Florence in contemporanea

Art installations marry the old and new

Editorial Staff
February 11, 2010

A city in which classical and contemporary art go hand in hand, where the monuments of the past and modern installations together evoke a new, fresh artistic vocabulary.


Such a ‘marriage' of past and present is the focus of a current citywide exhibition, Alla Maniera d'oggi. Base a Firenze. Until April 11, the renowned monuments in Florence's historic city centre will be transformed by outdoor and indoor art installations, creating a special dialogue between contemporary Tuscan art and the most important locations of the Polo Museale Fiorentino.


It is said that a dialogue between classical and contemporary art has not been seen in Florence since the Renaissance era. The goal of the exhibit, organized by Prato's Luigi Pecci Contemporary Art Centre and part of the Toscanaincontemporanea 2009 initiative, is to counter the weight of the city's Renaissance heritage with extraordinary examples of contemporary art. The exhibit demonstrates how contemporary art thrives in the region despite the long shadow of Renaissance works for which it is usually venerated. The eight artists who were invited to participate in the exhibit as representatives of the region's contemporary art movement are part of the Tuscan art collective Base: Progetti per l'arte, which has been active since 1998. The organizers' charge to the artists, all of whom live and work in Tuscany, was to join the ‘old' and the ‘new' in the same viewpoint and vision.


Accordingly, in their installations, Mario Airò, Marco Bagnoli, Massimo Bartolini, Paolo Masi, Massimo Nannucci, Maurizio Nannucci, Paolo Parisi, Remo Salvadori use contemporary language to interpret Florence's famed monuments and museum spaces. Incorporating the Galleria degli Uffizi, Galleria dell'Accademia, Museo di San Marco, Cenacolo di Ognissanti, Chiostro dello Scalzo, Piazza Duomo, Palazzo Sacrati Strozzi and the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, the artists strive to create a dimension of timelessness.       


The exhibit's title pays homage to Giorgio Vasari, who in speaking about the artistic fervor and innovation of the high Renaissance in Florence in The Lives of Artists, used the phrase  ‘alla maniera d'oggi' to stress how art and artistic innovation has always been a central element in the city's identity. The artists who are represented in the exhibit likewise innovatively draw on a vast artistic tradition. Seeing the Uffizi Gallery illuminated by a message in blue neon lights will persuade even the most skeptical.


For more information, see www.centropecci.it or www.turismo.intoscana.it


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