by Susan Glasspool
"Gods and Heroes"
Sculptures by Igor Mitoraj
The "Gods and Heroes" exhibition by famous sculptor Igor Mitoraj has been organized by the Cassa di Risparmio of Florence to mark the 170th anniversary of its foundation, in collaboration with the Board of Environmental and Architectural Assets and the Board of Archeology.
The large number of exhibits and unique setting make the "Gods and Heroes" exhibition, with 89 works on display, the most important to be held to date in Italy by this Polish sculptor. The Florence exhibition has in fact been set up in places of particular symbolic importance: the Archeological Museum (46 works) and the Boboli Gardens, (43 works), which host important Medici collections of ancient and 16th century art. These create two "natural" sites for this exhibition of Mitoraj's work, as they already contain the carefully selected collections created by this powerful Florentine family.and thus provide a perfect visual continuity. The Archeological Museum contains the unique wonders of the ancient world collected by the Medici family, while the Gardens hosts the collection of "contemporary" art that they both inspired and commissioned. Two places of distinction for sculpture that are ideal for an interchange of energy between classical sculpture and the contemporary art of a great artist like Mitoraj. Preparation for this ideal match-up has required long and careful research. Some unique sculptures, dating from various periods, have been transferred from the splendid collections in the Archeological Museum to the exhibition rooms, thus giving visitors the chance to follow a parallel course: a comparison between Greek and Roman art and the anatomic details by Mitoraj.
The Boboli Gardens are not simply an extraordinary, magical and suggestive setting of art and nature for the exhibition, but also complement Mitoraj's work which, throughout the exhibition, encourages visitors to explore the paths and lovely corners of the gardens and discover all the mythological suggestions linked to natural elements that can be found there. Today the sculture of Mitoraj (born at Oederan in Poland in 1944 ), is to be found in many of the most important public and private collections of contemporary art.
Archeological Museum, Via della Colonna 38. Tel. 055.23575. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-7.30pm. Closed Mondays. Boboli Gardens (Pitti Palace). Tel. 055.2388601. Hours: Daily 9am-7.30pm. Closed first and last Monday of month. Until September 30th.