In the span of time between the forties and seventies, a representative –when not huge– part of the American society, along with its political, cultural and social elites, used to vehemently believe racial division was something deserving political relevance, and that there was truly a sacred predominance of one race over another.
Having spent forty years gathering dust on the hands of a private collector in Japan, the Fondazione Prada bought the artwork in order to enhance its permanent collection, and now, with this exhibition, it contributes to shed light on the work of Edward Kienholz and spouse. The outcome of this untiring and deeply creative American artist is full of controversy, with racial, politic and ultimately ethical questions defining humankind as the main elements revolving around his artistic installations. Upon facing an artwork of his for the first time, no one could ever forget it, due to the emotionally disturbing factor so present in his oeuvre, as Kienholz's partner and long-time collaborator Walter Hopps brightly stated. Five Car Stud, The Illegal Operation or even The Beanery, constitute rather remarkable works reminding how delicate and exasperating society might be whenever it comes to overthrown social conventions.