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Inge Mahn, Snake, Swings, Caravan (2019). Wood and aluminum; environmental dimensions. Photography by t-space studio.
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Mission

Fondazione Converso is committed to fostering the dialogue of art and architecture through site-specific exhibitions, combining elements of performance, music, poetry and visual art to forge a path for new models of artistic practice.

About

Housed in the 16th-Century church of San Paolo Converso in central Milan, Converso was founded on the concept of a “total art,” coined by Allan Kaprow in “Notes on the Creation of a Total Art” (1958), where he writes: “Conscious thoughts about a total art … were modeled on earlier examples of the church.”

Converso’s program aims to disrupts the distinction between practices through art as a catalyst for conversion in its environment. A nomadic CONVERSO_OFFSITE program focusses on publishing initiatives and site-specific happenings all around the world.

Converso is a non-profit space, a true kunsthalle, and is always free and open to the public. As home to the arts for almost 500 years, San Paolo Converso’s late Renaissance and Mannerist interiors have today been reimagined as two unique exhibition spaces, establishing a context for display beyond the aesthetic paradigm of the white cube.
Ligia Lewis, minor matter (2016). Performed at Converso, Milan, on May 6, 2017. Photography by Luca Del Pia.
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Origin

Built between 1549 and 1619, the church of San Paolo Converso remained a vital place of worship in Milan for over 200 years. When it was deconsecrated by Napoleon in 1808, the church was converted into a storage facility, spending over a century cutoff from the world and forgotten. In 1932 the space was renovated into a concert hall, only to be remade once more in the 1960s as a recording studio. In 2014 Locatelli Partners rented the church for their offices, and three years later Alexander May initiated Converso as an exhibition program for the front church.

Across the church’s many lives, its one of a kind frescoes by Giulio and Antonio Campi - Caravaggio’s masters - have witnessed the space converted four-times over. Today, Creative Director Alexander May oversees all of Converso’s on and offsite programming, drawing inspiration from the building’s rich history and resuming its role as a home for artists of all media. In January of 2020, Converso officially relaunched as Fondazione Converso, certifying it as central Milan’s first non-profit space for contemporary art in all its forms.
Yngve Holen, Rosetta (Decorazione) (2018). Installation view. Photography by t-space studio.
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Visit

Piazza S. Eufemia, Milan
Thursday – Saturday
11 am – 7 pm

Board of directors

GIOVANNA CORNELIO
MASSIMILIANO LOCATELLI
ROBERTO SPADA

Board of advisors

SABINA BELLI
MARTIN HATEBUR
MICHÈLE LAMY
STEFANO RABOLLI PANSERA
DANNIEL RANGEL
RONNIE SASSOON
ALEXANDER WERZ
NINA YASHAR

Team

CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Alexander May

STRATEGIC DIRECTOR
Nick Murphy

COMMUNICATIONS + PUBLISHING
Claudio Santoro

PARTNERSHIPS + EVENTS
Nadine d’Archemont

Piazza Sant'Eufemia, 3
20122 - Milano
ITA
+3902866247 info@converso.online