28 Apr 2021 – 22 Aug 2021

Giulia Cenci. Iron Heel

Curated by

Eva Francioli and Sergio Risaliti

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Where and when


28April 2021


22August 2021

Museo Novecento

Giulia Cenci is the new protagonist of the Duel cycle with the solo show Iron Heel, a dialectical duel between the young Tuscan artist and Arturo Martini’s masterpiece from the permanent collection of the Museo Novecento.

Exhibition Hours

Summer Hours

Monday – Sunday

11:00 am

9:00 pm


Duel is a dialectical duel between international artists and the works of the permanent collection of the Museo Novecento. The protagonist of this new appointment in the cycle is Giulia Cenci (Cortona, 1988), finalist at the Maxxi Bvlgari Prize 2020. In the Iron Heel exhibition, the young artist has chosen to trigger a dialogue with the bronze sculpture Leone di Monterosso – Chimera by Arturo Martini.

The exhibition is the modern reworking of a fantastic image belonging to classical mythology, born from the mind of the Greeks and then adopted by the Etruscans and Romans, who handed down the myth of the Chimera, a terrifying being, with a lion’s face, the goat body and snake tail, killed by the hero Bellerophon.

After the presentation three years ago, in the Sala Leone X of Palazzo Vecchio, of the famous Chimera of Arezzo, the monster comes alive under the modern forms invented by Arturo Martini. And it is precisely with these ‘terrible’ and apotropaic elements that Giulia Cenci enters into dialogue, in turn creating threatening machines, resurrecting myths and chthonic personifications, to which the anxieties and anxieties of the depth appear to be delegated.

After careful reflection on the architecture and history of the Ex Leopoldine complex, Giulia Cenci created a series of site-specific works, invading the space with ‘monstrous’ creatures born from the ruins of industrial and agricultural machinery. The artist creates a sort of ‘landscape-anatomy’ that unfolds along a complex assembly line, a three-dimensional assemblage of abandoned and out-of-use shapes and tools.

They are metamorphic constructions in which mechanical parts evoke or mix with anatomical details, as in a sort of Frankenstein or chimera. Two huge mechanical arms, made up of fragments of agricultural parts and cars, redefine the space, forcing the visitor to take a forced path.

A critique, the one of Giulia Cenci, of industrial progress and the technological superpower that is expressed through a reverse mechanism: showing the ruins of industrial civilization, the finds of mechanized agriculture, the corpses of a failed civilization, the artist as a new demiurge reassembles the pieces collected in this disaster, to restore life with them to disturbing figures, in whose forms and appearance all the failure of modern society is revealed.


Giulia Cenci

1988, Cortona

Curated by

Eva Francioli

Sergio Risaliti

Scientific Coordination

Francesca Neri

Stefania Rispoli

Luca Puri


Lea Codognato | Caterina Briganti | Davis&Co.

T. 055 2347273



Costanza Savelloni

Visual Identity – Realization

Dania Menafra

Ph Credits

Serge Domingie