Considered among the most famous, provocateurs and controversial international contemporary artists, Ai Weiwei (Beijing, 1957) is a guest of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence for his first Italian retrospective, whose title, LIBERO (FREE), alludes to the artist’s situation after his release from Chinese prison in 2011, and his ability to interpret art in all forms.
The exhibition, curated by the General Director of the Foundation, Arturo Galansino, occupies all the spaces of the palazzo. Also it includes the original work Reframe: 22 life rafts anchored to the windows of the building that wants to attract attention to the unedifying stories of migrants who try to cross the Mediterranean.
The courtyard of the building, also, is invaded with a mega installation: Refraction. Five tons of kitchens parts in solar panels for heating water which form a mammoth wing, refined by traditional Chinese kettles in aluminum.
The exhibition offers a vision of the artist’s work from the 80s to today: from the first works in New York, inspired by Duchamp and Warhol, to the original portraits, made for the occasion, and on-site with Lego bricks, of the Florentine dissidents (Dante , Filippo Strozzi, Savonarola and Galileo).