The fantastical creatures of belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen at the Uffizi Gallery
Seduction opens the 2022 exhibition season with a new dialogue between the classical and the contemporary
Huge horned iguanas, a red tiger crouching in the middle of the Niobe room, new versions of the Medusa with its head teeming with fangs and pointed beaks: 30 installations by Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen dedicated to the themes of evolution and hybridisation are scattered among the museum's classic masterpieces until 20 March. Click here to discover the other exhibitions you absolutely must see this winter in Florence.
Vanmechelen, a painter, sculptor, performer and eclectic figure whose interests range from anthropology to bioethics, from the protection of human rights to bio-genetics, focuses his research on the concepts of hybridisation (of animal and plant species) and contamination (of expressive techniques and materials).
The works, all created specifically for the Uffizi, focus on the primordial, archetypal and antithetical concepts that have always nourished the human imagination: life-death, human-divine, earthly-spiritual, natural-artificial.
Set up in dialogue with the works in the collection, they constitute an evocative and disorienting journey around the idea of 'seduction': they are a sort of hymn to the power of life and the regenerative (but also hybridising, monstrous) force of the natural world.