Tony Cragg at Boboli Gardens

Sixteen artworks by the English artist in dialogue with the wonderful Boboli Gardens

From 05 May 2019 to 27 October 2019

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From 5 May to 27 October, 2019, Florence hosts ‘Tony Gragg at Boboli’: the first Italian exhibition entirely dedicated to the English sculptor, one of the most important names of contemporary sculpture. Sixteen of Tony cragg artworks will be displayed in the marvellous settings of the Boboli Gardens in Florence, one of the most beautiful and important examples of Italian garden. Thanks to this exhibition, contemporary art in Florence will dialogue with Renaissance art: the neat landscapes of the gardens will create startling contrasts with the sculptural presences of Tony Cragg’s works. And as if that weren’t enough, we cannot fail to mention the view of Florence you will enjoy from Boboli in Florence! Are you now wondering whether we should give you all the relevant information to plan your visit? Then, read on and you'll find out everything you need to know about Tony Cragg's exhibition at Giardino Boboli in Florence!

 

TONY CRAGG: A CONTEMPORARY SCULPTOR

Anthony Cragg was born in Liverpool in 1949 and initially worked as a technician in a biochemistry laboratory. Although he soon quit his job to devote himself to a solid artistic education, this experience, especially the relationship with matter, influenced his ensuing career as a sculptor. He studied at the Cheltenham College Art, the Winbledon School of Art and the Royal College of Art and in 1977 he moved to Germany where he taught at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. His first solo exhibitions in London, Berlin and Hamburg date back to this time and from then on, his artistic career was a crescendo of exhibitions in important galleries, parks and museums with significant participation in all major contemporary sculpture exhibitions, such as the Venice Biennale and Documenta. He has received prestigious awards such as the Turner Prize (2001), the Shakespeare Prize (1988) and the Praemium imperiale for Sculpture (2007). He currently lives and works in Wuppertal in Germany and his studio is close to the Skulturenpark Waldfrieden, one of the most important contemporary sculpture exhibition centers.

Tony Cragg artist soon became one of the protagonists of the renaissance of sculpture, with new materials such as plastic and recycled ones being introduced together with new techniques. Cragg’s sculptures seek to synthesize the multiplicity of reality through the attraction and fascination of the properties of matter and the phenomena he has encountered over the years in the laboratory whilst being influenced by futurism and minimalism. The sculptures of Tony Cragg, selected for the Boboli contemporary sculpture exhibition, some of which are truly monumental in size, are of different materials such as bronze and fiberglass, and lie in a perfect dialogue with the natural and artificial elements of the Boboli gardens.

 

THE EXHIBITION

Contemporary art exhibitions in Florence are becoming increasingly popular and there have already been several Boboli Gardens events dedicated to modern sculpture, but the one on Tony Cragg boasts a record that makes it truly unmissable: it is the first time, in fact, that an Italian museum has dedicated an entire monographic exhibition to the great English sculptor. The exhibition showcases sixteen Tony Cragg’s sculptures that tell the last twenty years of the artist’s work from 1997 to the present day. Shiny steel gysers, bronze stalagmites, gigantic resin flowers, colossal stems and metal castings: the installations unexpectedly sit in some of the gardens’ areas, such as the Anfiteatro, the Grotta del Buontalenti and in front of the Palazzina delle Meridiane. These ‘new’ presences have the almost magical power to express the energy of the place that hosts them: the meadows, hedges, views, hills and the landscape reveal a force that becomes irrepressible. At Boboli Tony Cragg, through his works, succeeds in combining matter with history, creating a dialogue that fascinates and bewilders the visitor. According to the artist's poetry, in fact, this is precisely the role of contemporary sculpture: bringing out new meanings and languages starting from the exploration of the matter and its relationship with the environment that surrounds it. As commented by Eike Schmidt, the director of the Uffizi Gallery and curator of the Tony Cragg exhibition in Florence in association with Chiara Toti and John Wood, the Boboli Gardens, with their natural wonders and the rational structure, typical of Italianate gardens, are the perfect theatre for the exhibition. The plastic forms of the English artist inspired by nature and their mysterious strength layered in the park inevitably create reactions in the visitor that stretch from the need to interpret what one is observing up to a more instinctive bewilderment. In other words, your walk in the Boboli Garden you will really plunge you into the poetry of one of the most important contemporary sculptors. And you don't have to be an art expert to enjoy it all, far from it! The beauty of the location and the immediacy of the contemporary sculptures in Florence will make the exhibition a fantastic experience for everyone! Even for the little ones, who will be liberated from the restrictions of an indoor museum and feel free to run around and explore.

 

BOBOLI GARDENS

Just a few words on this must-see destination in Florence, to make you aware that the Florence contemporary art exhibition represents something special added to a location that in itself would have no need for it! The gardens are located behind Palazzo Pitti and their original section dates back to 1418. The Medici were the first to take care of their landscaping, dividing the areas in a regular manner with scattered ancient and Renaissance statues, caves and fountains. The Boboli Gardens in Florence are considered one of the most important examples of Italian gardens of the 16th century. Inside what is truly a treasure chest, are some masterpieces such as the Grotta del Buontalenti, the Fountain of Neptune, dubbed by Florentines as ‘the fork’, the Limonaia, the Palazzina della Meridiana and the many works of art by Giambologna.

 

What else is there to say? Until 27 October with the Boboli ticket you will also have the opportunity to visit the exhibition of Anthony Cragg, one of the most famous and important contemporary sculptors. Perfect: visit the Boboli website to find out about the Boboli Gardens opening hours and for further info and start planning your trip to Florence! And since you are at it, why not continue your foray into the world of arts, maybe you could visit one of the masterpieces envied all over the world: yes, we are talking about Michelangelo's David! Well, then book our fantastic guided tour of the Accademia Gallery in Florence with skip-the-line entry and you will discover all the secrets about this artwork without feeling bored stiff because of the usual long entry wait times. What could be better?

By Insidecom Editorial Staff