Strozzina: Centre for Contemporary Culture
5 December 2012 - 27 January 2013
Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi, 50123 Florence
+39 055 391711
www.strozzina.org

This exhibition presents work by contemporary artists who exam today’s existential state of societal mind. Their work explores the kind of questions man asks himself in his relationship with his own interior being, his body and the outside world. At the core of the exhibition are paintings by Francis Bacon (1909-1992), whose work is placed in dialogue with that of five contemporary artists of international renown: Nathalie Djurberg, Adrian Ghenie, Arcangelo Sassolino, Chiharu Shiota and Annegret Soltau. These artists share Bacon’s reflection on man’s existential condition and on the depiction of the human figure.

Adrian Ghenie (Romania, 1977) creates paintings in which he merges personal images or images that are emblematic of recent history by dipping into such varied sources. In her installations, Chiharu Shiota (Japan, 1972) seems to translate emotional states and existential reflections onto a three-dimensional plane, addressing such issues as the memory and dreams, autobiographical elements and traces of a past that take on an evocative, collective physical form. Nathalie Djurberg (Sweden, 1978) works with clay and plasticine to create the symbolic and disturbing environments and figures which populate her installations and her video animations.Arcangelo Sassolino (Italy, 1967) creates installations in which mechanical systems explore the effects caused by extreme forces. His works shows us both the shaping and the transience of things in their essentiality. Finally, Annegret Soltau (Germany, 1946) has from the 1970s worked on the themes of the body and of identity through performances, video art and photography. This experimentation with photography achieves its apex with the so-called photo sewings, in which the artist’s face or fragments of different faces are criss-crossed by thin black thread.