Getting reacquainted with Michelangelo

Sculpture by Buonarroti in Photographs and Paintings from the XIX century to the present

Galleria dell'Accademia
until 18 may 2014

Kim Ki-duk
(Bonghwa 1960)
Lambda print (2014)
Korea, KIM Ki-duk Film Production

As part of the celebrations the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno has coordinated tocommemorate the four-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the death of Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Galleria dell’Accademia of Florence in collaboration with Fratelli Alinari I.D.E.A. S.p.A. presents an exhibition that deals with the complex theme of the renewed interest and admiration for the artist from the XIX century until today. 

Estrella Boissevan, photograph for Vogue, New York
13 September 1938
Gelatin silver print
U.K., Collection Andrew Cowan
The means for handling the topic will be the work of sculptors, painters and photographers who have looked to the figure of Buonarroti and his work as the iconographic point of reference in their own work.
The exhibition will be characterised by continuously cross-referencing the various modalities of translating and proposing Buonarroti’s sculpture anew: from the photograph as an object of documentation to its interpretative specificity in focusing on sculpture, up to the total autonomy of twentieth-century photographers in creating new points of view and analysis of the work of art. A new relationship is thus formed between art historians and photographers who are, in turn, entrusted with the responsibility to search out the forms and material of the work in support of historical-artistic studies. The cases proposed include Giuseppe Pagano’s photographs of thePalestrina Pietà, and the work of David Finn and Aurelio Amendola in collaboration with authoritative art historians who, from their work, have drawn important confirmations of their own theories and stylistic analyses.

Tano Festa (Roma 1938 - 1988)
Medici Tombs, detail
Enamel on canvas
Private collection
As the myth grew stronger in the collective perception, Michelangelo’s presence was also recognised in the work of twentieth-century artists such as Medardo Rosso, Henri Matisse, and Carlo Mollino, as well as in the photographic studies of personalities such as Emmanuel Sougez, Herbert List and Horst P. Horst. His influence continued in the Seventies with the explorations of Tano Festa, Paolo Monti, and Antonia Mulas, finally arriving at the expressions of contemporaneity with Helmut Newton and Gabriele Basilico, Gianni Berengo Gardin, and Gerard Rondeau. The exhibition itinerary ends with references to the theme of the copy and of the multiple in the epoch of reproducibility and massification, confronted by Karen Knorr, Lisa Sarfati and Tim Parchikov. Michelangelo is the emotional idea in the work of Luca Pignatelli, and the formal model of reference of the staged photography of Frank Horvat, Youssef Nabil, and Kim Ki duk, up to the point in which he becomes ‘absence’ in the images ofThomas Struth and Candida Höfer.


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