A number of people have been asking me, already a few months ago, what exhibits would be on in Florence in Tuscany this Fall, 2017. It’s always hard to find a complete list so I do my best to gather information for you about the major exhibitions in museums and some of the most important galleries. This is by all means not a complete list – both because it’s a personal selection, and because full information for the season ahead generally is not provided by museum organizers.
Il Rinascimento Giapponese. La natura nei dipinti su paravento dal XV al XVII secolo
Aula Magliabechiana, Uffizi
3 ottobre 2017 – 7 gennaio 2018
This exhibit provides a point of comparison to the Italian Renaissance art that surrounds us here: it’s a survey of Japanese art from the 15th and 16th centuries. Consisting primarily of works on paper, the pieces will be rotated to ensure their preservation. Many are not even regularly displayed in Japan, making it all the more special that they have been chosen to travel. I haven’t seen the show yet, though I recall really enjoying the 2012 exhibit on Japonism in Tuscany. It’s certainly something different!
Urs Fischer in Florence
Piazza della Signoria
September 22 2017 – Jan 21 2018
Few passersby and zero Florentines will fail to comment on the massive sculpture called Big Clay #4 by Urs Fischer that has found its way into Florence’s main piazza this season. The general opinion is that it looks like a lump of crap. Let’s remember that people didn’t have anything good to say about Jeff Koons’ work in the same location, and that Florentines are generally not very open to change, or artistic intrusion in quasi-sacred locations. That said, personally, I don’t think this is a very attractive sculpture. Sergio Risaliti, who advises the city on contemporary art, encourages us to “go beyond its first impact”, reminding us that the award-winning artist combines monumental with burlesque in a way that is perfect for that “theatre” that is this piazza. You go, and then tell me what you think.
Ready for a slightly ironic news update? There were two other sculptures that were part of this exhibit, wax ones on the ringhiera representing human figures, that had a small light inside them, designed hence to self-destruct by the end of the show in January. A few days ago, one of the two collapsed, in a gross mis-calculation of melting times. The carcass and the other work have been removed, but the big poo remains.
The Cinquecento in Florence
September 21 2017 to January 21 2018
This scholarly exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi intends to debunk “countless clichés [about the period] according to which, after the magnificent era of early 16th-century Florence, the city was destined for a languid and sterile autumn.” With a spectacular comparison of three masterpieces by the period’s most important artists – Rosso Fiorentino’s Deposition from the Cross from Volterra (1521), Pontormo’s Santa Felicita Deposition (1525–8) [just restored – read my analysis] and Bronzino’s Deposition of Christ from Besançon (c. 1543–5) – the exhibit is worth going to even just for this. Read my full review of the show.
Lloyd. Paesaggi toscani del Novecento
Villa Bardini, costa San Giorgio 2 + via dei Bardi 1r, Florence
Until January 7, 2018
Llewelyn Lloyd, the son of a Welsh merchant, born at the end of the 19th century became an important member of the post-Macchiaioli movement. His work gets a retrospective at Villa Bardini, a museum I always like to visit for its uncrowded, calm atmosphere and the annexed gardens. See a slideshow of the exhibition on The Florentine.
The King of Spain’s Grandchildren
Sala delle Nicchie, Palazzo Pitti, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Firenze
September 19 2017 – Jan 7 2018
The exhibit has been constructed around a new acquisition by the gallery, a painting by Anton Raphael Mengs representing
Ferdinando e Maria Anna, due dei figli di Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena arciduca d’Austria e di Toscana e di Maria Luisa di Borbone, vestiti in abito contemporaneo
Legati da una cintola
September 8 2017 – Feb 25 2018
Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Piazza del Comune, Prato
Prato’s big show this autumn celebrates the city’s most important relic, the sacred girdle of the Virgin Mary, which brought a lot of wealth and decoration to its Cathedral. The feat in this exhibition has been to reunite elements of an altarpiece by Bernardo Daddi showing the Assumption of Mary. There’s a good review by my colleague Samantha at The Florentine so I won’t write more here!
Made in America: Le mille luci di New York
November 18 2017 to January 27, 2018
Prato, Galleria Open Art (viale della Repubblica 24)
Feeling a little homesick for the USA? This exhibit shows 30 works of artists who have shown at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York – important modern and abstract-expressionist artists of the 1950s. This show appeals to me as something a bit different, some big, colourful works from a period I like a lot. Free [for info: Tel. 0574.538003; firstname.lastname@example.org]
Soffici e Rosai. Realismo sintetico e colpi di realtà
Museo Soffici e del ’900 italiano / Scuderie Medicee, Poggio a Caiano (PO)
7 ottobre 2017 – 7 gennaio 2018
Con Ardengo Soffici e Ottone Rosai siamo nel cuore pulsante del ventesimo secolo, epoca di eventi
tragici e drammatici cambiamenti nella quale i due artisti, ciascuno a suo modo, influirono sul percorso
culturale del nostro Paese con un forte impulso di idee e di stile.
Santa Maria della Scala
October 22, 2017 to January 21, 2018
Lorenzetti may be the most famous artist in Siena due to his frescoes in that city’s Palazzo Pubblico, but he’s still not a household name in most cases. With loans from the Louvre, National Gallery and others, this rich exhibit brings many of the panel paintings back to their original home of Siena – most were made, originally, for its churches.
Escher, oltre il possibile
October 13 to January 28, 2018
Pisa, Palazzo Blu
The unmistakeable, dizzying works of the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher are displayed, with multimedia elements, in Pisa’s Palazzo Blu. The exhibit will be divided into nine thematic sections: faces, animals, objects and reflections, geometry and rhythm, landscapes, the artist, fantastical architecture, self-portraits.