CONTEMPORARY ART FOR SHOW AND SALE – The Ninth Florence Biennale
A rare (every two years) to enjoy contemporary art in Florence for nine event-packed days when 450 artists from 50 countries when they convene in Florence to show their art and take part in exhibitions covering a wide range of media, as well as performances, educational programs, workshops, seminars and meetings. This year’s theme is Ethics: DNA of Art, and the festival promises a reflection on the relationship between art and ethics and the role of the arts today.
November 30–December 8 at Fortezza da Basso.
Visit www.florencebiennale.org for more information.
PIETRO ANNIGONI: PRESENCE OF AN ARTIST – Free Exhibition
At the exhibit space Ente CRF one of the greatest Italian artists of the twentieth century, Pietro Annigoni, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death (1988-2013) is the subject of a free exhibit. A selection of works was acquired by the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation in 2007, the last legacy of the artist.
Exhibition Area - Via Bufalini, 6
Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat and Sun 10am-1pm/3-7pm
info 055 5384001
Until January 6
The St. James American Church Parish Seasonal Lunch will take place immediately following the Service of Advent Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 15. The cost will be 10 Euro for adults – kids come free. There will also be a raffle.
The St. Mark’s Advent schedule is not out yet, but check online for upcoming festivities.
St. Mark's English Church, Via Maggio, 16; www.stmarksitaly.com
An evening of festive readings with music by St Mark’s Concert Choir at the British Institute on Wednesday 18th December at 6.00pm (directed by Giovanna Riboli).
IZIS – The Poet of Photography
Fondazione Alinari in collaboration with the Ville de Paris presents the work of Izis Bidermanas (1911-1980) one of the great humanist photographers of the last century, poet, picture, portrait artist and reporter (until January 5).
In the former convent of the Leopoldine nuns, the Alinari Museum of Photography. Two areas are for temporary shows and the actual museum, seven sections are for a fascinating voyage through the history of this art, from its origins to the avant-garde.
Alinari National Museum of Photography, Piazza S.M. Novella, 14a r - tel 055 216310 - 10am-6.30pm (Wed closed) - 9 euro/rid 7,50 - www.mnaf.it
TOURS OF TWO HIDDEN MUSEUMS
Join The Florentine in celebrating literature, art and cultural heritage with TF editor Alexandra Lawrence on two consecutive Saturdays. On December 7, discover one of Florence’s hidden gems, the Horne Museum, and on December 14 take a guided tour of the exhibition The Renaissance from Florence to Paris and back at Villa Bardini. Reservations are required: e-mail email@example.com.
MACHIAVELLI AT THE NATIONAL LIBRARY
It is the 500th year since Machiavelli was banished from Florence and worked out his boredom in San Casciano by writing The Prince. Through books, manuscripts, documents, maps, costumes and paintings, the Biblioteca Nazionale at Piazza Cavalleggeri will offer an illustration of the politician/writer’s life. The exhibit will be inaugurated on December 10. Keep an eye out for other Machiavelli-related events throughout the month.
December 10 to Febrauary22; Mon-Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat. 10am to 1pm. Entrance free.
IMPRESSIONISTS AT PALAZZO PITTI
A new exhibit of the painting of the Impressionists is at Palazzo Pitti exhibit in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna. Gathered in the ballroom of the Pitti Winter Apartments are twelve Impressionist masterpieces on loan from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, in addition to two works by Camille Pissarro and another by Alphonse Maureau permanently housed in Florence’s modern art collection.
The French works came to Florence through a cultural exchange between the two museums. The exhibit I Macchiaioli: Des impressionistes italiens at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris over the summer was enriched with several pieces from the Galleria d’Arte Moderna and explored the intriguing nexuses between the two movements.
The exhibition opens with ‘En plein air’: here are the landscapes, the light, the gardens and the water. Claude Monet’s La Seine à Port-Villez (c. 1890) is featured, one in the series of 18 canvases the artist painted of the area. A letter explains that Monet painted it one windy summer’s day after two months of bad weather. Also in this section is Auguste Renoir’s startling Étude: Torse de femme au soleil (1875–76).
The second section, ‘Interiors,’ features Degas’s ballerinas and Cézanne’s still-lifes, and La liseuse by Henri Fantin-Latour (1861). This section also includes quotes from leading French novelists of the time – Émile Zola, Honoré de Balzac and Guy de Maupassant – which capture something of the Impressionists’ spirit.
Impressionists at Palazzo Pitti
Until January 5, 2014
Galleria d’Arte Moderna
A SHORT VISIT OF ITALIAN ART ON LOAN FROM PARIS – Sold by Bardini, Now Shown at His Villa
Most visitors do not know where Villa Bardini is located, but this November and December they should take a energetic walk up through the Bardini Garden to the villa at the top (of course, you can also hike up Costa San Giorgio and skip the cost of the garden ticket). An excellent exhibit awaits. Until December 31, 2013, Il Rinascimento da Firenze a Parigi: Andata e ritorno (The Renaissance from Florence to Paris: To and From) contains thirty works that form the Italian nucleus of the Jacquemart-André museum in Paris. They were sold to Nélie Jacquemart at the end of the nineteenth century by the antiquarian Stefano Bardini, and this is the first time they have returned to Florence. Mantegna, Botticelli, Paolo Uccello and other big names are part of this exquisitely displayed temporary show. Bardini was one of the turn of the century art dealers that is responsible for a great loss of Italy’s artistic patrimony to France, England and the United States.
A highlight of the collection is St. George and the Dragon by Paolo Uccello. It depicts the saint on a bucking horse, driving a lance into a dragon while a not particularly distressed damsel looks on. As art historian Alexandra Korey says, “Uccello was obsessed with perspective, and here he uses plots of farmed land to create a perspectival grid and give a (rather artificial) sense of depth. Look closely and you will spot, in the background, a cardinal (in red) speaking animatedly with two other figures.”
One room in this small exhibit is dedicated to these works of Botticelli, including a large tondo of the Virgin and Child and a panel from 1510 representing the Flight into Egypt.
Just four small rooms hold these works of art, but the admission price of 8 euro (6 euro for members of various associations, including those with a Coop card) also gains you access to the Capucci artistic clothing design exhibit on the top of the villa.
Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 2, www.bardinipeyron.it
WHILE YOU ARE AT VILLA BARDINI – See Roberto Capucci’s Fabulous Fashions
The Capucci Museum at Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 2
Fashion designer Roberto Capucci creates strikingly colorful and fluid garments. Using fabrics ranging from silk, taffeta and velvet to organza and georgette, Capucci experiments with the ways materials can be formed, draped and sculpted, so that they glide over the body or form stiff waves, swirls, frills and pleats. This exhibit displays 27 of the Italian designer’s best creations. See www.fondazionerobertocapucci.com for more.
MODERN ART – Unstable Territories: Boundaries and Identity in Contemporary Art
At the Center for Contemporary Culture Strozzina in Palazzo Strozzi, until 19 January ten international artists rethink the idea of territory in the contemporary world, characterized by an excess of concepts of nation and border, but also by a return to new nationalisms. Included: Kader Attia, Zanny Begg & Oliver Ressler, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Paolo Cirio, Tadashi Kawamata, Sigalit Landau, Richard Mosse, Paulo Nazareth, Jo Ractliffe, and The Cool Couple.
MUST-SEE EXHIBIT FOR 2013 – Russian Avant-Garde, Siberia And The East
Showing until 19 January 2014 at the Palazzo Strozzi
The Palazzo Strozzi, is hosting The Russian Avant-garde, Siberia and the East. It's the first international exhibition to examine the fundamental importance of the Oriental and Eurasian connection to Russian Modernism, follows the destinies of Russia’s self-proclaimed “Barbarians” in their search for new sources of artistic inspiration. Neolithic stone figures, Siberian shaman rituals, popular Chinese prints, Japanese engravings, Theosophical doctrine and Indian philosophy are some of the elements which inspired Russia’s new artists and writers as they developed their aesthetic and theoretical ideas just before and after the Revolution of October, 1917.
The exhibition demonstrates how modern Russian culture experienced a deep attraction to—and an apprehension of—the exotic, the unknown and the “other”, qualities which artists and writers identified with the spirit of the taiga, the virgin territories of desert and steppe and the “otherness” of Oriental culture.
Emphasizing the key role that radical Russian artists played in the development of Modern art over a century ago, the exhibition underscores their complex relationship with the Orient (both the Russian East and the Far East). Léon Bakst, Alexandre Benois, Pavel Filonov, Natalia Goncharova, Wassily Kandinsky, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich and other prime movers of the avant-garde were deeply aware of the importance of the East and contributed to the rich debate (“West or East?”) which left a profound and permanent imprint upon their creative imagination. In addition to the heroes of the Russian Avant-garde, the exhibition also acquaints us with other, less familiar, but still original, artists of the time such as Nikolai Kalmakov, Sergei Konenkov and Vasilii Vatagin, many of whose works are being shown in the West for the first time.
See more: http://www.palazzostrozzi.org/Sezione.jsp?idSezione=1768
Tel. + 39 055 2645155
Opening times: Daily 9.00-20.00, Thursdays 9.00-23.00
Tickets sold until one hour before closing time.
Tickets: Full price € 10.00
ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS – Fulgor Cinema
The Fulgor is starting to make one of their theaters available for Original Sound movies , seven days a week, three show times a day. Call to find out what is showing in English. Via Maso Finiguerra – Tel. 055 238 1881
ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS – Odeon Cinema
The Odeon Cinema is still in the midst of its great festival of film: 50 Days of Cinema. Festival dei Popoli runs from November 30–December 7: Take your pick from 100 documentary films from around the world. Highlights include a screening of the beautiful black-and-white French film Études sur Paris (December 3) and Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance (December 4). Visit www.festivaldeipopoli.org for more.
After the 7th the regular schedule will start again with original language films. Stop by for a program.
ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS – Talking Movies at the British Institute
The Talking Movies Series at the British Institute Library. Every Wednesday at 8:00 pm, the Sala Ferragamo in the Institute's Harold Acton Library hosts a film, followed by discussion. The British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9. Check the web site at www.britishinstitute.it/en/events/default.asp for times, dates, and detailed information or stop by the library for a brochure.
The international success of movies from Australia and New Zealand is a relatively new development in the countries' long histories of cinema production, and the Post-Modern, Post-Colonial ethos of the 1970s seems to have resulted in something of a flowering of directorial, as well as acting talent. Australian and New Zealand actors in particular are nowadays household names. The Tolkien adaptations of recent years have also made stars of antipodean landscapes. But landscapes are only a part of the rich cultural heritage of Australia's Aboriginal, and New Zealand's Maori, pasts, and filmmakers in the last 40 years or so have chosen to investigate the difficult and sometimes traumatic social and cultural interface between the diverse inhabitants of the region.
Jane Campion's The Piano gives us yet another glimpse into the colonial past in a well-received and memorable film. The undeniable talent of Baz Luhrmann is first aired in what may be his best film to date, Strictly Ballroom, some of the glitz of which is transferred to the riotous The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, with its star turn from Terence Stamp. On the more serious side, social disharmony is in full view in Once Were Warriors, and the recent wave of crime thrillers has its origins perhaps in Lantana.
December 4, 8pm RABBIT-PROOF FENCE
Historical adventure drama. Government policy dictated that half-castes be separated from their families and be indentured as domestic servants. In 1931, three girls escape from the gulag and set off on a trek across the outback. True story. ‘A chillingly arrogant quasi-eugenic experiment, carried out in the name of Her Majesty the Queen until the early 1970s, is what is denounced by this heartfelt, though somewhat heavy-footed movie’ (The Guardian). ‘The spic-and-span wholesomeness of “Rabbit-Proof Fence” ultimately makes its sting all the sharper. Its portrait of people who see themselves as decent, self-righteously trying to eradicate another culture, has the impact of a swift, hard slap in the face’ (New York Times).
December 11, 8pm WOLF CREEK
Horror. Stranded backpackers in the outback are given a helping hand by a local bushman who offers to fix their car but may have other ideas. Based on true events. ‘Swaggeringly nasty, self-assured piece of ordeal horror ... This is the best Australian movie since Lantana, and deserves an audience outside the horror fanbase’ (The Guardian). ‘For all its vaunted freshness, Wolf Creek is ultimately just another exercise in woman-in-peril sadism that’s good for a few screams but has little to say’ (BBCi).
December 18, 8pm MARY AND MAX
Finally, what many regard as a masterpiece of cinema in general, the brilliant tragi-comic and sadly almost unseen Mary and Max animation 'romance' rounds off the roller-coaster ride. Claymation comedy-drama. Asperger's Syndrome is the subtext of this touching tale of the friendship between unlikely pen pals Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl from Melbourne, and Max, forty-four-year old New Yorker with issues. Fasten your seatbelts: it's going to be bumpy...
BRITISH INSTITUE LECTURE & CONCERT SERIES
Every Wednesday at 18.00 from September to June there is a lecture, concert or other event in the Sala Ferragamo in the Harold Acton Library followed by an informal drinks reception.
Wednesday, December 04, 18.00
Lecture: Lucy Riall – The ghost of Italy Past: history and the making of modern Italy
The brilliant historian Lucy Riall returns to discuss modern Italy’s troubled and ambivalent relationship with its distant and not so distant past.
Wednesday, December 11, 18.00
Lecture: Kamin Mohammadi –‘Abe-roo’ and ‘Bella figura’: some points of contact between Iranian and Italian culture
British-Iranian author, journalist and broadcaster Kamin Mohammadi, author of The Cypress Tree, considers the notion of saving face, as understood in the cultures of her native and of her adoptive land.
Wednesday, December 18, 18.00
Festive readings, with carols by the St Mark’s Concert Choir directed by Giovanna Riboli
Thursday, December 05, 16.30
Afternoon Tea Party
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. ~ C.S. Lewis
Friday, December 06, 17.00
A Children's Reading
The Cats' Magician and the Masked Dog
Friday, December 13, 15.00 - 18.00
Arts, crafts, books, gifts and food. Start the festive season by coming to the annual Harold Acton Library Christmas Fair. Afternoon tea will be served by Tealicious.
Once again they have a delicious Fortnum & Mason food hamper to be won and Salvatore Ferragamo have kindly donated silk ties and scarves. Tickets to win these luxury items are on sale at the library.
All proceeds will support the Library.
A WINTER VISIT TO THE FOUR SEASONS
The announcement hasn’t been made but we believe after two years of success the Four Seasons Hotel will continue the tradition so do not miss this! We believe that on Sunday 15, from 10:00 am. to 4:00 pm. the Four Seasons Hotel will open its lovely and extensive private garden to the public again, offering roasted chestnuts, vin brulè and hot chocolate to all. With this initiative the new Four Seasons hotel has begun a Christmastime tradition that benefits the Istituto degli Innocenti.
The one euro symbolic entry donation (and any extra) goes directly to the Istituto which was founded with funds donated nearly 600 years ago by Francesco Datini, a merchant from the nearby town of Prato. In 1416 Datini left the princely sum of 1,000 florins to the silk guild (Arte della Seta), money with which the guild officers were able to raise many more florins for Datini's chosen cause. The guild oversaw construction of the famous building, a masterpiece designed by Brunelleschi. In 1445 the institute opened its doors and took in 62 abandoned children, the first of many thousands to come.
IF THIS EVENT IS SET the park may be accessed from the main gates located at Via Gino Capponi 54 and Borgo Pinti 97 and Piazzale Donatello 12. Call the Four Seasons Hotel for further info: 05526261 or http://www.istitutodeglinnocenti.it
NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATIONS
Tuesday, December 31, put your warmest coat over your fanciest clothes (and perhaps some long undies) and head to central Florence for at least three free outdoor concerts. While the final schedule is yet to be announced, traditionally Piazza della Signora hosts a classical concert starting around 11:15 pm. This year look for jazz, pop and rock to be happening in Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza della Stazione, Piazza Santa Maria Novella and Piazza SS. Annunziata.
Ring in the New Year at the Fortezza da Basso at a celebration from 10 p.m. on December 31 to 8 a.m. on the first day of 2013. With different rooms of the center featuring different music styles and international DJs and performers, you choose the ambience right for you to celebrate the New Year in Florence.