From renowned artists’ exhibitions in the Museo to prestigious collaborations with the worlds of film and music, Gucci celebrates creativity in every form.
The Language of Flowers
13th March – 20th September 2015
“The Language of Flowers”, seventh exhibition of the Pinault Collection at the Gucci Museo, is an allusion to one of Gucci's most iconic motifs: Flora.
Curated by Martin Bethenod, director of Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana, this exhibition brings together the works of four artists, produced between 1967 and 2012, who play with the iconography of flowers. The subject is much less simple than it may seem, as each work is remarkable in its power of visual seduction (and olfactory seduction for one of them), each imbued with a sense of delicate yet profound ambiguity. Above and beyond a motif that could be considered frivolous or banal, what in fact emerges are themes such as vanity, memory, politics and the value of art...
Valérie Belin, French photographer born in 1964, in Calendula (Marigold), 2010 and Phlox New Hybrid (with Dahlia Redskin), 2010, combines the female face with floral motifs, creating types of hybrids (in the botanical sense) marked by the ambiguity between human and plant, nature and artifice, real and virtual, presence and absence, seduction and coldness.
Einder, 2007-2008, by Marlene Dumas (born in South Africa in 1953) harbors a melancholy secret: this flower arrangement, floating on a sea of midnight blue, was placed upon the coffin of the artist's mother, who died shortly before. Beyond its beauty and delicate colors, it speaks of memory, grief and mourning.
The main material of Fantôme (Jasmin), 2012, by Latifa Echakhch (born in Morocco in 1974), is the jasmine flower, or more precisely, the flower necklaces that street vendors offer to passers-by in Middle Eastern towns and cities. The work is linked to one of the artist's memories: that of a travelling jasmine salesman in Beirut who covered his flowers with a shirt to protect their scent and freshness. Beyond its apparent fragility, this sculpture evokes the revolutions of the Arab Spring and the resistance to chaos. The flowers become a political metaphor.
The two diptychs by the great American photographer Irving Penn (1917-2009), Cottage Tulip: Sorbet, New York, 1967 and Single Oriental Poppy, 1968, were composed using the principle of combining a black-and-white picture with the same image in color. By virtue of the classicism of their composition and the extreme attention paid to their printing (platinum printing for the black and white, dye transfer for the color), both of these historical pieces show the dimension of complete formal control and the search for absolute perfection, as well as the awareness of the passing of time and the vanity of everything, which so profoundly mark the works of this master photographer.
Valérie Belin: Biography
Valérie Belin was born in Boulogne Billancourt (France) in 1964. She lives and works in Paris. Her photographic work, originally in black and white, later in color, is marked by a constant tension between objects and the body, still life and the human figure. Through various collections dedicated to Venetian mirrors, full of reflections and transparency, as well as lace clothing and wedding dresses, the artist endeavored to question the presence or absence of the body. Later on, through collections dedicated to bodybuilders, Moroccan brides, transsexuals, black women and white women, she leant towards the study of the human figure, and the body as an object through its many identities. The works of Valérie Belin have been exhibited in numerous museums and feature in great international collections such as the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Kunsthaus Zürich, the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, MoMA in New York, and LACMA in Los Angeles.
Marlene Dumas: Biography
Marlene Dumas was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Since 1976, she lives and works in Amsterdam, and since 1978 she has exhibited her works around the world. She is one of the most internationally acclaimed Dutch artists. In 1995, she represented the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale, and in 1996 the Tate Gallery exhibited a selection of her works on paper. In the past, Marlene Dumas has produced paintings, collages, drawings, engravings and installations. Currently, she mainly works with oil paint on canvas and ink on paper. Her sources of inspiration are manifold and include newspaper and magazine cuttings, her personal memories, Flemish painting and Polaroid photos. Most of her works can be classified as portraits, but these are not portraits in the traditional sense of the term. Rather than depicting a real person, they portray an emotion and a state of mind. The central themes of her work touch upon the issues of race and sexuality, guilt and innocence, violence and tenderness. Her work has been the subject of many solo exhibitions, particularly at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Serralves Foundation in Porto, the Haus der Kunst in Munich, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the MOCA in Los Angeles.
Latifa Echakhch: Biography
Latifa Echakhch was born in 1974 in El Khnansa (Morocco). She lives and works in Martigny (Switzerland). Her compositions form a complex ensemble of signs, symbols, patterns and indications. Her work encourages multiple interpretations, while playing on the multiplicity of meanings and questioning the status of the individual in a global world. The artist calls upon both geography and the concept of culture, as well as personal or collective history, and puts them at the heart of a social and political debate. In a profound and sensitive manner, her works resonate with the cultural tensions that trouble our times, the conflicts between particularism and universality, singularity and community. She succeeds in ridding objects of their cultural implications, whether originating from Arab culture or other cultures she has experienced, in order to consider them aesthetically, without removing their political implications, as these constitute her own personal experiences and critical positions. Latifa Echakhch's works have been the subject of exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Portikus in Frankfurt, the Kunsthaus Zürich and the Tate Modern in London. In 2014, she won the Marcel Duchamp Prize.
Irvin Penn: Biography
Irving Penn was born in 1917 in Plainfield, New Jersey. In 1938 he began a career in New York as a graphic artist - then, after a year painting in Mexico, he returned to New York City and began to work at Vogue magazine where Alexander Liberman was art director. Liberman encouraged Penn to take his first color photograph, a still life which became the October 1st , 1943 cover of Vogue, it was the beginning of a fruitful collaboration that lasted until his death in 2009. In addition to his editorial and fashion work for Vogue, Penn also worked for other magazines and for numerous clients in the United States and abroad.
Penn’s photographs are in the collections of major museums in America and abroad, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which in 1984 honored him with a retrospective exhibition that was later shown in twelve museums around the world. In 2014, Palazzo Grassi dedicated to the photographer a major solo exhibition, entitled "Irving Penn, Resonance".
October 3, 2014 - February 8, 2015
Following on from its exhibition dedicated to historic works by Lee Lozano, Alina Szapocznicow and Evelyne Axell from the 1960s and 1970s, Gucci Museo has focussed on Camille Henrot, the French artist born in 1978.
Her work, which embraces many artistic disciplines and theories of knowledge, utilises a very broad range of media: film, video, illustration, photography, sculpture, installation... The Gucci Museo exhibition in Florence will be showing Grosse Fatigue, a work first exhibited in 2013, at the 55th Venice Biennale, where she won the Silver Lion, and gained herself a very large following amongst international critics. Despite being exhibited in many museums across the world, this work has not been shown in Italy, ever since.
Based on extensive research carried out at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, Grosse Fatigue is a 13-minute film, featuring original music from composer Joakim and the voice of slam poet Akwetey Orraca-Tetteh, who reads a long spoken word poem written in conjunction with the writer Jacob Bromberg. Grosse Fatigue is shot through with immense utopian ambition: an ambition to create an infinite intermingling of scientific history with tales from history, mythology, art, anthropology… linked to Genesis and the evolution of the world. "In my video", the artist explains, "the desire to universalise knowledge is accompanied by the consciousness that I have of this act. Which is to say that at the very moment that I attempt to make the world liveable by universalising the subjective, I understand the futility of this attempt and its inherent limits
In conjunction with Grosse Fatigue, Gucci Museo is also showing one of Camille Henrot's sculptural pieces, which make use of varied materials, such as the industrial items used in Tevau (2009)
© Camille Henrot Courtesy the Artist and kamel mennour, Paris - Photo by Alessandro Moggi - © Gucci
Born in 1978. Lives and works in Paris and New York.
Was awarded the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 for Grosse fatigue.
Her work has been shown in a large number of exhibitions in the most prestigious international institutions, including the Tate Modern (London), the New Museum (New York), the Sculpture Center (New York), the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Jeu de Paume (Paris), the Fondation Van Gogh (Arles), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) and the Macba (Barcelona), to name but a few.
Martin Bethenod, curator of Camille Henrot Grosse Fatigue, talks about the exhibition and how contemporary art makes the world go around
Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue
October 3, 2014 - February 8, 2015
Click here to read more about the exhibition.
Lee Lozano, Alina Szapocznikow, Evelyne Axell in the Pinault Collection: February 21 - September 7, 2014
In 2014, the Gucci Museo in Florence is concentrating its contemporary art space schedule on the discovery and rediscovery of works by female artists, from the 1960s through to today's emerging generation, with a range of works from the Pinault Collection.
The "Femminilità Radicale" exhibition presents three artists who rarely, if ever, exhibit in Italy and whose works are a powerful testimony to the way in which, at the turn of the 1960s-1970s, female artists used the female body – and their own bodies – as an instrument for criticism and subversion: American Lee Lozano (1930-1999), Polish Alina Szapocznikow (1926-1973) and Belgian-born Evelyne Axell (1935-1972). The exhibition is being curated by Martin Bethenod, director of the Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana in Venice.
The real body, brought to life by the performances from Evelyne Axell or the conceptual projects from Lee Lozano which blur the line between art and life. The broken body, smashed to pieces in the sculptures by Alina Szapocznikow, whose work is on the fringes of both art and decorative art. The transposed body, in abstraction or confronting the triviality of the (masculine) universe of objects by Lee Lozano. The body at play in a critical look at the history of art from Evelyne Axell. The desiring body, dressed in the virtues of seduction, with Axell and Szapocznikow. The suffering body, threatened by exclusion, illness and death, with Szapocznikow and Lozano.
This is the first time in Europe that works from these three artists have been assembled in the same exhibition. The singularity of their approaches and the radicalism of their positions have brought each of them to know the exclusion and the oblivion of the art world whose rules they rejected.
Their recent rediscovery, thanks to important personal or collective exhibitions (such as "Seductive Seduction, Woman Pop Artists" in Philadelphia and New York in 2010), brings them back to the art forefront in all their freshness, power and topicality.
The works on show: Evelyne Axell
Le Viol d'Ingres par Axell, 1968
Oil on canvas, Formica, enamel, polyester
132 x 200 cm
La Tchèque, 1969
Enamel on Plexiglas, fixed on aluminium panel, in wooden and gilt frame designed by the Artist
67 x 35.5 cm
La Clôture or la Cloison, 1967
Clartex, enamel, canvas, striped painted wooden pole, painted wood frame and stand
161 x 155 cm
Les Deux Clefs, 1964-1965
Oil on canvas, in wooden painted artist frame
100 x 120 cm
The works on show: Lee Lozano
No Title, c.1965
Oil on canvas, 2 parts
234.3 x 310.3 x 3.9 cm
No Title, 1964
Graphite on paper
Without frame: 21 x 21 cm
With frame: 36.5 x 36 x 3 cm
The works on show: Alina Szapocznikow
Fiancée folle blanche, 1971
Polyester resin, fabric, Plexiglas base
46 x 30 x 30 cm
Sculpture-lampe IX, 1970
Coloured polyester resin, electric wire and metal
127 x 42 x 33 cm
Coloured polyester resin, bulb, electric wire and metal
46.5 x 13 x 11 cm
Evelyne Axell was born in 1935 in Namur (Belgium) and died in 1972. After studying art – pottery in particular – and starting a career as an actress, she went on to focus on painting from 1963, becoming an important figure in the Pop Art movement in Belgium.
Through painting, collage, drawing, diverted objects and performance (during a famous Happening, she brought into the crowd in the Foncke Gallery in Ghent a young woman wearing nothing but an astronaut's helmet) the artist explores themes including female eroticism, the cult of the automobile and space travel, by subtly combining seduction and provocation.
Her work gained new recognition in the 2000s, when it was presented as part of major exhibitions re-evaluating the place of female artists in the 1960s and 1970s both held in the USA ("Seductive Subversion" in New York and Philadelphia in 2010) and in Europe ("Power up: Female Pop Art" in Vienna in 2011), and in solo exhibitions in Brussels, Hamburg and Mönchengladbach in Germany (2011).
Lee Lozano was born in Newark (USA) in 1930 and died in 1999. Her work began in the mid-1960s, and it was primarily characterised by a raw expressionistic style where the representation of tools, (nails, screws, hammers etc.) was combined with explicitly sexual evocations; she later went on to pursue a more Minimalist aesthetic, exploring the physical properties of light.
In 1969, she began a series of extremely radical and striking Conceptual projects, which highlighted her vehement rejection of contemporary patriarchy and capitalism. For "General Strike Piece" (1969), she withdrew completely from the art world and from its market, refusing to exhibit or to communicate with anyone in that world. Even more radically, in 1971, with her work entitled "Decide to Boycott Women" – which would last over 20 years –she waives any contact with any woman whatsoever.
After a period of eclipse, Lee Lozano's work was rediscovered in the late 1990s: solo exhibitions, such as the MoMA PS1 in New York in 2004, and as part of major thematic exhibitions, such as "Transgressive Women" in Austin 2003 (where her work was shown notably alongside that of Yayoi Kusama and Ana Mendieta) or even "WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution" at the MoCA in Los Angeles 2007, restored her to her rightful place as a key figure in the history of late 20th-century art.
Alina Szapocznikow was born in 1926 in Kalisz (Poland), and died in 1973. Her youth was marked by the tragic experience of the Nazi ghettos and concentration camps. Having survived Auschwitz, she moved to Prague, then to Paris, where she studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts. Her career as an artist began in the 1950s in Poland, which she represented in a solo show at the Venice Biennale in 1962, then in Paris.
Through drawing, and sculpture in particular, where she made use of very diverse materials (resins, polyester, polyurethane, often associated with found objects), she made her own body the main subject s of her work: body in pieces, suffering body, body prey to the disease, which will eventually win out, but also desirable body, full of ambiguous seduction, even of quasi-surrealist fantasising… She re-emerged from oblivion in the 2000s with a series of solo exhibitions (in Wiels in Brussels, at the MoMA in New York in 2012 and at the Centre Pompidou in 2013).
June 28, 2013 – February 2, 2014
Joana Vasconcelos has been the fourth contemporary art exhibition of works kindly on loan from Pinault Collection with thanks to M. Franҫois Pinault. Curated by Francesca Amfitheatrof.
The exhibition includes 3 exemplary works: Red Independent Heart (2010), Psycho (2010) and Lavoisier (2011). Vasconcelos’ art practice is characterized by a decontextualisation of the familiar - be they household objects, plastic spoons or national icons - and the deconstruction of how we identify things, particularly gender, class, and nationality.
There is a political current to Vasconcelos’ work: the revolution of 1974 and the stifling patriarchal culture of the Salazar years form the backdrop and counterpoint to her ferociously energetic reinvention of Portuguese, and specifically female, identity. She has inherited and assimilated the visual language and themes of Duchamp’s readymade; the pop art of mass consumption exemplified by Warhol and Oldenburg; and the subversive, at times humorous, feminist voices of Louise Bourgeois and Eva Hesse. Perhaps more importantly, she incorporates traditional Portuguese crafts such as crochet, filigree and ceramics into her work, both as art practice and as historical subject matter.
Red Independent Heart
Suspended from the main gallery ceiling, Red Independent Heart (2008) is formed of thousands of translucent red plastic knives, forks and spoons half melted and shaped in an iron framework to create a beautiful, gracefully rotating heart-shaped form accompanied by the sound of traditional Portuguese fado singing. The heart is in fact a plastic rendition of a popular piece of Portuguese jewellery, “Coração de Viana” (“The Heart of Viana”) recreated on a monumental scale: it originates from the town of Viana do Castelo in North West Portugal, made using the technique of filigree - a craft rather like lace-making, using metal rather than thread, and practiced in the town since the middle ages.
Fado gives the work its title: it is a lyric from the song “Estranha Forma de Vida” (“Strange Way of Life”) and brings to the work another element of Portuguese history, the songs of performer Amália Rodrigues, whose much loved voice has dominated Portuguese popular culture since the middle of the 20th century, and is as familiar and pervasive a symbol of Portugal as The Heart of Viana it accompanies.
Lavoisier (2011) works on a more domestic scale, but is just as rich in meaning. It is made up of a stainless-steel kitchen sink entwined in the brightly coloured textiles that form so much of Vasconcelos' work. The crochet-work links this piece to a key idea explored on a much larger scale in one of her most famous works, Contaminacion (2008).
The handmade nature of the textiles, their soft texture, and their dazzling bright colours create a counterpoint to the machine made, grey-steel, stifling domesticity of the kitchen sink. They envelop it with an uplifting creativity, echoing the invasive, subversive nature of Contaminacion, the work speaks of the relationship between the modern industrial world and the traditional artisan world, the human and the modern, the ambiguity of progress.
Psycho (2010) continues the theme and takes it a stage further.
It is made up of two stainless steel showerheads linked together by a flowing tube of crochet-work, glass beads, and polyester, all in an aqueous palette of blue and green. Its title is familiar to us from the 1960 Hitchcock film in which the shower scene has come to represent an iconic image of violence against women. Again we have the dazzling textiles and the domestic setting, but now with the sinister reference to Hitchcock and violent emotion.
The title Psycho seems refers not only to the showerheads but also, in a more positive way, the manic energy of the snake-like textiles. It gives expression to a key theme in Vasconcelos’ work – the dichotomy between reason and emotion.
Hand-made (2008) documents, in a looped video projection, the handcrafted work in crochet and knitting, of five women of different generations, countries and cultural backgrounds.
The permanent circular travelling of the camera portrays the work and socializing between the protagonists, on a trip that covers some of the most emblematic examples of Portugal’s architectural heritage, from the megalithic Almendres Cromlech near Guadalupe, to the Pena Palace in Sintra, the epitome of Romantic architecture in Portugal, highlighting the documental character of the project. Hand-made thus reveals an intricate web of relations of an ethnographic, sociological and historical meaning.
Joana Vasconcelos is a Portuguese artist born in Paris in 1971.
She studied at the Ar.Co Centre for Art and Visual Communication in Lisbon from 1989-1996 and first came to global attention at the 2005 Venice Biennale with her work A Noiva (The Bride). A witty riposte to Marcel Duchamp’s ‘The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even’, it consists of a 5 foot chandelier made entirely from 25,000 tampons.
She was the first female artist to be invited to show work at The Palace of Versailles in 2012 and is the sole Portuguese representative of The Venice Biennale 2013.
Cindy Sherman: Early Works
January 10 – June 9, 2013
Cindy Sherman: Early Works has been the third contemporary art exhibition of works organised thanks to M. François Pinault. Curated by Francesca Amfitheatrof.
Cindy Sherman is a pioneer of photography as an art form. Working alone acting both as actor and director, she portrays characters using herself as the object and with the use of makeup and clothes she literarily transforms herself into the subjects whose life story she explores.
Following her graduation in 1976 whilst living in Buffalo, Sherman, together with a group of artists, created an artist space called Hallwalls. In a period spanning one year this enterprising and tight-knit group created works and organised numerous exhibitions. We are delighted to be showing three bodies of work from these immensely important and formative years.
Starting with Murder Mystery, 1976, Bus Riders, 1976 and Doll Clothes 1975. Unfortunately the original cutout photographs of Bus Riders were lost. But In 2000 Sherman reprinted both these bodies of works as a series of complete images . What is fascinating is to see from this series, are the mechanics of her working methodology.
Murder Mystery, 1976-2000 is a story narrated through stereotypical characters based on an imaginary crime movie. The story is centred on a 1930’s has-been actress who falls in love with the movie’s director. The immediacy of photography conveys the characters with a mixture of delight, cruelty and humour. The initial body of work was storyboarded as a film and the characters were shown as cutouts, which included 82 scenes, hung around the exhibition space like a mini movie at Hallwalls. They were presented for the first time in over 20 years in 2012. In 2000 Sherman printed, as black and white photographs, 17 of the characters she had created.
Bus Riders 1976-2000 was originally created for the first Photo Bus exhibition exhibited on Metro Bus 535. Acting out the typical every day characters found riding a bus, Sherman’s use of detail, persuades us to confront and absorb her narrative. By transforming herself with the use of facial expressions and poses she creates an immediate distinction between each character. The link between film (which she studied at college) and performance, is not to be underestimated and was crucial in developing her unique working narrative.
The animated film Doll Clothes, from 1975 (made whilst still in college) is centered on Sherman as a cut out figure in her underwear trying out different clothes. A real life hand that appears oversize in the frame, grabs the figurine, strips her and places her back in the plastic sleeve of the book. This oversized hand embodies society and women’s confrontation with conformity, structure and identity.
This seminal body of work represents Sherman’s deep involvement in the study of gender and identity, which Sherman has continued to develop over the following years.
Unfortunately the original cutout photographs of Murder Mystery and Bus Riders were lost. But In 2000 Sherman reprinted both these bodies of works as a series of complete images.
Born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Cindy Sherman is counted among the most influential artists of the last half-century. Upon graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1976, Sherman relocated to New York City where she began making the seminal Untitled Film Stills. She has gone on to photograph and cast herself in various roles through her masterful use of costume, setting and pose.
A major retrospective of Sherman’s work opened in February of 2012 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue, the exhibition travelled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Dallas Museum of Art. In May 2012, Hatje Cantz, in cooperation with the Sammlung Verbund Vienna, published a catalogue of formative early works produced by Sherman between 1975 and 1977.
Cindy Sherman has had one-person exhibitions at institutions that include: Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2007); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (2007); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2006/07); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2006); Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover, Germany (2004); Serpentine Gallery, London (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1997); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1997); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997); Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1996); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1996); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1987).
Paul Fryer: Lo Spirito Vola
March 17 – November 18, 2012
Paul Fryer: Lo Spirito Vola has been the second contemporary art exhibition of works on loan from the François Pinault Collection. Curated by Francesca Amfitheatrof, the exhibition presents three of Paul Fryer’s meditations on the transcendent, morality and religion; the major sculptural works Ophelia, Pietà (the Empire Never Ended) and Ecce Homo.
Paul Fryer makes iconoclastic art works which cross boundaries between art and science, as well as beautiful and challenging figurative sculptures. Arguably one of Paul Fryer’s most renowned works is the Pietà, a waxwork of Christ sitting in the electric chair rendered in about 2/3 scale. The Christ figure is lifeless but in a classic pose; the straps of the chair have been undone, and the execution concluded. This depiction of Christ in such a reduced scale triggers a chain of emotions, which slowly take hold of the viewer and a meditation on the human condition where violence and pain co-exist with concern and compassion. At the time of Christ’s death, the cross was a feared symbol of punishment and shame and did not appear as the holy crux of Christianity until centuries later. Now much more common, the cross has become one of the most used symbols. However, the electric chair still holds in our minds all the power and fascination that the brutality of this object evokes. By depicting Christ with this modern form of execution, Paul Fryer reignites the iconographic power that Christ on the cross once held.
Ecce Homo is a sculpture on loan from the artist’s private collection. A black egg floats above a nest of thorns, a perplexing and intriguing miracle. Is gravity about to overcome this mysterious spirit? Or will it ascend into loftier dimensions, following Christ and Ophelia?
Stripped of revisionist narrative, Paul Fryer’s vision is one of utter realism, which discards clutter. It is an evocation of our uncertainties and anxieties. Paul Fryer challenges the mythology of our culture.
A documentary about Paul Fryer’s work titled ‘Ascent into the Maelstrom’ by Simon Hitchman accompanied the exhibition.
In Fryer’s rendering of the Ophelia, she floats in a rectangular glass tank. The flowers have gone, she is alone, and the familiar Pre-Raphaelite image is abandoned. She is a realistic girl. Her left toes are slightly curled; this slight movement is possibly her last. Her hair, real hair, floats in a bath of translucent silicon. Her arms are outstretched in the shape of the cross. Her eyes are open allowing the viewer to stare into them as if being invited into the next world. Silent and frozen forever she has assumed an almost spiritual dimension, transcending the victim status she is most familiarly associated with as the sufferer of her own obsessive and unrequited love.
Paul Fryer lives and works in London, England.
He studied art briefly at the Leeds College Of Art in the 1980s but never did a degree in the subject, electing instead to be an electropop singer, and then to graduate as a transvestite DJ.
Since moving to London he has designed books and other printed material for several artists, fashion houses and record labels as well as working as technical consultant for several contemporary artists. During this period he wrote a book of poetry, Don't Be So..., which was illustrated by Damien Hirst and published by Trolley Books in 2001.
He previously worked in the fashion industry as a musical director. His critically acclaimed multimedia show Electronic Elvis was successfully performed at several London venues in 2003 & 2005 and was released on vinyl in 2005. He has shown at various shows and galleries.
Bill Viola: Amore e Morte
September 26, 2011 - February 28, 2012
Amore e Morte by leading American artist Bill Viola has been the Gucci Museo’s inaugural exhibition; it consists of two large video installations, Fire Woman (2005) and Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall - 2005).
The Tristan Project was first presented by Bill Viola as a visual accompaniment to a production of the opera Tristan und Isolde directed by Peter Sellars. Following the theatrical performances in 2005, a selection of the video material from the opera was reworked and sound added to create a series of video art works independent of Wagner’s music.
Its central theme focuses on the profound love between Tristan and Isolde, a love so deep that it cannot be contained in their human forms. The lovers decide that only in death can they be united, and their liberation from this world is represented by Viola through the all-consuming elements of fire and water. Bill Viola’s work has the ability to create a timeless connection between past and present, seen and unseen.
Bill Viola is internationally recognized as one of today’s leading artists. He has been instrumental in the establishment of video as a vital form of contemporary art, and in so doing has helped to greatly expand its scope in terms of technology, content, and historical reach.
For 40 years he has created videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast. Viola’s video installations - total environments that envelop the viewer in image and sound - employ state-of-the-art technologies and are distinguished by their precision and direct simplicity. They are shown in museums and galleries worldwide and are found in many distinguished collections. His single channel videotapes have been widely broadcast and presented cinematically, while his writings have been extensively published, and translated for international readers. Viola uses video to explore the phenomena of sense perception as an avenue to self-knowledge.
His works focus on universal human experiences - birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness - and have roots in both Eastern and Western art as well as spiritual traditions, including Zen Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and Christian mysticism. Using the inner language of subjective thoughts and collective memories, his videos communicate to a wide audience, allowing viewers to experience the work directly, and in their own personal way.
Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund
Gucci supports documentary film as an important artistic medium, and as a creative tool that has the ability to draw attention to relevant issues facing our world today. In 2008 Gucci established its second documentary finishing fund with the Tribeca Film Institute in New York. The partnership with TFI demonstrates Gucci’s continued commitment to supporting creative, independent talents in the film community.
The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund offers finishing funds to engaging feature-length documentaries which highlight critical issues of social importance from around the world. The fund focuses on documentaries that are driven by thoughtful, accurate and complete storytelling.
Since its inception in 2008, Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund recipients have been admitted to over 50 international film festivals, and continue to win prestigious awards.
Spotlighting Women Documentary Award
In 2011, The Kering Fondation has joined the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund through the creation of the Spotlighting Women Documentary Award.
The Award expands the reach of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund by annually awarding additional funding to projects that illuminate the courage, compassion, extraordinary strength of character and contributions of women from around the world.
New York, June 10, 2014 –Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI) and Gucci announced the 2014 grant recipients for the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund. The Fund provides production and finishing finances, along with year-round support and guidance to feature-length documentary films that highlight and humanize critical domestic and international social issues.
Nine projects have been selected from 560 submissions from more than 50 countries to receive a total of $150,000 in grants, to be administered by Tribeca Film Institute. Now in its seventh year, the Fund has supported 54 films and provided more than $910,000 in grants.
LThe projects that will collectively receive $100,000 total in funding for the 2014 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund are:
• 3½ Minutes, Directed and Produced by Marc Silver
• A Flickering Truth, Written, Produced and Directed by Pietra Brettkelly
• Afgan Justice, Directed by Nicole N. Horanyi; Produced by Helle Faber
• Cold Rush, Directed by May Abdalla; Produced by Elhum Shakerifar
• Freedom Fighters, Directed by Jamie Meltzer; Produced by Kate McLean
• Out of Mind, Produced and Directed by Kristi Jacobson
The projects that will collectively receive $50,000 total in funding for the 2014 Spotlighting Women Documentary Award are:
• Awakening, Directed by Gini Reticker; Produced by Beth Levinson, Aida ElKashef, Razan Ghalayini and Mohamed Siam
• India's Daughter, Directed and Produced by Leslee Udwin
• The Storm Makers, Written and Directed by Guillaume Suon; Produced by Rithy Panh and Julien Roumy
The 2013 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund provided grants to six projects which were selected from over 500 submissions from 60 countries around the world. The committee, comprised of Jada Pinkett Smith, Olivia Wilde, Roger Ross Williams, Molly Thompson and Brian Sirgutz, selected the recipients from finalists previously selected by Tribeca Film Institute.
Run and Gun by Marshall Curry
On a Knife Edge by Jeremy Williams
The Case Against Eight by Ryan White & Ben Cotner
The Shadow World by Johan Grimonprez
Silenced by James Spione Unlocking
The Cage by DA Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus
Additionally, three projects received grants through the Spotlighting Women Documentary Award:
Democrazy by Andreas Dalsgaard, Nicolas Servide & Viviana Gomez
Disruption by Pamela Yates
What Tomorrow Brings by Beth Murphy
The 2012 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund provided grants to five projects which were selected from a record 697 submissions from 56 countries around the world. The committee, comprised of Marshall Curry, Jesse Dylan, James Franco, Barbara Kopple, Andrea Meditch, and Robin Wright selected the recipients from finalists previously selected by Tribeca Film Institute.
E-Team by Katy Chevigny & Ross Kaufman
God Loves Uganda by Roger Ross Williams
First to Fall by Rachel Anderson
Mercy Mercy by Katrine Kjaer
Two Children of the Red Mosque by Hemal Trivedi
Additionally, three projects received grants through the Spotlighting Women Documentary Award:
Alias Ruby Blade by Alexander Meillier
Break of Dawn by Berit Madsen
The Supreme Price by Joanna Lipper
The 2011 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund provided grants to six projects which were selected from over 450 submissions from 38 countries around the world. The committee, comprised of Jessica Alba, Amir Bar-Lev, Wendy Ettinger, Frida Giannini, Edward Norton, and Mariane Pearl selected the recipients from finalists previously selected by Tribeca Film Institute.
Untitled Global Health Documentary by Kief Davidson
Charge by Mike Plunkett
An American Promise by Michele Stephenson and Joe Brewster
Web Junkie by Hilla Medalia
The Great Invisible by Margaret Brown
Democrats by Camilla Nielsson
Additionally, three projects received grants through the Spotlighting Women Documentary Award:
Rafea: Solar Mama by Jehane Noujaim and Mona El Daeif
Justice for Sale by Ilse and Femke van Velzen
The World Before Her by Nisha Pahuja
The 2010 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund provided grants to seven projects which were selected from 390 submissions from 23 countries around the world. A committee comprised of Mariane Pearl, Trevor Neilson, Diana Barrett, Simon Kilmurry and Liz Garbus selected the recipients from finalists previously selected by Tribeca Film Institute.
African Deep by Rachel Boynton
The Redemption of General Butt Naked by Eric Strauss & Daniele Anastasion
Welcome to Shelbyville by Kim Snyder
Donor Unknown by Jerry Rothwell
The Mosou Sisters by Marlo Poras & Yu Ying Wu Chou
William and the Windmill by Tom Rielly
In the second year of the fund, seven projects were selected from 350 submissions from 41 countries. A committee comprised of Dan Cogan, Abigail Disney, Philip Gourevitch, Julia Ormond and Sam Pollard selected the recipients from finalists previously selected by Tribeca Film Institute.
Anatomy of Poverty by Elinyisia Mosha
Born Under Fire by Jairo Eduardo Carrillo
Enemies of the People by Rob Lemkin and S. Thet
The New Public by Jyllian Gunther
Made in India by Rebecca Haimowitz and Vaishali Sinha
Marathon Boy by Gemma Atwal
The List by Beth Murphy
In the inaugural year of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, seven projects were selected from a pool of 450 applicants from 28 countries. A committee comprised of filmmakers John Battsek, Gael Garcia Bernal, Alex Gibney, Jacquie Jones, Rory Kennedy, Diego Luna, Albert Maysles, and Diane Weyermann selected the recipients from finalists previously selected by Tribeca Film Institute.
Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi by Ian Olds
The Oath by Laura Poitras
Sons of Perdition by Jennilyn Merten and Tyler Measom
Delta Boys by Andrew Berends
Give Up Tomorrow by Martin Syjuco and Michael Collins
If a Tree Falls by Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
Only When I Dance by Beadie Finzi
The Film Foundation
Celebrating a rich history influenced by film, Gucci is proud to support The Film Foundation’s efforts to save cinematic treasures. Created in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, The Film Foundation (film-foundation.org) is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history. By working in partnership with the leading archives and studios, the foundation raises awareness of the urgent need for preservation and has saved over 600 films, which are made accessible to the public through programming at festivals, museums and educational institutions throughout the world. Many are not aware that these valuable artifacts of our cultural heritage are in danger of deterioration. Those who work to preserve the treasures of the first hundred years of cinema are in a race against time.
The Gucci partnership with The Film Foundation demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to restoring and preserving the work of artists and their legacies. While statistics about the number of films lost to damage and deterioration are staggering, there is no more powerful way to make clear the preservation message than to provide audiences with the opportunity to experience cinematic treasures firsthand.
Starting in 2006, Gucci has committed to add one film every year to a growing collection of restored titles and has presented them at international film festivals around the world. To date the collection includes:
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
(1955, d. Nicholas Ray)
IL CASO MATTEI
(1972, d. Francesco Rosi)
ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA
(1984, d. Sergio Leone)
LA DOLCE VITA
(1960, d Federico Fellini)
A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE
(1974, d. John Cassavetes)
(1955, d. Michelangelo Antonioni)
(1970, d. Barbara Loden)
(1954, d. Luchino Visconti)
(1963, d. Luchino Visconti)
Rebel Without a Cause
1955, d. Nicholas Ray
Nicholas Ray’s iconic film tells the story of a troubled teen, Jim Stark (James Dean), who moves to a new town and quickly makes enemies with the local high school gang. Set within a 24 hour timeframe, the audience follows Jim, Judy (Natalie Wood) and Plato (Sal Mineo) as they struggle with friends, families and authority. A series of emotional and violent events bring the teens together, and they find in each other the family they've been seeking.
The film immortalized James Dean; launched the Hollywood careers of Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, and Dennis Hopper; and captured the zeitgeist of the 1950s through the prism of teenage angst.
The restoration was completed from an 8K scan of the original CinemaScope (widescreen 2.55:1) camera negative at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging (MPI). Due to color fading and the heavy physical damage the original camera negative sustained as a result of its popularity and numerous theatrical re-releases, it could no longer yield an acceptable photochemical print.
The camera negatives for reels 3 and 4 were discarded by the studio many years ago as they had been entirely damaged in printing. Reels 7 and 8 were extremely fragile and had sustained heavy damage in the perforations throughout the reels.
For the restoration, Warner Bros. scanned and recombined YCM separation master positives for the missing camera negative sections. They also used the YCMs to replace sections of damaged picture negative in reels 1, 2, 6 and 7. The original Technicolor dye-transfer answer print was used for color reference.
Il Caso Mattei
1972, d. Francesco Rosi
Il caso Mattei (The Mattei affair), directed by Francesco Rosi, is a brilliant political thriller based on actual people and events. The film explores the ambitions, accomplishments, and mysterious death of Eni’s founder, Enrico Mattei. The success of Eni, a state-owned oil company, was considered a key reason for Italy’s postwar economic boom, but Mattei’s expanding political power and unorthodox vision made him many enemies. He was killed in 1962 when his private plane crashed outside Milan. Inclement weather was the official explanation, but this ignored the testimony of eyewitnesses who saw a mid-air explosion before the plane fell to earth.Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival (sharing the prize with Elio Petri’s La Classe Operaia Va In Paradiso), the film has long been championed by Martin Scorsese and has recently been re-discovered by a new generation, which sees Il caso Mattei as an unflinching exposé of Italian politics, society and morality.
Il caso Mattei was restored at the Cineteca di Bologna’s preservation facility, L’Immagine Ritrovata, using original camera negatives and vintage prints. Mold growth was detected on the original elements, which caused emulsion damage. The mold also damaged the picture with visible yellow stains, which were difficult to eliminate digitally, so the first-generation interpositive was used in those areas.
Once Upon a Time in America
1984, d. Sergio Leone
Internationally-renowned filmmaker Sergio Leone was known for his re-invention of the Western with films like The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). Leone’s final film, Once Upon a Time in America (1984), re-envisioned the gangster genre. Based on Harry Grey's novel, The Hoods, the story follows the lives of a gang of childhood friends, led by David “Noodles” Aaronson (Robert De Niro) and Maximilian “Max” Bercovicz (James Woods), as they rise to prominence in New York City's criminal underworld.
Spanning a period of American history from the 1920s to the 1960s in a non-chronological structure, Leone and the film's crew meticulously evoked three separate eras through masterful production design, costuming, and a brilliant score by Ennio Morricone. Exquisitely lensed in the United States and Europe, Once Upon a Time in America was one of the last great epics to be shot before the advent of the digital age. With its unforgettable imagery and powerful performances, the film is the culmination of Sergio Leone’s magnificent career.
Working with the Leone family, the Cineteca di Bologna restored the 229-minute version of the film utilizing the original camera negative held by the film’s rights holder, Regency Enterprises. Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) scanned the original camera negatives at 4K resolution.
The Cineteca di Bologna’s lab, L’Immagine Ritrovata, undertook a 4K digital restoration of the scanned material including image stabilization, dirt removal, de-warping, de-flickering, and frame reconstruction, as well as an overall color correction. The results have been output to DCP and 35mm for screenings. For archival purposes, the data was backed up on LTO-5 and disk drives, and a new 35mm internegative was produced.
In addition, after years of research and interviews with Leone’s family and collaborators on the film, archivists at the Cineteca di Bologna rediscovered and restored roughly 20 minutes of the director’s original 269-minute version, bringing the film even closer to Leone’s original vision.
La Dolce Vita
1960, d. Federico Fellini
Considered revolutionary at the time of its release, Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita changed the landscape of international filmmaking. The film chronicles seven nights and the dawns that follow as journalist Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) pursues "the sweet life" in post‑war Rome – floating between the debaucherous high society lifestyle he seeks with his rich lover and a Swedish bombshell, and the stifling domesticity offered by his suicidal girlfriend.
The film's iconic images – the Jesus statue flying over Rome, Anita Ekberg frolicking in the Trevi Fountain in her evening gown – have become unforgettable snapshots of a society in glamorous decay. Fellini brilliantly conducts Otello Martelli's sparkling black & white cinematography, Nino Rota's jazzy score, and one of Mastroianni's finest performances in a film that encapsulates his many gifts to cinema: the ability to see the absurdity and magic of it all, at the same time – the tragedy and the beauty.
The digital restoration was carried out starting from the original camera negative – shot in Totalscope (2.35:1) on Dupont film stock and scanned at a 4K resolution. Some sections of the film showed clear signs of decay. Some frames, particularly at the beginning of each reel, were seriously damaged and irreparably affected by mold, therefore a lavander print was scanned for those sections.
Following scanning, the images were digitally stabilized and cleaned to eliminate signs of time such as spotting, scratches, and visible splices. In order to bring back the original splendor of the film, the digital grading was executed with particular care using a vintage copy as a reference, as well as a positive copy restored in the 90s by Fellini’s processing expert Vincenzo Verzini. Ennio Guarnieri's contribution, DP Otello Martelli's camera assistant, was invaluable at this stage.
The original sound was digitally restored using the 35 mm optical sound, from which a positive track was printed. Following the acquisition of this element, digital cleaning and background noise reduction was applied. The restoration has generated a duplicate negative and a new soundtrack for preservation. A complete back-up of all the files produced by the digital restoration was also made using several data storage.
A Woman Under the Influence
1974, d. John Cassavetes
Nick Longhetti (Peter Falk) is a construction crew chief trying to keep his work and family life together. His beautiful wife, Mabel (Gena Rowlands) is eccentric and seems to be slowly disintegrating, unable to cope with her role of wife and mother. Though Nick and Mabel are deeply in love, neither are able to communicate or meet the needs of the other. After a series of disturbing events, friends and family begin to question Mabel’s mental health. Nick’s mother pressures him to have Mabel committed to an institution and he reluctantly agrees. The resulting domestic turmoil tears the couple and their family apart. Cassavetes’ searing look at a woman beset by mental illness reflected the feminist movement with its observations of claustrophobic domesticity.
Long takes and close-ups heighten the emotional impact of Mabel’s increasingly bizarre behavior and its effect on her marriage and family. Gena Rowlands' masterful performance remains one of the most powerful ever filmed. A key movie of the early 1970s, the film stands today as one of the foremost examples of Cassavetes’ unsparing realism. The seeds of today’s family dramas, and indeed, of the entire contemporary independent film movement, can be found here and in Cassavetes’ other works.
Cassavetes' surviving original magnetic soundtrack master mix was utilized by Audio Mechanics as the primary sound source for a digital restoration.
The cleaned-up digital file was used as the source to create a new preservation 35mm magnetic fullcoat master and soundtrack negative. This was used in conjunction with the 35mm recombined picture internegative to produce new release prints.
1955, d. Michelangelo Antonioni
The film opens with designer Clelia (Eleanora Rossi Drago), returning to her native Turin to launch a new fashion salon. At her hotel, she discovers the unconscious body of a woman, Rosetta (Madeleine Fischer). In the aftermath of what we learn was Rosetta’s attempted suicide, Clelia meets Rosetta’s friend Momina (Yvonne Furneaux), who introduces Clelia to a group of socialite women. While trying to manage the construction of her new salon, she is distracted by the new relationship with Carlo (Ettore Manni). As work of her new salon comes to a finish, so do the friendships in her new social circle. The real achievement of Le Amiche might be the deftness with which Antonioni handles the stories of eight different characters. He allows the plot to unfold, instead of artificially trying to introduce all the characters; we follow one character until he or she meets another who is involved in the story. Once all of the characters are introduced, Antonioni cuts back and forth between different storylines so gracefully that it never seems as though any one character is neglected.
Cineteca di Bologna (Bologna Film Archive) digitally restored Michelangelo Antonioni's 1955 film, Le Amiche, from the original black & white 35mm camera negatives. The original camera negatives were first scanned at 2K resolution and then, using the resulting scan, cleaned to remove any dirt, scratches and de-graining to stabilize the picture.
Additionally, the audio was digitally restored using the original sound negative. A digital internegative was created from the newly restored film and audio elements. From this digital internegative, a black & white interpositive fine grain master was produced, which generated an answer print. After the print was checked, 35mm black & white release prints were struck.
1970, d. Barbara Loden
For Wanda, Barbara Loden was inspired by an article about Wanda Goranski, an accomplice in a bank robbery who at her sentencing, thanked the judge for her 20 year sentence. At the time of its release, the film raised gender issues and ignited a dialogue amongst working class women and those on the forefront of the feminist movement, well before feminist topics were mainstream. With its powerful realism, Wanda is among the most formidable directorial debuts in independent cinema. Though it won the Critics’ Prize in Venice in 1970, Wanda achieved little domestic success. In recent years, the film’s reputation has grown.
Barbara Loden began her career as an actress, best known for her role in Splendor In The Grass where she met director and future husband, Elia Kazan. Wanda proved to be the only feature Barbara Loden would direct before her untimely death in 1978.
The UCLA Film & Television Archive holds the original 16mm color reversal camera original A/B rolls and original optical track, which were identified and rescued from a laboratory closure by an archive staff member the day before they were to be destroyed.
The original A/B rolls were blown up to a 35mm preservation internegative. The soundtrack was digitally restored and a new 35mm soundtrack negative was struck. The resulting 35mm negatives serves as the source for a color-graded 35mm viewing print.
1954, d. Luchino Visconti
Set in 1866 Venice during the period of Italian unification, the unhappily married Countess Livia Serpieri (Allida Valli) falls desperately in love with Franz Mahler (Farley Granger), a charming but dissolute officer with the Austrian occupying forces. Betraying both family and country, she becomes consumed by their affair. As war approaches, Livia is entrusted with a large sum of money meant for the Venetian resistance, but gives it to Franz so he can buy his way out of military service. Soon Livia’s passion spirals into jealousy, revenge and, ultimately, madness. From the opening scenes at a performance of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Senso unfolds with richly operatic intensity.
The extravagant beauty of Visconti’s first color film signals a distinct departure from neo-realism. With sets inspired by important Italian paintings, and costumes by legendary designers Marcel Escoffier and Piero Tosi, the production design re-creates the historical period with spectacular and accurate detail. Senso was nominated for the Venice Film Festival’s coveted Golden Lion Award, and Aldo Graziati’s stunning camerawork was awarded the Silver Ribbon for Best Cinematography by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists.
L’Immagine Ritrovata at Cineteca di Bologna performed a digital restoration of Senso’s original 3-strip Technicolor camera negatives. The film’s positive masters were also utilized, when it was discovered that the original negatives had problems such as lost frames and deep scratches that could not be digitally filled.
The key reference for color correction was a 1954 positive print as well as a print created from a photochemical restoration done in 2001. Although Senso was also photochemically restored in the late nineties, L’Immagine Ritrovata’s digital restoration addressed issues that were impossible to fix then.
1963, d. Luchino Visconti
Aging Sicilian Prince Don Fabrizio Salina (Burt Lancaster) views the waning fortunes of his aristocratic line and culture with a melancholic yet stoic detachment as the middle classes rise to form a unified Italy in the 1860’s. Seeing his ambitious and savvy nephew, Tancredi Falconeri (Alain Delon) as the family's hope to continue the prestige of their family line in spite of these changing times, Don Fabrizio encourages the marriage of Tancredi to the beautiful daughter (Claudia Cardinale) of a wealthy former peasant (Paola Stoppa).
The classic novel by Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa sets the tone and provides the tale for this Luchino Visconti masterpiece that exemplifies the themes that are the hallmark of his work, grand passions played out in the world of the European aristocracy. With Academy Award-nominated costumes, sweeping cinematography of the Sicilian countryside by Giuseppe Rotunno, and an elaborate 45-minute ballroom set-piece that reflects the studied social exposition of the entire film, the Cannes Film Festival fittingly awarded Il Gattopardo the Palme d’Or in 1963.
Il Gattopardo was photographed in a process called Technirama, in which images are captured on 35mm film horizontally rather than vertically. The resulting anamorphic image, twice the size of a standard 35mm frame, is remarkably sharp and full of detail.
Since 1963, the camera negatives faded, and exhibited most of the issues common to films of its era – although because of the photographic process, scratches and dirt move horizontally across the frame rather than vertically.