The Tuscan town of Carrara is famous for its marble, white and veined with grey, known around the world. Aside from being considered a major plus in American bathrooms, the area was recognized by Renaissance sculptors like Michelangelo, who came here personally to excavate blocks for important commissions. You can still visit some marble quarries like Henraux, who has established a Foundation for contemporary art. And contemporary art is also protagonist during Marble Weeks in Carrara each summer. A series of shows were open from June 27 to August 3, 2014, but some continue through to the start September, making this a good destination if you’re spending some time on the Versilia coast this Ferragosto.
Of the exhibits open through Septmeber 7, 2014, is a photography exhibit dedicated to “Lo Spazio del Marmo. Viaggio nei Luoghi di Michelangelo” by Massimo Siragusa at Carrara, CAP-Centro Arti Plastiche (Via Canal del Rio). On occasion of this year’s 450th anniversary celebrations of the death of Michelangelo, the city commissioned these 21 large scale photographs, looking for the “ineffabile potenza evocativa” – that je ne sais quoi – of the locations that inspired the famous artist.
Another exhibit at CAP is “A sculpir qui cose divine” under the artistic direction of contemporary artist Luciano Massari. The display gesso models of important Pietàs and other works by Michelangelo, alongside graphics and photographs, is also a comment on the critical fortune of these copies, once truly valued as items of study for art students, now less respected – a topic that Victor Coonin addresses in his book about Michelangelo’s David called “From Marble to Flesh“.
Other parts of Marble Weeks can be found around town, and not all are Michelangeloesque – in fact, architecture and design are other “sectors” of this show. From modern benches to huge pots, the integration of the contemporary within this town and its landscape is so marvelous one wishes it lasted all year long!
Read more about what to do in Carrara by Valentina Dainelli on her blog Too Much Tuscany – Valentina is the author of most of the photos in this post, which she kindly took just for me because I was not able to see the works in person. My friend Georgette also toured the area and wrote 9 reasons to visit Carrara, so it looks like I’ve got some serious sight-seeing to plan.
For more information about Marble Weeks see www.marbleweeks.it