'Reaching for the Stars: From Maurizio Cattelan to Lynette Yiadom Boakye' opens at Palazzo Strozzi

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'Reaching for the Stars: From Maurizio Cattelan to Lynette Yiadom Boakye' opens at Palazzo Strozzi
Goshka Macuga, GoNoGo, 2021 - 2023.

FLORENCE.- A major exhibition in Palazzo Strozzi celebrating the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection’s 30th anniversary with over 70 artworks by leading Italian and international contemporary artists.

The Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi is presenting Reaching for the Stars. From Maurizio Cattelan to Lynette Yiadom Boakye, an exhibition exploring the luminaries of contemporary art today in over 70 works selected from the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection by leading Italian and international contemporary artists including Maurizio Cattelan, Cindy Sherman, Damien Hirst, Lara Favaretto, William Kentridge, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Sarah Lucas and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Produced in collaboration between the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Reaching for the Stars explores some of the most important shifts and developments in art over the past five decades through a constellation of artworks on display in every space in Palazzo Strozzi from the Piano Nobile to the Strozzina, and with a special newly commissioned installation for the palazzo’s Renaissance courtyard.

Curated by Palazzo Strozzi's Director Arturo Galansino, the exhibition celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection - one of the world’s most prestigious collections of contemporary art - capturing its variety, development, and its nature as a constant “work in progress”. The exhibition pairs important works from the collection with a programme of activities for the public, reflecting the ongoing work of the Collection to move debates in contemporary art forward.

The exhibition uses painting, sculpture, installations, photogaphy, videos and performance art to enhance the dialogue between Palazzo Strozzi and contemporary art, offering visitors a journey of discovery among the stars of global art in recent decades, exploring the work of those artists who have marked the development of artistic practice between the latter part of the 20th century and the start of our own century in a thematic tour that addresses such varied aspects as experimentation with techniques and styles, identity and the body, the relationship between the figurative and the abstract, the juxtaposition of history with more intimate personal stories, and individuality and the community.

The exhibition hosts such fundamental works as Anish Kapoor’s 1000 Names (1983) and Damien Hirst’s Love is Great (1994), alongside an extensive selection of work by Maurizio Cattelan, an artist whose work is crucial to any exploration of Italian art between the 1990s and the 2000s, together with work by Paola Pivi and Lara Favaretto, among others.

The exhibition unfolds in themed sections such as the section dominated by Cindy Sherman’s celebrated series known as Untitled Film Still (1978-1980) triggering a social and political reflection on the theme of identity in connection with works by Shirin Neshat, Barbara Kruger’s large silkscreen print Untitled (Not Ugly Enough) (1997) and Pawel Althamer ‘s large sculpture in organic material entitled Self-Portrait (1993).

The exploration of sculpture expands to include large works by Andra Ursuta, Adrian Villar Rosa, Berlinde De Bruyckere and Mark Manders whose art investigates the body and the figure amid deconstruction and reassembly. This is echoed by an exploration of painting in the work of such artists as Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Sanya Kantarovsky, Michael Armitage, Cecily Brown, and Avery Singer, testifying to the medium’s ongoing vitality between the figurative and the abstract, particularly among the younger generation.

The exhibition is completed by a large section on video art with signature work by such artists as William Kentridge with his History of Main Complaint (1996), Steve McQueen with the diptych entitled Gravesend / Unexploded (2007), Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno with his celebrated video-installation entitled Zidane. A 21st Century Portrait (2005).

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