With Italy undergoing another national lockdown, the government is spearheading initiatives to stop the rise of coronavirus cases. Numerous Italian cities such as Rome, Venice and Milan have returned to strict lockdown measures since March 15 and will remain shuttered through April 6. Florence currently has loose social distancing restrictions, but its cultural institutions remain closed as per The New York Times.

The acclaimed French artist JR recently installed an immense collage on the facade of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. With this outdoor work, the artist wants to emphasize the significance of appreciating arts and culture amid the pandemic. Titled La Ferita, which translates into “The Wound,” the work features a sizable fissure going through the institution’s external walls. Through these cracks, passersby outside can view a monochromatic composition of the institution’s interior as it remains closed, complete with notable artworks.

“What all these lockdowns have shown us very clearly is that people are hungry for culture. They want to access exhibitions, museums, libraries, theaters, cinemas, to have culture back as a fundamental part of their lives,” Arturo Galansino, the museum’s director, told Artnet News. “We want this work to be seen as an invitation to rediscover a direct relationship with art and to explore new forms of sharing and participation—a call to action for art and culture in this difficult moment.”

Galansino is currently spearheading online education initiatives and public art commissions for the city of Florence while the Palazzo Strozzi remains closed.

Elsewhere in art, Tomokazu Matsuyama unveils new large-scale paintings and a seven-meter-tall sculpture for his major “Accountable Nature” show at The Long Museum in China.

Palazzo Strozzi
Piazza degli Strozzi, 50123
Firenze FI, Italy
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