Thoughts on an Art Gallery Crawl

By Wanchen Zhao, NYU Florence Student

As part of the Mapping Contemporary Florence series, La Pietra Dialogues hosted an event consisting of three private contemporary art galleries in downtown Florence, as well as Galleria Marino Marini, on September 14th, 2017. The private galleries were small, each containing only 20 to 30 pieces, and one had yet to be opened; however, all were unique and had their own style. For example, one showed a major focus on a series of abstract, three-dimensional portraits created by multiple layers of colored yarns; another, contained an installation of glasses, which were projected to fill the entire room.

Galleria Marino Marini’s space was a wonderful work of architecture itself with a complicated, yet fascinating, staircase going through the upper floors, with stairs crawling through the space above the ground floor and lower stairs with great irregularity. The exhibits, most of which were by Marino Marini himself, had obvious influence from the suffering and hardship that came with  the Second World War; the abstract figures and animals show clear signs of sorrow and horror through their colors, gestures and facial expressions. The basement also hosts a portion of Ytalia, a contemporary art exhibition featuring 100 pieces from Italian artists, promoting the country’s origin and continuity of beauty. This completes the exhibition with other installations at Forte di Belvedere. We were given an informative and detailed tour, as well as a lavish reception dinner.

This was truly a creative and educational event; which gave students opportunities to not only discover art, but also the contemporary, less prominent side of this historic city. As a contemporary art lover myself, I really enjoyed this event and hope La Pietra Dialogues will host similar events in the future!