Best events in Florence, March 9-15, 2017

Our top picks for the week

Mary Gray
March 9, 2017 - 10:55

SPOTLIGHT/Plautilla Nelli
Until June 4
Galleria delle Statue e delle Pitture degli Uffizi, Florence

As our cover story in this print edition indicates, Plautilla Nelli is a rarely-uttered name that’s about to become a lot more mainstream in Florence and far beyond. This self-taught suore was the first known woman artist of Renaissance Florence—her career ought to be an art history book basic, but very little has been brought to light. Until now: the trailblazer’s devotional images will be the focus of Art and Devotion in the Footsteps of Savonarola, which opened, appropriately, on International Women’s Day, and featuring works restored by the Advancing Women Artists Foundation. The show kicks off a new series of exhibitions highlighting work by women artists, and is curated by a foremost scholar on Nelli, Fausta Navarro.

LECTURE/Anthony Appiah at NYU
March 13, 6pm
Villa Sassetti, via Bolognese 120, Florence

What are the true markers of identity? Why do we love categories and resist nuance? British-born Ghanaian-American Anthony Appiah, theorist, philosopher and professor in the philosophy department of New York University, will speak on the many facets of identity – and the ample room for confusion about others' or our own – as part of the La Pietra Dialogues Equity, Diversity and Inclusion series. Booking is required; call 055.5007219 or write to [email protected]

VIDEO/Bill Viola: Electronic Renaissance

March 10-July 23
Palazzo Strozzi, piazza Strozzi, Florence

Bill Viola, The Deluge (Going Forth By Day) 2002, 36’. cm 370 x 488. Courtesy Bill Viola Studio

At the most buzzed-about show of the season, classical and contemporary interact in a way that only a place like Palazzo Strozzi could pull off. Electronic Renaissance showcases the varied video artwork of the genre’s leading man, Bill Viola. Viola’s art relies heavily on space, music and sound effects, but at its core it’s about people, chipping away at humanity’s big questions.  Expect a comprehensive overview of the artist’s prolific career, beginning with his early experimental work in the 1970s and reaching up to his 21st-century installations. The most compelling aspect of the exhibition, however, is Viola's dialogue with past masters – his works are juxtaposed with the likes of Pontormo and Paolo Uccello. Some installations will also be on display in the Baptistery and Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, with a combined ticket offered for all sections of the show.

To celebrate the exhibition's opening, the Odeon Cinema (piazza Strozzi) will host a special evening in the presence of the artist himself (9pm, March 10). Viola will introduce Jean Paul Fargier's film, Experience of the Infinite, which explores Viola's work and spirituality. Tickets are 10 euro or 8 euro for those who show their exhibition ticket.

FOOD/Taste 12

March 11-13 (Fuori di Taste: March 8-13)
Stazione Leopolda + various venues in Florence

March means the return of the Renaissance city’s premier food and lifestyle salon—Taste, put on by Pitti Immagine. Now in its twelfth edition, this year Taste is getting a healthy, vitamin-packed twist: #GetFit is the theme, with exhibitors from near and far numbering close to 400. Coffee is also creating a buzz: through a special collaboration with Tuscan brand La Marzocco, Taste will host a range of “on-the-ground” events, from book presentations and contests to talks and exhibitions. As always, beyond the jam-packed fair at the Stazione Leopolda, there’s a full calendar of Fuori di Taste events—itinerant gourmet events in pop-up venues around town. Visit Pitti Immagine's website for the full calendar and see The Florentine's highlights here.

SOUL/Macy Gray

March 14, 9pm
Obihall, via Fabrizio de’ Andre/lungarno Aldo Moro, Florence

Ph. by Larry Philpot via Wikipedia

She’s best known for her 1999 megahit “I Try,” the Grammy-winning lead single from the album On How Life Is, but don’t dismiss Macy Gray as a one-hit wonder. This soulful songstress, with her recognizably raspy voice, is a powerful performer who’s been compared to the likes of Billie Holiday. Her March concert, promoting her 2016 release Stripped, is sure to bring down the house at the Obihall—this tour marks her first jaunt in Italy in six years, and she’s only making four stops. Tickets start at 28.75 euro and are available via the Obihall's website.



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