News

A hundred figures of Anthony Gormley occupied the fort in Florence

The Brunelleschi Dome, an architectural marvel crowning the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is arguably one of the most fascinating landmarks in Florence. Comparing the exhibition of works of contemporary art with this landmark building is, of course, somewhat presumptuous, but the exposition of the British sculptor Anthony Gormley, however, poses a serious challenge to him.

More than a hundred works of the sculptor from the series Critical Mass and Blockworks, which are now united under the name "Man", are located in different places inside the Fort Belvedere (Forte di Belvedere) and at its foot. They fully emphasize the amazing perspectives that open from a fortress located on a hill with a panorama of the city.

"Man", by the way, is not the only exhibition of contemporary art with a view of the Florence Cathedral, which takes place this summer. In the gardens of Bardini, which are a couple of minutes walk from the exposition of Gormley, a retrospective of Lynn Chadwick continues until August 30. But, as artnet News writes, if Fort Belvedere, which occupies the top of a hill, has enough space to take a step back and appreciate the sculptures, the gardens are divided on a steep slope, and the close space does not allow Chadwick to "breathe."
  • Lynn Chadwick, Alabama's Moon (1957). Gardens Bardini. Photo: blainsouthern.com
  • Anthony Gormley, "The Man." Fort Belvedere in Florence. Photo: Sarah Cascone
Both the Gormley series, displayed on display in Florence, are based on human forms, but lacking individual features and completely impersonal. The figures from "Critical Mass" are more naturalistic, the artist made templates for them from himself. Sculptures from Blockworks interpret the human body through the architecture, with the result that the works have a pixelated look, as if they had left the computer game Minecraft.
  • Sculptures from the Critical Mass series have more rounded shapes. Photo: Sarah Cascone
  • Sculptures from the Blockworks series resemble Minecraft characters. Photo: Sarah Cascone
Fort Belvedere was built between 1590 and 1595 by the Medici family. Nowadays, he gained fame as the wedding spot of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

The fortress is a somewhat ambiguous place for the exposition of Gormley, who installed statues on the roofs of skyscrapers, looking ... let's say, suicidal (the sculpture “Horizon of Events” in Sao Paulo, Brazil; photo via The Guardian).
The fact is that in 2008 the fort was closed after a woman died, falling from the wall during the celebration of her birthday. After five years of renovation, it re-opened as an exhibition venue.

Anthony Gormley, "The Man." Fort Belvedere, Florence. Photo: Sarah Cascone "Instead of trying to build work into the scope of the proposed space, I chose to show the work of life size, mass and shape, which will allow" to speak "to this remarkable structure," Gormley said in a press release for the exhibition.The result is obvious: in our time, the Renaissance has never and never felt so relevant.