Beyond NY: Bill Viola at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC and Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy

Beyond NY: Bill Viola at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC and at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy

Bill Viola at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC “‘Bill Viola: The Moving Portrait’—the National Portrait Gallery’s first exhibition entirely devoted to media art—offers a new interpretation of the work of the pioneering video artist as a career-long experimentation with portraiture. Since the early 1970s, Viola has been recognized for his groundbreaking and masterful use of video technologies, creating poetic works that explore the spiritual and perceptual side of human experience and search for […]

via Bill Viola: The Moving Portrait at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, through May 7, 2017 — Arts Summary

Another installation of Bill Viola’s revolutionary work is going on now half a world away at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy.  This exhibition is centered on the comparison of Viola’s films and the classical works that served as the inspirations for them.  One of those comparisons is between newly restored work by Jacopo Pontormo‘s “Visitation” (1528-9) and Viola’s “The Greeting” (1995).

Florence has a particular place in Viola’s career as he first visited the city right after graduating from the Syracuse University, NY. He came there to connect with the vibrant contemporary art scene and joined the art/tapes/22 studio founded by the video producer Maria Gloria Bicocchi. For this year installation of Viola’s work the city of Florence is going out of its way with concurrent shows of his work at the Uffizi galleries, the Santa Maria Novella Church Museum, and in the freshly refurbished museum of the city’s famous Duomo Cathedral.

The FT points out that “Viola’s art, as it returns” to Florence, “close to the sources of its inspiration, seems to have acquired an extra layer of meaning.”


Venue: Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC                      Time: till May 7, 2017

Venue: Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy                                                                 Time: till July 23, 2017