Visitors to Florence’s historic Palazzo Strozzi get to see the building in a whole new light this autumn, thanks to Olafur Eliasson. The Icelandic-Danish artist has installed 11 of his sensory artworks in the building – including a brand new 11-ft-tall ellipse whose moire pattern distorts perceptions of the palace’s classical courtyard.
Under the Weather (2022) is a brand new artwork that is suspended 8 metres above the ground. As visitors look up at the artwork, its moire pattern of overlapping grids destabilizes their sense of equilibrium, shifting the perception of the courtyard’s architectural grid.
The artwork sets the tone for the expansive show, dubbed Nel Tuo Tempo (In your time). It is Eliasson’s largest exhibition in Italy so far and brings together old and new artworks to activate the palazzo’s spaces through light, shadow, reflection, pattern and colour.
Says Eliasson: ‘Nel tuo tempo is a meeting-up of artworks, visitors, and the Palazzo Strozzi itself. This extraordinary Renaissance building has travelled through the centuries to greet us here, now, in the twenty-first century – not as a mere host for art but as a co-producer of the exhibition.’
Across the Piano Nobile, Eliasson ‘borrows’ the building’s windows, using light, colour and shadow to reveal imperfections in their glass. He also revisits his weather-based installations, conjuring personal rainbows (With Beauty, 1993) and bathing spaces in monofrequent light that reduce colours to shades of grey and yellow.
The expansive show is curated by the Fondazione’s director, Arturo Galansino, who offers visitors the ‘Experience of “here and now”…projecting the legacy of the Renaissance into the present.’ Its a succint reminder that while Eliasson’s installations may have reached meteoric heights thanks to social media, they are always best enjoyed in person, in the moment.