Author: Martin Holman

Martin Holman is a British writer and former Florence resident who returns frequently to the city. He is co-selecting an exhibition in London next year to trace the impact of Arte Povera on British artists.
May 8, 2014
LIFESTYLE

Loving the centenarian

As the Institute approaches its centenary in 2017, The Florentine meets Julia Race, director since last August, to explore the opportunities and challenges of being 100 years young in the era of online learning, virtual travel and widespread cultural tourism.   Martin Holman: You are no stranger to Italy, having
April 3, 2014
ART + CULTURE

The ties that grind?

Questions about the family as an institution regularly fill the pages of newspapers and magazines as well as the airwaves. So it is not surprising that artists around the world are participating in the debate. Inevitably, questions outweigh answers, but since the arts excel at testing theories and inverting assumptions
February 27, 2014
ART + CULTURE

Leaving his trace in time

The small, edicola-sized interior of BASE Progetti per l’Arte in via San Niccolò provides unexpected proof that ‘precious things come in small packages’. In spite of its tiny setting—or, maybe, because of it—this non-profit-making exhibition space is probably
December 12, 2013
ART + CULTURE

Florence greets its new Viola

Before being installed in the Vasari Corridor, a recent addition to the Uffizi’s unrivalled collection of artists’ self-portraits is about to go on view at San Pier Scheraggio, the former church enclosed within Palazzo Vecchio. The subject of the work is American video artist Bill Viola,
November 21, 2013
ART + CULTURE

Live in your head

Although Florence is a cultural capital with few equals on the planet, its immense historical legacy has tended to overshadow the place that contemporary art occupies in the city. Yet as recently as the 1960s and 70s, Florence was acknowledged as an avant-garde centre for visual arts and architecture
November 7, 2013
ART + CULTURE

Crossing the line

Italy is confronting the impact of migration. Although less than 9 percent of its population was born outside the country (below the average for European Union member states), immigration has risen dramatically since 2001 and poses questions about national borders as populations move in search of prosperity and security. The
June 20, 2013
ART + CULTURE

Like a journey with no exit

The 55th Venice Biennale for visual art comprises 88 national pavilions located in every part of the city, each hosting its own exhibition. At the Biennale’s centre, in the Giardini and Arsenale, is the headline exhibition, The Encyclopaedic Palace, which alone includes 158 artists. In addition, 50 shows,
May 9, 2013
ART + CULTURE

Beholder beware

Beauty is a concept not immediately associated with visual art in the modern era. Although some artists pioneered the sublime detachment of abstraction, others appeared more concerned with the turmoil, grittiness and uncertainty of existence. Indeed, many practitioners may even have regarded the pursuit of beauty as irrelevant, even irresponsible.
April 11, 2013
ART + CULTURE

Striking a balance

In the late 1960s, the modern blockbuster art exhibition arrived and changed the museum landscape. Pioneered by such major institutions as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, these ambitious shows combined the art-world equivalents of Cinemascope, Technicolor, surround sound with a touch of Barnum and Bailey promotion.
March 14, 2013
ART + CULTURE

Time up for Dali

There is no doubting Salvador Dalí’s popularity. His work continues to please, shock and titillate, generating food for thought and queues at the ticket office. The arrival of The Dalí Universe at Palazzo Medici Riccardi is welcome. As does every Dalí exhibition since the Catalan artist died in 1989, it prompts the question, How important […]