If you are in Florence for Pitti and Fashion don’t miss a visit to Bill Viola’s exhibition.
The Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi is introducing the Florentine public to Bill Viola with a significant exhibition celebrating this unchallenged master of video art, presenting works that span his long career, and which resonate with the architecture of Palazzo Strozzi. In order to create a unique experience, the show is highligting the relationship with masterpieces of the Renaissance, such as Pontormo, Masolino da Panicale, Paolo Uccello and Lukas Cranach.
Curated by Arturo Galansino, director of Palazzo Strozzi, and Kira Perov, executive director of Bill Viola Studio, “Electronic Renaissance” reviews a career invariably marked by a combination of technological research and aesthetic reflection. It includes works from his early experiments with video in the 1970s, right up to the large installations of the 2010s.
Viola observes mankind itself; people, bodies and faces are the leading players in his works, with their poetic and strongly symbolic style in which man is called on to interact with such forces and opposing energies of nature as water and fire, light and dark, the cycle of life and the cycle of death and rebirth.
In a totally unprecedented layout, the exhibition uses the Renaissance context of Palazzo Strozzi to fuel an extraordinary dialogue between the classic and the contemporary through the juxtaposition of Viola’s work and masterpieces by great artists of the past that have served as sources of inspiration for this American artist and marked the development of his style.
This exhibition of Bill Viola’s art in Palazzo Strozzi, in an environment that includes both the Piano Nobile and the Strozzina, also means celebrating the special relationship that the artist has always had with the city of Florence. It was in this city that he continued to develop his career as a video artist when he was technical director of art/tapes/22, a centre for the production and documentation of video, from 1974 to 1976. As the artist has stated: “I am so happy to be returning to my Italian roots and to have this amazing opportunity to repay my debt to the great city of Florence with an offering of my work. Living and working in Florence in the 1970s, I never thought I would have the honour to show in such a distinguished institution as the Palazzo Strozzi.”.
Till 23rd of July 2017 at Palazzo Strozzi (palazzostrozzi.org)