GOING CONTEMPORARY: The Gucci Museum in Florence is opening its seventh contemporary art exhibition on March 13.
Named “The Language of Flowers” — a title immediately linking to Gucci’s signature Flora motif — the exhibition unveils the works included in the Pinault Collection by four artists who played with the image of flowers to explore different themes, such as vanity, memory, politics and the value of art itself.
Among the works featured in the exhibit, curated by Martin Bethenod, director of Venice’s Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana, are “Calendula” and “Phlox New Hybrid” by French photographer Valérie Belin. These blur the lines between human beings and plants, combining female faces with floral motifs, while Marlene Dumas’ “Einder” painting shows a delicate floral arrangement placed upon the coffin of the artist’s mother, creating both a sense of grief and relief through its serene color palette.
Flowers are a life metaphor in “Fantôme (Jasmine),” a sculpture by Moroccan artist Latifa Echakhch, who was inspired by the image of a traveling Lebanese seller of jasmine covering his floral necklaces with a shirt to protect them. Echakhch created this installation celebrating the resistance to a frenetic life.
Irving Penn’s “Cottage Tulip, Sorbet, New York” and “Single Oriental Poppy” diptychs are also displayed at the exhibition. Composed combining a black-and-white picture with its colored version, they represent the search for perfection, as well as the awareness of the vanity of everything surrounding us.
The exhibition, which will be open until Sept. 20, will be celebrated with a cocktail party on March 12 at the Gucci Museum.