The gallery was born in Milan in 2006 and immediately matched the neighborhood spirit where it is located. In fact the Ventura-Lambrate district is known for its creative fervor: starting with the big and important factories that shaped the area – in terms of urban planning – throughout the first half of the twentieth century, up to the blooming appearance of workshops, craftsmen and design studios which contributed to make the creative flair the true soul of this area, located in the north-east of the city.
The title of the first exhibition presented by Francesca Minini has been C’était un rendez-vous. A meeting. An appointment with the neighborhood and its history, on that occasion the young artist Riccardo Previdi presented his work as a sort of display for productions by Italian directors, musicians, architects and designers of the previous century.
The initial period of activity, marked by other exhibitions of young Italian artists (Paolo Chiasera, Gabriele Picco, Alessandro Ceresoli), is crowned by a site-specific project by two characters belonging to different generations: the young Belgian Jan De Cock (1976) and the French master Daniel Buren (1938). The intervention completely reconsidered the gallery and its spaces, extended to the facade of the building and the courtyard nearby. From this moment the research of the gallery activity developed, starting from emerging Italian artists to international ones with the aim to elaborate a program that put them in relation with the great names of the previous generation, through a gaze that transversally crosses architecture, space and environment.
Later Francesca Minini, while continuing developing projects with the represented artists, kept her research by looking at new names, such as Deborah Ligorio and Francesco Simeti, who in 2008 covered the entire external facade with a large wall drawing. Quickly the investigation went beyond national borders through collaborations with artists from northern Europe (the danish Simon Dybbroe Møller and, from Germany, with Armin Boehm and Matthias Bitzer, who created a lightbox that is permanently placed on the façade of the building), from Africa with Ghada Amer, from Asia with Ali Kazma and from South America with two group exhibitions (OPINIONE LATINA | 1 and OPINIONE LATINA | 2).
Meanwhile Dan Graham presented his glass structures conceived especially for the gallery spaces and numerous group exhibitions (DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING, VENTI PAZZI, AN INCOMPLETE HISTORY OF INCOMPLETE WORKS OF ART, DIZIONARIO DI PITTURA) and solo exhibitions (Kutlug Ataman, Mandla Reuter, Becky Beasley, Giulio Frigo, Alice Ronchi, Flavio Favelli) took place.
In 2016 Francesca Minini celebrated her tenth anniversary by launching a renewed program through first-time collaborations with Armando Andrade Tudela, Landon Metz, Runo Lagomarsino and Elena Damiani. At the end of 2018 a major exhibition opened dedicated to Carla Accardi together with Galleria Massimo Minini in Brescia and in the following months two other exhibitions of established artists were presented, Dan Graham and Robert Barry, who created a permanent installation on the windows of the offices. Finally, in the same period, new connections blossomed: with the photographer Jacopo Benassi and a little later with Daniel De Paula, from Brazil.
In 2020 another major exhibition conceived between the two galleries in Milan and Brescia was presented: sculpting the void, a solo show by Yona Friedman conceived to reveal the creative process of the great Hungarian-naturalized French artist and architect through a reconstruction of his studio-flat in Paris.
In recent years, other great artists, such as Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Sheila Hicks, have chosen the walls of Massimiano 25 to present their works, while many of the figures who continued to collaborate periodically have consolidated their relationship with the gallery.
In 2022 Francesca Minini welcomed four young artists (Ivana Bašić, Benni Bosetto, Ambra Castagnetti and Fin Simonetti) with a group show titled second best scenario, an exhibition that tells a story whose plots can be infinite, which allows the gallery to return to being a place of refuge capable of imagining and shaping the future.