A few days ago, in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, a futuristic rocket 15 meters tall was installed on a fluorescent blue ‘launch pad’, pointing towards the sky and evoking in spectators the hope of salvation towards new worlds and, at the same time, inviting us to broaden our vision. This is Gonogo by the Polish artist Goshka Macuga, which welcomes visitors to ‘Reaching for the Stars’, open until June 18. From Maurizio Cattelan to Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, the exhibition celebrates the modern stars of the world of art through over 70 works by the biggest Italian and international contemporary artists
From Maurizio Cattelan to Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, an exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi celebrates the modern stars of the world of art through over 70 works by the biggest Italian and international contemporary artists
“An intergalactic journey,” says Arturo Galansino, General Manager of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation and curator of the exhibition (text from the catalog), “in the cosmos of art; a long and complex itinerary through key contemporary events and figures: the stars that show us the way. And it is precisely the star that is the symbol of this collection created by Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, whose thirtieth anniversary is celebrated in this exhibition: from the first acquisitions in roaring London in the early 1990s to the latest commissions from emerging artists in the 2020s.
Palazzo Strozzi, with its hundreds of years of history of patronage and collecting, is certainly the ideal place to celebrate this important anniversary.” The exhibition features various famous works, such as – sticking with Italian artists – Maurizio Cattelan, with Bidibidobidiboo (1996) or the bear by Paola Pivi, Have you seen me before? (2008), and represents the tastes and choices of one of the most famous Italian art collectors, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.
The exhibition brings together fundamental works such as 1000 Names (1983) by Anish Kapoor or Love Is Great (1994) by Damien Hirst, together with a wide selection of works by Maurizio Cattelan, of central importance in the exploration of Italian art in the 1990s and 2000s, together with, among others, Paola Pivi and Lara Favaretto. Different thematic areas unfold in parallel, such as the famous series Untitled Film Still (1978-1980) by Cindy Sherman, which provides a social and political reflection on the theme of identity, compared to works by Shirin Neshat, the screen printed Untitled (Not ugly enough) (1997) by Barbara Kruger or the sculpture in organic materials Self-Portrait (1993) by Pawel Althamer. The investigation into sculpture is expanded with the great works of Andra Ursuţa, Adrián Villar Rojas, Berlinde De Bruyckere and Mark Manders, whose pieces investigate the body and the figure through deconstruction and recomposition.
The exhibition brings together fundamental works such as 1000 Names (1983) by Anish Kapoor or Love Is Great (1994) by Damien Hirst, together with a wide selection of works by Maurizio Cattelan
This is echoed by the exploration of pictorial research through paintings by artists including Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Sanya Kantarovsky, Michael Armitage, Cecily Brown and Avery Singer, testifying to the enduring vitality of this medium, from figuration to abstraction, especially in the younger generations.
“This exhibition,” said Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President of the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation,” is an opportunity to retrace the paths of contemporary art in recent decades, creating a lively dialog with the ancient architecture and with the visiting public. This exhibition, which begins in the splendid open courtyard, reflects the value of sharing that has always been the hallmark of my collection and is in full harmony with the guiding principles of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation, led with great professionalism by Arturo Galansino, in favor of the participation and accessibility of culture.” The tour ends with a large section dedicated to video art, with poster works by artists including William Kentridge, with History of Main Complaint (1996), Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, with the famous video installation Zidane. A 21st Century Portrait (2005) and Ragnar Kjartansson with The End – Rocky Mountains (2009).
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