I had the opportunity to preview the new exhibition “From Kandisky to Pollock. The Art of Guggenheim Collections”, that will soon open at Palazzo Strozzi. I was really impressed by the set-up, as well as by the selection of works.
Florence like New York
The exhibition counts more than 100 masterpieces of both European and American art from the 1920s to the 1960s. It aims to be an homage to contemporary art and culture, as well as an unique comparison between the collections of Solomon and Peggy Guggenheim.
The masterpieces are divided into 9 different halls: from Kandinsky to Pollock, passing through the room dedicated to Rothko and the large artwork by Roy Lichtenstein; from the sculptures by Laurence Vail to the mobiles by Calder hanging from the ceiling, from Paul Klee to the abstract works by de Kooning.
Actually 26 of the works of art on display were exhibited in Florence in 1949. More precisely in February 1949, when Peggy Guggenheim was traveling around Europe with her art collection and stopped in Florence. She showed her collection for the first time at Strozzina, inside Palazzo Strozzi.
The reactions in 1949 were strong and Florentine intellectuals felt quite offended by these contemporary artworks asking her to take them away from the cradle of the Renaissance. Pietro Annigoni, famous Italian painter living in Florence at that time, defined Peggy’s exhibition at Strozzina “baraccone“, Italian word for freakshow.
So having back these contemporary masterpieces is a great opportunity for Florence. As the curator Luca Massimo Barbero said “Bringing art to Florence it’s like bringing water to Venice“, i.e. it’s hard to organize something impressive in a city that has Michelangelo’s David as symbol.
What I could say it’s that stepping inside the exhibition “From Kandinsky to Pollock” is like entering the Guggenheim collection in New York in the heart of Renaissance.
The exhibition goes on from March 19th to July 24th; it opens every day from 10am to 8pm and on Thursday from 10am to 11pm. Regular ticket costs 12€ per person, but you can have concessions if you’re younger than 26 or over 65 years old or you have for example a bus ticket with you.
For more information about the tickets and hours have a look at the official website of Palazzo Strozzi here.
- Bring your children with you – Palazzo Strozzi is one of the few family friendly museums in Florence; it has activities’ backpacks and dedicated workshops.
- Go on a Thursday night – Thursday night at museum is great, because not so crowded especially if you go around dinner time.
- Take it slowly – Take your time to enjoy these masterpieces and read the explanations on the walls, since they’re well done