Ai Weiwei’s ‘Libero’ at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence

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Ai Weiwei is one of the best and most provocative artists working in the world today. Now Italians and visitors to Italy will have a chance to see the Chinese artists’s works up close in an exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.

Titled “Libero” (Free), the comprehensive retrospective will feature cool and controversial items from Ai Weiwei’s catalog as well as new pieces that were inspired by Florence’s history and spirit. For example, the image of Girolamo Savonarola, above, was created using LEGO and the artist also chose to depict Dante Alighieri and Galileo Galilei using the plastic bricks.

Here’s another description of Ai Weiwei, his work, and this retrospective via Palazzo Strozzi:

This major exhibition will include key monumental installations, sculptures and objects, as well as videos and photography series produced throughout his career. These range from his years living in New York 1980s and ’90s when he discovered his ‘masters’ Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp, to the large iconic assemblages works from the early 2000s consisting of objects such as bicycles and stools, to his recent controversial and engaged works such as portraits of political dissidents built with LEGO bricks, and his projects on migration in the Mediterranean region.

“Libero” will run at the Palazzo Strozzi from 23 September 2016 until 22 January 2017. For more information, visit the Palazzo Strozzi website, where you can also see this teaser video of the exhibit.

(Look, I don’t know why they used music from Psy, a Korean artist, for this video. But I guess Ai Weiwei approved?)

Also, an aside: I had the pleasure of seeing Ai Weiwei’s “According to What?” exhibit when it traveled to Washington, DC in 2012, and it was incredible. Put this art event on your calendar!

Melanie Renzulli
Melanie Renzulli

Melanie Renzulli has been writing about Italy for more than 25 years.