Gerhard Richter at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
A new show marrying the work of German artist, Gerhard Richter, with that of seven other international artists is now on at the Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina (CCCS), in Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi.
The exhibition, entitled ’Gerhard Richter and the disappearance of the image in contemporary art’, is an elegant exposition of Richter’s deep mistrust of the photographic image.
Featuring 12 of Richter’s blurred photo and abstract paintings - alongside the artist’s only ever video work - the pieces have been placed in direct dialogue with work by seven artists including Wolfgang Tillmans, Antony Gormley, Roger Hiorns and Xie Nanxing - all of whom share Richter’s anxieties regarding the relationship between object and representation.
Richter, best known for his paintings made directly onto photographs, is one of the most internationally sought after living contemporary artists. The exhibition, pulled together by the CCCS and Hamburger Kunsthalle, features a swirling site-specific sculpture from Gormley, a series of photocopy paintings by American artist Scott Short and smokey works on photographic paper by Tillmans, alongside Richter’s own, distinctive painterly pieces.
The CCCS opened in 2007 within Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi, as part of a bid to establish a new creative space for the citizens of the city, and tourists in the know. Alongside the Richter exhibition, the recently renovated café and bookstore are also well worth a visit.
The café is a branch of the Roberto Cavalli-owned Caffé Giacosa (managed by Cavalli’s neice Lucilla), which has a proud Florentine history, being one of the oldest establishments in the city. This year the Palazzo Strozzi branch plays host to a new, high-design installation of curved wooden benches by Berlin-based artist Markus Bader, who also installed ’Venti Volte’ - a lighting sculpture made entirely of Panton chairs - back in 2009.
The design and bookshop, opened in late 2009, was designed by Florentine architect Claudio Nardi, and boasts anthracite-coloured, sgrafitti-coated walls, alongside a range of specially designed showcases featuring treats such as Nymphenburg porcelain and glassware from Lobmeyr. The shop also unveiled a reading room and a small exhibition space for contemporary photography and illustration, earlier this year.