Starting in 1923, the first international exhibition of decorative arts is held in Monza’s Villa Reale, with the objective of stimulating the relationship between industry, art and society at large. Post war Italy looks to industry for an opportunity of renewed prosperity, and to creative design for the unifying element of its productions. From its very beginning, the event is geared towards a unifying idea of all forms of art and creative expression, strictly linked to social evolution and economic development.
Monza’s exhibition changes to every three years, moves to Milan and becomes an independent legal entity.
The desire to assert the unity of the arts manifested itself already in the V Triennale in 1933, with the mural paintings of great artists such as De Chirico, Sironi, Campigli and Carrà. This intense relationship between the Triennale di Milano and its artists grew in the following decades with exhibitions of the work of Fontana, Baj, Martini, Pomodoro, de Chirico, Burri and – more recently – Merz, Paolini and Pistoletto.
“I believe we are at a time in society where open and honest communication is not only necessary, but revolutionary. When governments and political systems are no longer a reference point for progress, we look to other places, such as creative institutions, to facilitate that dialogue. Our aim is to change the definition of what it is to be a cultural centre; the Triennale will be a place of reflection and debate, connected with the contemporary culture in a dynamic way that offers new point of view on topics that lie at the very core of our global society.” –Stefano Boeri, President.