100 works of contemporary art at Forte Belvedere and around the city. At the Museo Novecento, in the temporary exhibitions hall, works by Mario Merz, Alighiero Boetti and Gino De Dominicis.
Ytalia is an exhibition that offers the national and international art public the chance to meet some of the major Italian artists of our time: the project, promoted by the City of Florence and organized by Mus.e – was born in collaboration with the Musei Civici Fiorentini and the Gallerie degli Uffizi, the Opera di Santa Croce, and the Museo Marino Marini.
Upwards of one hundred works on exhibition at Forte Belvedere and at several other venues symbolic of our cultural heritage: a true multi-centre contemporary art museum in the heart of the city, indoors and out, between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, museums and gardens, funerary chapels and the spaces of political life, galleries and studioli, cloisters and crypts.
It is within this context that a number of the works will be shown at the Museo Novecento, the ‘natural’ venue for this type of exhibition.
Alighiero Boetti (Turin, 1940 – Rome, 1994)
Eclectic and cosmopolitan, Alighiero Boetti – or ‘Alighiero e Boetti’ as he signed himself from 1973 onward – debuted on the Turin art scene in the mid-1960s in the climate of experimentation surrounding the new conceptual avant-garde and Arte Povera.
In 1971, pursuing his innate interest in intellectual nomadism and in far-off cultures, he visited Afghanistan and elected Kabul as his second home. There, he began work on his Mappe series: planispheres embroidered by Afghan women, on which each nation is represented by the colours of its flag.
In the Mappe, as in the other cycles of works that accompanied his career (the compositions of letters, the Biro series, Alternando da uno a cento e viceversa . . .), Boetti developed the idea of creativity as a collective, open, process-oriented undertaking in which the artist designs the works but delegates their execution to the hands of others, who are guided by sets of rules also established by the artist. The ‘mental’ aspect remains a priority within the creative process, for which reason the majority of Boetti’s works unite formal beauty with a logical structure that is often based on a true code or a reading key.
production – which varies widely as regards materials, techniques and supports – Boetti strove to go beyond the usual categories – and he began with the concept of identity itself. From his works on the ‘double’, such as the false self portrait entitled Gemelli (1968), echoing Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘je est un autre’, through to his participative works, Boetti questioned and even undermined the idea of creative, cultural, linguistic and political unity.
Gino de Dominicis (Ancona 1947 – Rome 1998)
‘Gino de Dominicis, painter, sculptor, architect, Ancona 1947. His work is characterised by independence from the various currents in art that followed on one another after the war through to today. He exhibited his work for the first time in 1966 and then at several shows in Italy and abroad. By his own choosing, there are no catalogues or books about his work. To the photograph, he attributes no documentary value nor any value as a vehicle for publicising his works.’ (from the biographical note sent by the artist on occasion of the 1997 Venice Biennale). A complex, radical personality, de Dominicis is one of the most emblematic and mysterious figures in contemporary Italian art. He debuted in the late 1960s with works in which he combined various techniques for expression and he consistently refused to associate himself with any precise historic-artistic movement. With perturbing irony that makes use of citation and appropriation, he subtly disputed the art of his time.His research was rooted in history (as is evinced by his recovery of the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic) and he brought his reflections to bear on such existential themes as the enigma of life and death. In an ideal attempt to arrest time’s irreversibility, his works live in ambivalence, in the space between contingency and spirituality, and imbibe and play on the power of the illusion, as when they propose to achieve impossible goals: immortality, invisibility or the Tentativo di far formare dei quadrati invece che dei cerchi attorno a un sasso che cade nell’acqua (‘Attempt to form squares instead of circles around a stone falling into water’) (1971). Beginning in the 1980s, de Dominicis devoted himself entirely to painting, producing canvases dominated by hermetic figures: ‘drawing, painting, sculpture: these are not traditional forms of expression; they are primary and thus also of the future’.
Mario Merz (Milan, 1925 – Turin, 2003)
The self-taught Merz came to the art world in the 1950s, as a painter, after having abandoned his study of medicine. He produced his first installations in the 1960s and by the end of the decade was an undisputed protagonist of the Arte Povera movement, concentrating his ‘practice’ on use of natural materials and research into primal energies. He introduced to his works a great variety of materials from the natural world, of plant origin (branches, leaves, fruit, . . .), from the animal kingdom (crocodiles, iguanas, and other squamates, . . .), from everyday life (neon, umbrellas, tables, . . .) and from the realm of science (such as Fibonacci integer sequence). His early works – sculptures made with interpenetrating everyday objects – highlight, on the one hand, his ongoing interest in accumulation and dynamism; on the other, recurring themes related to nature, to physical and biological phenomena, and to space. In 1968, he built his first igloo (Igloo di Giap) with which he introduced one of the distinctive features of his practice. These works investigated the symbolic potential of the housing form – primordial, common to both Eastern and Western cultures, in equipoise between expansion and concentration – transforming it into a metaphor of relationships among nature, man and architecture. Beginning in 1970, he began incorporating the numerical series introduced to Europe by the medieval Tuscan mathematician Leonardo Pisani (Fibonacci), in his works. In the Fibonacci sequence, each number is the sum of the two preceding integers (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 , 13 and so on); it was seen by the mathematician as an alchemical relation capable of representing the processes of growth in the natural and organic world.
Info and tickets: Mon-Sun 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Thu 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; Fri 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
“YTALIA” Exhibition Tickets: Full price €4, reduced price €2; full-price exhibition + museum €10, reduced-price exhibition + museum €5; reduced price for visitors from age 18 to 25 and university students.
Special Offers: 2×1 for Unicoop Firenze members: purchasing one ticket entitles the holder to two admissions
At Forte Belvedere, showing a ticket to any of the “Ytalia” exhibition museum venues entitles the holder to a reduced-price ticket.
The Forte Belvedere ticket entitles the holder to reduced-price tickets for the Musei Civici Fiorentini (Palazzo Vecchio, Museo Novecento, Museo Stefano Bardini, Cappella Brancacci, Fondazione Salvatore Romano).
Firenze Card: all the exhibition venues are included in the Firenze Card circuit.
For full information about the exhibition, visit http://ytalia.musefirenze.it/en/