The Guardian on NYU’s ReSignifications exhibition: NYU confronts stereotypes with exhibition of racially charged art

The Guardian has published an article on the ReSignifications Exhibition currently at Museo Bardini, Villa La Pietra and Galleria Biagiotti in Florence. The exhibition sees established and emerging artists present work inspired by the ‘Blackamoors’ of Florentine villa left to university by Sir Harold Acton.

Ellyn Toscano, who has served as the director of La Pietra since 2004, recalls being taken aback the first time she was confronted by the pieces that are now known as the “Blackamoors”, a collection of sculptures and paintings of black figures, elegantly dressed and depicted in acts of servitude – and are located throughout the villa’s grounds.

“You go to a room and there is a Blackamoor holding a lantern, lighting the way,” she says.

“I had been working in the south Bronx for 20 years, and [the statues] have these strange resonance with [black] lawn jockeys,” she adds, referring to the controversial – some say misunderstood – lawn statues in the US that are seen as romantacising the US’s history of slavery.

Read the full article here