Tag Archives: Forte Belvedere

Gong by Eliseo Mattiacci

Gong, Eliseo Mattiacci at Forte di Belvedere

FLORENCE, ITALY – Following the celebrated monographic retrospective exhibitions of Giuseppe Penone, Antony Gormley and Jan Fabre, and of the collective Ytalia, this year the battlements and the villa of Forte di Belvedere in Florence are hosting Gong, an imposing retrospective exhibition dedicated to Eliseo Mattiacci (Cagli, 1940).

Mattiacci is one of contemporary art’s major protagonists, included among the pioneers of Italian avant-garde of the late Sixties, craftsman of experimentation and renewal in sculpture, inspired inventor of cosmological iconographies and of new spatial and conceptual relationships between art and nature, between man and the environment.

A monumental presentation of twenty sculptures exhibited outside the fort and within the villa, in addition to an extensive collection of drawings, about eighty, which, for the first time ever, allow the public to admire the always supreme graphic activity of Mattiacci.

It is an almost shamanic exercise, aimed at exploring the sublime of the cosmos, the orbits of the planets and stars, the rhythms and geometries that belong to the infinite universe, so as to draw stellar maps that today, just like millions of years ago, also function in symbolic, ritualistic terms.

From his earliest works, iron sculptures that are actual assemblies of a new, as yet unseen archaism, Mattiacci has understood how to blend and reunite gestures that are human and those of the metaphysical imagination with the unfathomable nature of life in the universe and with the immeasurable energy of matter and among the stars, with the cosmic cycle of life and death, that of being and nothingness, the forces that are visible and those not still invisible in space and time, such as magnetic attraction and gravity.

“I feel attracted by the sky with its stars and planets and all that lies beyond, by our galaxies, it’s an imagination that goes beyond, as if it seeks challenging imagination itself, as if in a dream. I would like to launch one of my sculptures into orbit in outer space. It would truly be a magnificent dream to know that one of my spatial shapes is orbiting out there,” stated Mattiacci, to whom personal exhibitions have been held in various museums and foundations around the world, including the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, the Kunstforum Stadtische Galerie in Munich, the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, the Institut Culturel Italien in Paris, the Fondazione Prada in Milan, the Museion in Bolzano, the Fattoria di Celle – Gori Collection in Pistoia, the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles and Toronto and the MART – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto.

Located within the interior spaces of the Fortress, important historical works such as the Tubo (Tube) (1967)  can be found. This work, measuring approximately sixty metres of extension, will be presented along with – for the first time since the exhibition at the Galleria L’Attico in Rome –  the Installation Recupero di un mito (Recovery of a Myth) (1975), as will also be found the sound installation Echi di suoni e cani che abbaiano (Echoes of sounds and dogs barking) (1983).

Also exhibited will be the early works such as Scultura lunatica (Lunatic sculpture) of 1962. Regarding the most recent works, an entire room will host the installation with the planets in aluminium on the layered surface in lead pellets La mia idea del cosmo (My idea of the cosmos) (2001), while the large propellers in aluminium of Dinamica Verticale (Vertical Dynamic) (2013) will dominate the spaces on the ground floor.

Continuing on the first floor, the public will intercept a sequence of rooms dedicated entirely to drawing, a true “exhibition within the exhibition” that will systematically examine the dense seasons of this constant and yet so little probed practice of the work of Mattiacci.

Drawings will be exhibited that evoke the atmosphere of the performance of the Seventies, the cycle Predisporsi ad un capolavoro cosmico-astronomico (Preparing yourself for a cosmic-astronomical masterpiece) of 1980-1981, the frottages on metal of the Campi magnetici (Magnetic fields), the Cosmogonies, up to the recent Corpi Celesti (Celestial Bodies) of 2005-2015.

Upon leaving the villa, in the large terraced gardens of Forte di Belvedere, one finds the large works of corten steel of cosmic astronomical inspiration, with one side oriented toward the great Renaissance construction site which is the city of Florence, and the other side directed toward the hills that host the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, not far from the final residence of Galileo Galilei.

Making  use of the generous loans from public and private collections, in this system of spatial references the works will be arranged starting from the end of the Eighties up until the most recent years, such as the two totems Verso il cielo (Toward the sky) (1987), Equilibri precari (Precarious equilibria) quasi impossibile (almost impossible) (1991), Segno australe – Croce del Sud (Southern Sign – Southern Cross) (1991), Gong (1993), Vie de cielo (Sky roads) (1995), the disks of Ordine cosmico (Cosmic order) (1995-96), Totem con nuvola (Totem with cloud) (1996), and the as yet unseen Scultura che guarda (Sculpture that watches) (1997-2013).

The exhibition is made possible thanks to the fundamental support of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena – main sponsor of the event – and thanks to the sponsorship of Carpisa, to the technical sponsorship of Forma and with the support of Galleria Poggiali.LAST ENTRANCE AT 7.00PM. CLOSED ON MONDAYS.

Gong exhibit – Forte Belvedere – Open until October 14, 2018. Admission: 2 Euros.

Contemporary art at the Forte Belvedere

Contemporary works of art at Forte di Belvedere

Over one hundred works, exhibited at Forte di Belvedere, Florence, and in some of the  symbolic places of our heritage.

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The exhibition, entitled Jan Fabre. Spiritual Guards in Florence, Italy

Florence to host Jan Fabre’ Spiritual Guards

FLORENCE, ITALY – The Forte Belvedere in Florence is getting set to host this year’s edition of its annual fixture with great art.  Following the two international exhibitions showcasing the art of Giuseppe Penone and Antony Gormley, the former Medici fortress’ bastions this year will be hosting the works of Jan Fabre, one of the most innovative and important figures on the contemporary art scene.  Fabre, who born in Antwerp in 1958, lets his imagination run riot in the very different spheres of sculpture, drawing and installation, performance art, film and the theatre.

The exhibition, entitled Jan Fabre. Spiritual Guards, promoted by the Comune di Firenze, will pan out between the Forte Belvedere, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria.

In fact, it will be one of the most complex and multifaceted exhibitions that this Flemish artist and author has ever produced in any public space in Italy. For the very first time, a living artist will be expounding his art in three venues of outstanding historical and artistic importance at once.

Roughly one hundred of Fabre’s works dating from 1978 to 2016 will be on display, including bronze and wax sculptures, performance films and works made of wing cases of the jewel scarab.  Fabre will also be presenting two new works specifically devised and produced for this occasion.

The premiere is going to be an event of outstanding visual impact with strong symbolic connotations:  on the morning of April 15, 2016, two of Fabre’s bronze sculptures will be – temporarily – joining the open-air museum that is Piazza Signoria.

One of them, an exceptionally large work entitled Searching for Utopia, will interact with the equestrian monument to Grand Duke Cosimo I, a Renaissance masterpiece by Giambologna, while the second, called The man who measures the clouds (American version, 18 years older), will stand proudly on the Arengario outside Palazzo Vecchio between the copies of Michelangelo’s David and Donatello’s Judith.  In both works observers will be able to identify the artist’s own features in his dual capacity as knight and guardian, as a mediator between heaven and earth, between natural and spiritual forces.

Against art that placed itself in the service of political and financial power – the art of Piazza della Signoria with its marble giants (the David, Hercules and Neptune) and its biblical, mythological and local figures (Judith, Perseus and the Marzocco Lion of Florence) – Jan Fabre pits an art seeking to depict and to embody the power of the imagination, the mission of the artist as “spiritual guard”.  And he does this in a square designed and used since the Renaissance as a figurative agora` and stage setting, a square which has become an iconic paradigm of the relationship between art and the public space, and in which the symbolic and spectacular function of the modern monument has been configured in exemplary language.

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Also starting April 15, 2016, Palazzo Vecchio will be hosting a series of sculptures interacting with the frescoes and artefacts housed in some of the rooms open to the public, particularly the Quartiere di Eleonora, the Sala dell’Udienza and the Sala dei Gigli.

The works on display will include a huge globe 2.5 metres in diameter and totally clad in iridescent beetle wing cases, its shape and size interacting to perfection with the celebrated globe in the Sala delle Mappe geografiche, made by Ignazio Danti in the 16th century.

The following month will see the inauguration of the exhibition at the Forte Belvedere, on May 14, 2016, where the bastions and the villa will be showcasing about sixty works of art in bronze and in wax, along with a series of films focusing on some of the artist’s historic performances.

In the course of his long career which began in the 1970s, Fabre has a long history of interaction with Florence, where his work has been shown in many collective exhibitions and where he has also brought several of his productions for the theatre.  Two of his bronze busts from the Chapters series, in which he portrays himself with astonishing horns and donkey’s ears, joined the Uffizi collections in 2012, while he received the Michelangelo Award for sculpture in the second edition of the Settimana Michelangiolesca in 2015.

Jan Fabre. Spiritual Guards
Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio, April 15, 2016 – October 2, 2016
Forte Belvedere, May 14, 2016 – October 2, 2016.

Kym Kardashian and Kenye West

Kim and Kanye to wed at Florence’s Forte Belvedere

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are planning to wedding in Florence, Italy.

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Folon’s desire to be in Florence has come true

Folon in FlorenceThe exhibition of Folon’s works at Forte Belvedere was memorable. That was back in 2005. Now Folon has returned to Florence after his premature death in the month of October of that year. Folon’s desire to be somehow present in Florence has come true thanks to his widow, Paola Ghiringhelli, who has decided to donate ten of her husband’s bronze sculptures and two plaster ones to the Municipality of Florence.

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