Bill ViolaBetween the Classic and the Contemporary

A significant exhibition celebrating this
unchallenged master of video art

Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi introduces Bill Viola, a significant exhibition celebrating this unchallenged master of video art, presenting works that span his long career, and which resonate with the architecture of Palazzo Strozzi. Curated by Arturo Galansino and Kira Perov, executive director of Bill Viola Studio, the exhibition reviews a career invariably marked by a combination of technological research and aesthetic reflection. It includes works beginning with his early experiments with video in the 1970s right up to the large installations of the 2010s that have drawn the public’s attention with their strong impact on the senses. In a totally unprecedented layout, the exhibition will also use the Renaissance context of Palazzo Strozzi to fuel an extraordinary dialogue between the classic and the contemporary through the juxtaposition of Viola’s work and masterpieces by great artists of the past that have served as sources of inspiration for this American artist and marked the development of his style. In exploring spirituality, experience and perception, Viola observes mankind itself; people, bodies and faces are the leading players in his works, with their poetic and strongly symbolic style in which man is called on to interact with such forces and opposing energies of nature as water and fire, light and dark, the cycle of life and the cycle of death and rebirth. Creating an exhibition of Bill Viola’s art in Palazzo Strozzi, also means celebrating the special relationship that the artist has always had with the city of Florence. It was in this city that he continued to develop his career as a video artist when he was technical director of art/tapes/22, a centre for the production and documentation of video from 1974 to 1976. Palazzo Strozzi will be extending the exhibition experience to other locations in Florence and Tuscany, thanks to important partnerships with museums and other venues in the region, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Santa Maria Novella Church Museum in Florence or the St. Andrea Church Museum in Empoli, where the artist’s work will be on display, further illustrating his rapport with the history and art of Tuscany.