multiple layers of reading, the high level of interaction makes it extremely usable for the art expert but also for the simple curious

We talked about it here

  • Milan, Pop Air, Balloon Museum, Superstudio Più

Until February 12, 2023

Until 12 February 2023, the exhibition dedicated to 'inflatable' art arrives with eighteen international artists and art collectives in the spaces of Superstudio, in via Tortona 27. We talked about it here

* Who will like it: lovers of 70s art and design, vintage pop and especially their children

  • Padua, Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, The Eye at stake

Until February 26, 2023

The exponents of kinetic art lead the visitors into a whirlwind of perceptions, impressions and illusions in art. Discovering the art of deception in the history of art from 1200 to today. We wrote about it here

* Who will like it: those who love to be amazed (and then understand the trick), the curious and those passionate about art and science

  • Reggio Emilia, Palazzo Magnani, Restless art

Until March 12, 2023

140 works by great interpreters of 20th century and contemporary art - from Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet to Hans Hartung and Anselm Kiefer, from Antonio Ligabue, Pietro Ghizzardi, Cesare Zavattini to Maria Lai, Alighiero Boetti , Emilio Isgrò, Carla Accardi – to investigate, as never before, 'The Restless Art'.

* Who will like it: an exhibition for lovers of the contemporary avant-garde

  • Naples, Galleries of Italy: Artemisa Gentileschi in Naples

Until March 19, 2023

Intesa Sanpaolo/Gallerie d'Italia in via Toledo opens the Artemisia Gentileschi in Naples exhibition to the public, dedicated to the painter's long stay in Naples, documented between 1630 and 1654 and interrupted only by a trip to London between 1638 and 1640. The exhibition, created in special collaboration with the National Gallery in London, will present a careful selection of works from Italian and international public and private collections.

* Who will like it: who appreciates, in addition to the beauty of Artemisia's art, also her revolutionary role as a woman artist, alone against the world

  • Milan, Steam Factory: ZEROCALCARE. After the bang

Until April 7, 2023

The great solo exhibition of ZEROCALCARE arrives at the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan: 500 original plates, videos, sketches, illustrations and a site-specific work.

* Who will like it: judging by the artist's success, even on Netflix, probably everyone...

  • Gradisca d'Isonzo (Gorizia), Luigi Spazzapan Regional Gallery of Contemporary Art: Sottsass/Spazzapan

Until April 30, 2023

There is no biography, even a short one, on Ettore Sottsass that does not mention the importance of his relationship with the painter Luigi Spazzapan. We are faced with an acquired fact, accepted by all, underlined by Sottsass himself in his autobiographical writings, but never - until this exhibition-investigation - fully documented. The exhibition is one of those occasions not to be missed for all those who study or simply appreciate the two masters, very different in origin, training and destiny. Yet closely linked by a fundamental moment of tangency.

* Who will like it: design lovers who all more or less openly adore the creator from Memphis

  • Bologna, Palazzo Albergati: Jago, Banksy, TvBoy and other counter-current stories

Until May 7, 2023

An exhibition that revolves around the three artists who have caused the most discussion in recent years. An event that tells some of the most extreme and transgressive stories of Italian and international public art, through the dialogue between the mysterious English artist and the most influential Italian artists of the moment, but also by presenting those who are with works that are the new horizons of figurative culture .

* Who will like it: new street art enthusiasts (for the real hard core of the subject, suburban tunnels are better)

Milan, Palazzo Reale: Relationships

Until January 29, 2023

25 years after the last Milanese exhibition dedicated to Richard Avedon, Palazzo Reale celebrates the great New York photographer through a selection of 100 images, including fashion shots and portraits of celebrities from politics and culture, which highlight all the strength of his innovative language, also thanks to the installation by the Center for Creative Photography of the University of Tucson, Arizona. So here are the models immortalized on the street, outside the studio, in poses that redefine the canons of beauty and elegance, and the portraits with their mix of formal composure and lightness.

*Who will like it: Those who miss the magnetic charm of iconic characters such as Audrey Hepburn or Truman Capote and fans of the glamor of the 80s and 90s.

Milan, Palazzo Reale: Max Ernst

Until February 26, 2023

The first Italian retrospective dedicated to Max Ernst is an impressive journey through 400 works, including collages, paintings, sculptures and drawings, by one of the main protagonists of surrealism. A path organized into nine thematic macro-areas which, without following a chronological order, give visitors an authentic immersion - between dream and reality - in the visionary interiority of the German artist and poet.

*Who will like it: Who wants to compare the better known surrealism of Salvador Dalì with the lesser known one of Ernst. But also to creatives who make freedom of thought their only rule.

Milan, Fondazione Prada: Recycling Beauty

Until February 27, 2023

Who said that the "classic" is to be considered only as a legacy of the past? With this major exhibition curated by Rem Koolhass and Salvatore Settis, Fondazione Prada stages the ancient as if it were contemporary art. And it brings the highly topical theme of recycling also to the art world through 64 works including bronze and marble sculptures, ivories, gems and drawings that tell of the many reuses that classical art has undergone over the course of later periods . An exhibition on the mysterious paths of art and beauty.

*Who will like it: those who want to see up close the different reuses and reconstructions that have been made over the centuries of the fragments of the most important works of antiquity.

Milan, ADI Design Museum: 50 years of Cisitalia at the MoMA. The genes of the automobile in industrial design

Until January 15, 2023

Alongside the permanent exhibitions such as The spoon and the city, dedicated to the projects that have won the Compasso d'Oro over the years, there is time until January 15 to visit the exhibition dedicated to the fiftieth anniversary of an Italian success, that of the Cisitalia 202, self-masterpiece of technology and creativity created in 1946, an absolute innovation in American car culture due to its small size and almost complete absence of chrome and, since 1972, in the permanent collection of the MoMA. On display, a red Cisitalia 202 inserted in an installation that evokes the atmosphere of the MoMA in the 1970s, thanks to the collaboration of Paul Galloway, curator of the MoMA.

*Who will like it: Who, looking at it, sees not only a car but an archetype of modern style, engineering and Made in Italy craftsmanship. And to all fans of iconic cars.

Milan, ADI Design Museum: Tribute to Michele Provinciali

Until February 12, 2023

Curated by Susanna Vallebona, this exhibition is an opportunity to discover (or review) the work of Michele Provinciali, one of the central figures in the history of graphics and design, a collaborator of the greatest architects and major companies. On display are the covers and layouts of some of the most important magazines of Italian design, from Stileindustria to Domus, from Linea Grafica to Architettura where he worked as art director and some of his famous three-dimensional objects, representative of his ability to discover poetry images even in small things.

*Who will like it: Who, even behind a simple bottle cap, knows how to see (like Provinciali) the "poetry of small common things".

Milan, ADI Design Museum: Energy. Design for evolving scenarios

From 25 January to 12 February 2023

The 2023 calendar of the ADI Design Museum opens on January 25 with a look to the future, the one offered by the exhibition Design for Evolving Scenarios, curated by the students of the Product Service System Design master's degree at the Milan Polytechnic. A breath of fresh air and an opportunity to learn more about the technologies, trends and solutions useful to the designer who increasingly has to deal with saving resources and respecting the environment.

*Who will like it: those who want to push their gaze a little further. And to industrial design enthusiasts.

Milan, Palazzo of the Triennale: 10 Italian architectures

From December 22nd to January 29th

Curated by Matteo Ghidoni, Enrico Molteni and Vittorio Pizzigoni, "10 architectures" exhibits the 1:5 scale models of the projects (completed or under construction) of ten Italian architecture studios directed by professionals under the age of 40. A breath of fresh air, therefore, and a journey through ten maquettes which, instead of showing the entire project, reveal only the details: corners, junctions, stairs, pieces of portals or walls of three villas, a hospitality centre, a theatre, a gallery, a shop, a portal, a loggia and a public garden.

* Who will like it: those who love architecture more than drawing compared to physical construction.

Milan, Mudec:  Dal, Magritte, Man Ray and Surrealism. Masterpieces from the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam

From March 22, 2023 to July 30

An exhibition in which the unique and world-famous surrealist art collection of the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum dialogues with some masterpieces from the Mudec Permanent Collection. Curated by Els Hoek and Alessandro Nigro, the exhibition is a journey through 180 works including paintings, sculptures, drawings, documents, artifacts, which analyze the complex and refined relationship between Surrealism and non-Western cultures. And it does so through the most diverse artistic fields: paintings, works on paper, publications, objects and sculptures.

* Who will like it: Who wants to immerse themselves totally in the art and thought of the greats of surrealism

Milan, Mudec: Rainbow. Colors and enchantment between arts, myths and science

From February 16, 2023 to July 2

Within a new vision of the Museum of Cultures, increasingly focused on anthropological themes and on the narration of visions of art thanks to the languages of the contemporary, a project in collaboration with the Public Art Office, the Museum of Natural History and the Planetarium from Milan. The heart of the project is the exhibition "Rainbow: colors and enchantment between arts, myths and science" curated by Katya Inozemtseva. With a site-specific installation by the artist Cory Arcangel that will allow an immersion in the colors of the rainbow, the exhibition continues with an installation by Studio Grace. The exhibited pieces, coming from the museum's collections as well as the result of international loans, allow you to explore the multiple meanings of the rainbow and to know its origin and reflections in contemporary culture.

* Who will like it: who loved Cromorama by Riccardo Falcinelli. And to those who understand that a color is not just "a colour".

Milan, Mudec: Zanele Muholi. A Visual Activist

From March 30, 2023 to July 30

One of the most interesting voices of Visual Activism, after numerous international awards and recognitions, including the Lucie Award, Chevalier des Arts et Des lettres and the ICP Infinity Award, arrives in Milan with an exhibition curated by Biba Gacchetti. Zanele Muholi, South African artist and photographer, who has always been committed to the LGBTQI cause, is known throughout the world for her struggle for visibility and the affirmation of lesbian identity in her country. To be discovered in the PHOTO section of the Mudec together with the poignant beauty of her photographs, a series of self-portraits of social protest.

* Who will like it: Those who love the new languages of photography. And to the younger generations who, as never before, are sensitive to the great issues of inclusion.

The exhibitions not to be missed in 2023 at the Triennale di Milano