On March 9, the Uffizi Galleries will be launching the Challenge live, at the Garzoni exhibition’s Press Conference / Inauguration at the Pitti Palace’s famed Sala Bianca. During the Florence event, Gallery Director Eike Schmidt will share the concept of the Uffizi as a ‘living museum’ and its efforts in recent years to spotlight art by women. Exhibition curator Sheila Barker will impart a short presentation on ‘The Universe in a painting’ as related to Garzoni’s oeuvre, particularly works exhibited on this occasion. AWA Director Linda Falcone will ‘launch’ the challenge itself, with a selection of ‘photographed’ examples by select artists, locally and internationally.
A woman of her times, Giovanna Garzoni (1600 – 1670) exemplifies the seventeenth-century interest in scientific detail and minute realism, but her ‘miniaturist’ eye seeks a globalized vision. Garzoni’s art brings together England and Japan, Mexico and China… In her luminous still life works, shells collected on faraway beaches are matched with precious blooms that grow in jungle weather. Delectable fruit from the ‘front garden’ is heaped half-eaten in Far-East porcelain. The artist captures the ‘Universe in a painting’ by immortalizing artifacts from around the globe without ever straying from local landscape.
Starting March 8, as the world strives to remember and recognize the achievements of pioneering women, the Uffizi Galleries, in partnership with Advancing Women Artists and the Medici Archive Project, launch a creative ‘challenge’. It’s an appeal, ‘challenging’ modern-day artists to use Garzoni’s art as a springboard to create their own original works, spotlighting the foreign and the familiar. Cultural and educational institutions across the globe are invited to host their own editions. The Garzoni Challenge bridges the gap between art of the past and art of the present, becoming a catalyst for creative conversation through the centuries.