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Bill Viola Modernizes Renaissance Classics

Joelle Grosso (March 13, 2017)
A riveting new exhibition by Bill Viola entitled “Electronic Renaissance” puts a modern spin on Italian masterpieces at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.

Palazzo Strozzi, a Florentine palace that now serves as a prominent international art gallery, is currently featuring the work of New York-based international video artist, Bill Viola. This special exhibition called Electronic Renassiance will not only celebrate the undisputed master of video art but it will also immerse its viewers in space, music, and sound as they track the career of this artist from his early experimental work in the 1970s up to his monumental installations of the 21st century.

The Story Behind Bill Viola

Although Viola was born and raised in New York, the artist has a strong connection with the Tuscan city of Florence since he lived there at the age of 23 while working at one of the first Italian centers dedicated to experimental video art. For 40 years now, he has consistently created various types of videos that engage viewers and bring them into a new world thanks to the use of state-of-the-art technologies that are distinguished by their precision and simplicity. Through his exploration of spirituality, experience, and perception, Viola examines humanity and the way man interacts with nature.

Electronic Renaissance

Viola’s special relationship with Florence is highlighted in this exhibition because it features many video works inspired by great Renaissance classics. Those timeless pieces will also be showcased in the room in order to establish physical contact while fueling a mesmerizing interaction between the ancient and contemporary world. What makes this show such a unique experience is because it fosters innovative dialogue between Viola’s work and the masterpieces of the brilliant artists of the past who he admires so much. For example, The Greeting re-enacts Pontormo’s Visitation, while Emergence establishes a conversation with Masolino’s Christ in his Pietà. The Deluge is a long video that portrays a group of people who get swept away along with their surroundings by a massive flood which is inspired by Paolo Uccello’s work of the same title.

For those who are interested in attending this beautiful show, it will be running until July 23rd in Florence. Everything will be showcased at Palazzo Strozzi except for two videos, Observance and Acceptance, which will be on display at the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore in the city center as well. More information can be found at: http://www.palazzostrozzi.org/