Reaching For the Stars comes to Palazzo Strozzi

Reaching For the Stars comes to Palazzo Strozzi

A new contemporary exhibition perfectly contrasts Florence’s historic city, bringing bold, brilliant, and eye-opening new perspectives

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, one of the world’s most prestigious collections of contemporary art, is celebrating its 30th anniversary, bringing 70 contemporary works of art from various Italian and international artists to this major exhibition. Palazzo Strozzi presents Reaching For the Stars from Maurizio Cattelan to Lynette Yiadom Boakye, from March 4 until June 18, 2023.

The exhibition will host 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.

Reaching For the Stars comes to Palazzo Strozzi
Maurizio Cattelan, La rivoluzione siamo noi, 2000 wax, pigment, felt suit, metal coat rack, polyester resin; 190 x 47 x 52 cm, Courtesy Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

The exhibition highlights major shifts and developments in the world of contemporary art with experimentation in designs, materials, and concepts. It tackles themes of culture, race, and contemporary history. Reaching For the Stars begins on the ground floor of Palazzo Strozzi with Goshka Macuga’s rocket in the courtyard. The rest of the exhibit travels through eight rooms with different themes including paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, videos and performance art.

Reaching For the Stars comes to Palazzo Strozzi
Goshka Macuga at Palazzo Strozzi ©photoElaBialkowskaOKNOstudio

The exhibition unfolds in themed sections such as the section dominated by Cindy Sherman’s celebrated series known as Untitled Film Still (1978–80) triggering a social and political reflection on the theme of identity in connection with works by Shirin Neshat, Barbara Kruger’s silkscreen print Untitled (Not ugly enough) (1997) and Pawel Althamer ‘s sculpture in organic material entitled Self-Portrait (1993).

Reaching For the Stars comes to Palazzo Strozzi
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #24, 1978, photographic print, 20 x 25.5 cm, Courtesy Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo,
Photo credit: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

The exploration of sculpture expands to include large works by Andra Ursuţa, 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), Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno with his celebrated video-installation entitled Zidane. A 21st Century Portrait (2005).

Reaching For the Stars comes to Palazzo Strozzi
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Switcher, 2013, oil on canvas, 150 x 140 cm, Courtesy Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Reaching for the Stars is a journey through thirty years of discovery and research in contemporary art. Hosting a collection like this in Florence means celebrating the values of patronage and of commissioning in the city where great collecting was born. The collaboration between Palazzo Strozzi and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo goes beyond the mere exhibition of works, but is a synergy of values, a shared platform in which to stimulate accessibility, participation, and experimentation.

says Arturo Galansino, Director of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and curator of the exhibition.

Reaching for the Stars is offering a wide range of talks, tours, and activities to create an interactive and educational experience tailored to all ages. This remarkable exhibit conveys worldly concepts in an attempt to unite differences and evoke new perspectives. There is something for everyone at this contemporary art exhibit.

Reaching For the Stars comes to Palazzo Strozzi
Damien Hirst, Love Is Great, 1994, shiny paint and butterflies on canvas, 213 x 213 cm,, Courtesy Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo ©Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved SIAE

It is an honor and a deeply emotional moment for me to be able to see the ‘stars’ of the collection displayed in the splendid rooms of Palazzo Strozzi. Celebrating thirty years of my collecting practice in this building, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture is an opportunity to retrace the paths of contemporary art in recent decades, creating a lively dialogue with the ancient and contemporary which I’m delighted to open to the visiting public. This exhibition, which begins in the splendid courtyard open to the city, reflects the value of sharing that has always marked my collection and finds full harmony with the line of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation, led with great professionalism by Arturo Galansino, in pursuit of participation and the accessibility of culture to all.

says Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, president of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.

Reaching For the Stars will be on display from March 4 to June 18, 2023, at Palazzo Strozzi.



Until June 18th

Palazzo Strozzi

Piazza degli Strozzi

Opening times: daily from 10am to 8pm, on Thursday until 11pm

Tickets: Full €15, Reduced €12

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