Syracuse University in Florence joins SUArt Galleries to debut new gallery, exhibition
Syracuse University in Florence joins SUArt Galleries to debut new gallery, exhibitionNovember 07, 2006Daeya Malboeufdmking04@syr.edu
Syracuse University in Florence (SUF) and SUArt Galleries have joined together to launch the new SUF Gallery and its debut exhibition, “Visual Poetry: Quinto Martini’s Interpretation of the Divine Comedy.” An opening celebration is scheduled for Nov. 16 in Florence, and the exhibition will be open to the public beginning Nov. 17.
“Visual Poetry” presents the work of the renowned Tuscan artist and writer Quinto Martini (1903-90). Over a period of more than 20 years, Martini’s fascination with Dante’s poem the Divine Comedy led him to create visual interpretations for each canto of the poem’s three books. This exhibition presents a refined selection of sculptures, paintings and lithographs from this collection and shows them — some for the first time — in conjunction with their preparatory drawings. The selection was made from almost 500 works, focusing on Martini’s process of visual translation from Dante’s words.
The SUF Gallery is the first dedicated gallery space on an SU Abroad campus, and it has been created to “highlight aspects of intercultural exchange through exhibitions of art, providing an enlarged context for academic activity within the university and possibilities for collaboration with the larger community,” according to SUF Director Barbara Deimling.
“Visual Poetry” is part of a city-wide cultural event, “Dante: Art Generating Art,” in which SUF has partnered with the Florence City Council and select Florence-based cultural centers to host a series of events dedicated to Dante and the translation of his poem into other languages and media. Antonella Francini, SUF professor and co-organizer of the project, describes the event as “a dialogue illustrating the never-ending regeneration of Dante’s Comedy in contemporary poetry, music, visual arts, theater and multi-media works.”
This dialogue will be carried one step further when “Visual Poetry” travels to SU’s main campus in November 2007, with the collaboration of SUArt Galleries Director Domenic Iacono. Iacono describes the collaboration on “Visual Poetry” as a beginning. “Hopefully we will be able to bring an aspect of the Syracuse campus here in New York to Florence soon, and we hope to see the collaboration blossom over the next few years with an ongoing exchange of exhibitions between the two galleries.” Iacono and his staff are already developing two new exhibits for travel to the SUF Gallery in 2007. In the spring, the SUF Gallery will exhibit illustrations published in The New Yorker and selected from the Syracuse University Art Collection — a first for Florence. The fall exhibit will be centered around the American artist James Abbott McNeil Whistler and drawings from his sojourn in Italy.
The SUF Gallery also offers a new cultural space for the greater community of Florence. This aspect will be emphasized at a Nov. 16 reception organized to inaugurate the gallery and exhibition. Nora Dempsey, the U.S. consul general, and Eugenio Giani, city councilor for international relations, will speak about this important new contribution to the cultural life of Florence.
A selection of works has been posted in a mini-exhibit on the SUF website at http://www.syr.fi.it, and a catalog with the complete works of Martini’s Dante series has been published through Florentine publishing house Aion.
“Martini was a decisive artist with an intimate knowledge of the Divine Comedy,” says curator Devorah Block. “Rarely did he waver on his choice of narrative moment to represent each canto, and the documentation presented here demonstrates his particular interests in composition and color to reveal the meaning of his chosen verses as read by him.” For further information on the publication, contact Block at email@example.com.