20 Apr 2018

Grafts – Permanent installations

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20April 2018

On the occasion of the rearrangement of the Museo Novecento collection, the works of four Florentine artists are placed in close dialogue with the Renaissance architecture of the former Leopoldine Hospital. Marco Bagnoli, Paolo Masi, Maurizio Nannucci and Remo Salvadori give life to Grafts, a non-unitary intervention but a series of “contemporary grafts”, capable of giving a new shape to the spaces of the cloister and the external loggia. A collection in progress that is not born from the idea of ​​the Museum as a deposit, but of architecture and space, that is, of the container, as a living body – explains Risaliti.

Remo Salvadori – In the moment

On the facade there is a work by Remo Salvadori, positioned between the two windows above the main entrance, which wants to reconnect with the motifs that decorated the façade in the nineteenth century. The installation, made of lead and copper, is part of the “In the moment” series started by Salvadori in the seventies and made with quadrangular metal sheets of variable dimensions processed through cuts, bending and lifting. The square, like the circle, is a recurring figure in Salvadori’s work, both refer to natural elements, the circle to the sky, its vastness, the square to the earth and its generative potential. The use of a ductile metal that lends itself well to manipulation, but at the same time strongly characterized by references to esotericism and alchemy, reaffirms the artist’s interest in the symbolic character of materials, geometric shapes and colors. The unusual location of the work on the facade of the museum is a symbolic reference to the motifs that decorated the Leopoldine Hospital until the end of the nineteenth century and at the same time allows the installation to dialogue with the square inlays of the facade of Santa Maria Novella, with which he shares in addition to formal similarities, the adherence to the principles of geometry and musical proportions, the foundation of Leon Battista Alberti’s work.

Marco Bagnoli – Phoenix

At the center of the cloister, to catalyze the lines and the energy developed by the Renaissance colonnade, there is the Araba Fenice, work by Marco Bagnoli. An essential structure, a sort of ‘hot air balloon’ formed by metal rays that originate from a pedestal on which the profile of the mythological bird that gives the title to the work is cut out. The same form of the sculpture, with its alternation of empty and fragile solids, generates a plastic counterpoint and at the same time a reference to the colonnade of the cloister. The hot-air balloon, a recurring and dear figure to Bagnoli, constitutes a sort of “spiritual self-portrait”, a symbol of the artist’s journey of elevation who abandons matter by moving upwards, in order to make an experience of inner purification.
The reference to the Phoenix, the figure on which the sculpture rests and from which it seems to start in its ascensional path, metaphorically represents spiritual rebirth, wisdom, the philosopher’s stone and the fulfillment of the alchemical transmutation which is in turn a symbol of human regeneration.
Preparation by AdArte Srl.

Paolo Masi – Invaders

Paolo Masi gives new life to the windows in the cloister with the installation of Invaders, an adaptation of the series of the same name created specifically for the Florentine museum. The Plexiglas rounds, the result of the superimposition of several layers of pictorial film, incorporate differentiated signs, aimed at creating a singular perceptive experience, capable of striking the visitor’s imagination. The location on the cloister windows means that the circular elements, like a sort of additional skin on the existing architecture, react to the variation of light in the different phases of the day, projecting a kaleidoscopic set of shapes and signs on the walls of the loggia. Painting and color thus demonstrate their ability to absorb and reflect, giving life to an intense game of geometry and reverberations, capable of recalling the imaginative projections of magic lanterns.
The installation is created in collaboration with Frittelli Arte Contemporanea, set up by Elettra Officine Grafiche.

Maurizio Nannucci – Everything might be different

The circle is closed by Maurizio Nannucci and his Everything might be different (1988), the only one of the four installations to be already in the Museum since the opening in June 2014. Installed inside the cloister, the work constitutes an exemplary work of conceptual reflection and aesthetics of Nannucci. Change does not mean damnatio memory on the contrary, the neon phrase in its apparent assertiveness leaves the viewer an active role in building the meaning of the same statement: “everything could be different” acts at the same time as an invitation from the artist to reflect on existing dynamics in contemporary society, as a call to a participatory role on the part of the public as a social and political agent, as well as a provocative, ironic or simply enigmatic phrase.