While Palazzo Strozzi concentrates on up-to-the-minute issues with its reflective exhibition by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the Uffizi remains profoundly twentieth-century and local with a hauntingly mesmerizing exhibition focused on groundbreaking Tuscan intellectual, critic and artist Ardengo Soffici.
The donation to the Uffizi of a self-portrait of the Rignano-born artist by his heirs was the spark behind this exhibition, championed by former director Antonio Natali—Soffici was at the forefront of dusting down and shaking up Italian figurative art in the 1900s.
The exhibition titled Discoveries and Massacres. Ardengo Soffici and the avant-garde in Florence, based on Soffici’s memorable 1919 book, marks a pivotal moment between two eras: the European avant-garde and the return to order movement. In 1900 Soffici visited the Universal Exposition in Paris, which impacted greatly on the symbolic nature of his younger years. The French influence continued with an interest in the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, which led to his writing of a famous essay on Cézanne, the first study of the artist published in Italy.
Highlights of the Uffizi exhibition include Paul Cézanne’s Campagnes de Bellevue (Landscape), Pablo Picasso’s Pipe, glass, bottle of Vieux Marc (and “Lacerba”) and Ardengo Soffici’s Swimming.
After the First World War, Soffici was a transformed man and intellectual, producing his most mature masterpieces, including a still life series that reconstructs the figurative language.
The exhibition will run until January 8, 2017, and is included in the price of your entrance ticket to the Uffizi.