Where and when
After being the protagonist of the Florence Art Week with the Water Spell project, Emiliano Maggi (Rome, 1977) returns to Florence with the solo exhibition Songs and Spells (December 2, 2022 – March 13, 2023), an exhibition curated by Caroline Corbetta conceived for rooms of the Stefano Bardini Museum.
Museo Stefano Bardini
Friday – Monday
Last episode of his project for the city of Florence – launched last September with the performance Water Spell, which saw the artist go up the Arno aboard a boat accompanied by the musicians of the Florentine Historical Procession, followed by the creation of the prizes for RINASCIMENTO+, international acknowledgment of patronage and contemporary art collecting – the exhibition presents itself as an evocative journey through the stratification of eras, styles and objects within the rooms of the Bardini Museum.
With Songs and Spells the artist establishes a connection with the synthetic stratification of eras and styles of the Florentine museum. More than twenty ceramic sculptures created by Maggi from 2018 to today, with different shapes and finishes, now opaque now very shiny, and a small series of new paintings, make up an exhibition itinerary centered on the theme of metamorphosis where each subject is captured in a moment of transformation. Busts whose features seem on the verge of liquefying or recomposing under the effect of a spell, anatomical parts in which animal elements are grafted, but also object-sculptures through which the human presence is evoked like the echo of a song.
“Working with a historical-artistic heritage such as that of the Bardini Museum represents, for the artist but also for the curator, a unique opportunity for exchange with tradition, between affinity and discontinuity, which contextualizes today’s art and updates that of the past” declares Caroline Corbetta, curator of the exhibition. “Emiliano Maggi claims the power of the imagination to reactivate the past by connecting it with the present, giving rise to a generative artistic synthesis. The hybridization implemented by the artist is not only chronological and stylistic: the enchanted creatures, without defined gender and species, which he shaped and painted allude to an imaginative harmony between man and nature“.
As on previous occasions, Maggi sinks his hands into the city’s past, into its artistic heritage, to shape new myths, this time in an exceptional place: the headquarters of the Florentine antiquarian and connoisseur Stefano Bardini’s collection, known as the “Prince of antique dealers”, whose centenary of his death is being celebrated this year.
Visual artist and musician, performer, painter and sculptor, Maggi stages a continuous show where shreds of popular legends, horror films, erotic literature and romantic poetry are grafted onto each other creating a hybrid and changeable aesthetic landscape, magical and lugubrious together. His works are the result of an intuitive relationship with a multiplicity of techniques and languages: from sculpture to performance, from painting to music and dance.
Born in Rome in 1977, he explores the constitution and disintegration of the self through works which, expanding the range of figurative representation, evoke abstract regions beyond the realm of recognizability. A research focused on the human form which, in the artist’s vision, includes not only the body but also the mind, imagination and soul. His works arise from an intuitive relationship with a vast range of techniques and materials – from painting to sculpture, from performance to dance, to the composition of sounds and musical elements – and form a world in which cultural anthropology, iconography of fairy tales, horror, fantasy and science fiction cinema, erotic literature and rural imagery. In recent years, ceramics has become a privileged language with which the artist refers to the human body indirectly, even through clothes or shoes, to affirm the value of ambiguity, freeing the imagination towards a nonconformist, freer and more plural.
Among the museums, institutions and galleries that have exhibited his works are: Setareh Gallery, Dusseldorf Germany; Palazzo Abatellis Museum, Palermo Italy; Maxxi Museum, Rome Italy; Macro Museum, Rome Italy; Revolver Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina; National Museum and Ancient City of Cosa, Ansedonia, Italy; Nomas Foundation, Rome, Italy; Operative Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy; Civic Museum of Castelbuono, Palermo, Italy; Charterhouse of Padula, Salerno, Italy; Menegaz Foundation, Palazzo Clemente Castelbasso, Italy; MRAC, Musée régional d’art contemporain Occitanie, Sérignan, France; Revolver Galeria, Lima, Peru; Villa Lontana Santarelli Foundation, Rome, Italy; Mimosa House, London UK; American Academy in Rome, Italy; Lorcan O’Neill Gallery, Rome, Italy; Palatine Forum, Rome, Italy; Q21, Vienna, Austria; Swiss Institute, Rome, Italy; Mona Museum, Hobart, Tasmania; Macro Testaccio, Rome, Italy; Italian Institute of Culture, Los Angeles USA.
Coordination and Scientific e Organization
Lara Facco P&C