Museo Stefano Bardini, from June 2 until December 21 2020, presents the show Kevin Francis Gray, curated by Antonella Nesi and dedicated to the artist of Irish descent. The exhibit is promoted by the City of Florence, and organized by Mus.e in collaboration with Eduardo Secci Contemporary, thanks to the generous support of Moaconcept. The show will continue until December 21 and will run concurrently with the solo show ‘Kevin Francis Gray’ that will be virtually inaugurated on November 25 at Pace Gallery, London.
The presence of the works by Kevin Francis Gray in Florence indicates and confirms the very prominent role that Florence occupies in the promotion of contemporary art.
The deep bond that exists between Kevin Francis Gray and the Tuscan territory is demonstrated by the longstanding collaboration between the artist and the marble processing studios in Pietrasanta. However, for the first time, thanks to this show, the artist exhibits his works in Florence, in search for a direct dialogue with the great masters of the past. In the halls of the Museum, we find more than ten pieces realized with different kinds of marble: statuario, Carrara, bardiglio, marquina and an artwork in bronze. The artist’s devotion towards the art of the past is testified not only by the materials he employs, but also by that love for the ephemeral, for classic poses and for the subjects almost magically wrapped in a timeless veil.
At the same time, the statues reveal a more contemporary nature: the use of the unfinished, the distortion of somatic traits or their veiling, putting us in touch with the more human and even mysterious part of Gray’s work. In fact, it’s thanks to this coexistence of past and present that his works are able to establish a bond with classicism yet maintain that necessary link to the contemporary world, and thus show how a reconciliation between these two, apparently opposite worlds, is not just possible, but also desirable.
Antonella Nesi, curator of the show, said: “The works by Kevin Francis Gray recall the most classic of sculptures, made of technical perfection and tension towards an impeccable aesthetic beauty. For this reason, his works can dialogue with the Hellenistic marbles, with the essential shapes of medieval sculpture, and with the perfect Renaissance form of the sculpture collection of Museo Stefano Bardini.”
Indeed, the renowned antiquary had a particular taste for sculpture, as he collected great masterpieces realized by absolutely excellent artists: from Tino di Camaino to Nicola Pisano, from Donatello to Andrea della Robbia. The exhibit will be complemented with a catalogue edited by Gli Ori.
TO PURCHASE TICKETS: As of June 2, visitors can purchase tickets online and select a preferred time of entry.
Kevin Francis Gray (born in 1972 in Armagh, Northern Ireland). He carried out his studies at the National College of Art and Design of Dublin, then at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and, finally, in 1999, he completed an MA in Fine Arts at the Goldsmith College. He works in close contact with two marble processing studios, traveling between London and Pietrasanta; the latter is particularly renowned for the use of sculptural techniques that date back to Canova and Michelangelo. His works have been part of exhibitions at the Royal Academy of London, UK; the Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, UK; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Val de-Marne, Paris, FR; the Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam, NL; the Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples, IT; the Musee d’Art Moderne, Saint-Etienne, FR; ARTIUM, Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz, ES; the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, IL; and the Art Space, New York, USA.
Reduced price, age 18-25
for metropolitan area residents only
Exhibition curated by Antonella Nesi, promoted by the City of Florence, and organized by Mus.e in collaboration with Eduardo Secci Contemporary, thanks to the generous support of Moaconcept.
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