A curved blade of steel sets itself like a twisting stem against the spectacular panorama of Florence, it seems to reach for the sky from the highest point of the famous Boboli Gardens. This stunning alien construction is just one of sixteen sculptures presented by British artist Tony Cragg within the lush greenery of the ornate palace gardens. Other additions include a bulbous red resin floral arrangement, and stacked oval pebble-like constructions that lounge on manicured green lawns.
Chosen as the latest artist in the Boboli’s series on contemporary sculpture, the display marks the first time that a main Italian museum has dedicated an entire exhibition to Cragg’s work, and what a display it is! Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries, notes how “the Boboli Gardens, with their natural wonders, works of ancient art and highly rational structure, are the perfect theatre for this exhibition. In fact, the theme of sculpture in the park, central to the artist’s poetics, necessarily includes forms inspired by nature and its mysterious power, created by Cragg to provoke a strong reaction in the observer, whether it be pure emotion or intellectual interpretation”.
An established and innovative voice in the world of contemporary sculpture, Cragg is one of the rare artists to have won the Turner Prize and represent his home country at the Venice Biennale in the same year. We’re also proud to have collaborated with this art-world giant not once but several times, with Cragg’s work a firm favourite at our Glasstress exhibition in Murano. With a selection that spans the last twenty years of his work, from 1977 to present day, it’s evident that Cragg’s monumental sculptures feel right at home in the intricate and expansive botanical world. Complex shapes, surprising settings and unexpected shades ensure a spectacular visual journey that’s just waiting to be discovered.