As part of the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States, the Phillips has partnered with the Embassy of Italy to present an exhibition that pairs contemporary Italian photographs with verses by celebrated Italian poets. On view at the Phillips through April 28, the show is complemented by posters featuring its photography/poem pairings on city buses. In honor of National Poetry Month, we bring you a selection from this series.
Gianni Berengo Gardin, Toscana, 1965.
Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle,
e questa siepe, che da tanta parte
dell’ultimo orizzonte il guardo esclude.
“The Infinite” (1819)
Always to me beloved was this lonely hillside
And the hedgerow creeping over and always hiding
The distances, the horizon’s furthest reaches.
Giacomo Leopardi (translation by Henry Reed)
Anish Kapoor. Underground, 2005. Photo: Dorothy Kosinski
As I settle back into the office routine at the Phillips, my mind drifts back to Tuscany. Last time I wrote about the surprise of a powerful Antony Gormley exhibition in San Gimignano. I want to share a photograph of another contemporary sculpture, a large site specific work by Anish Kapoor. The cone shaped concrete form was nestled within the fortress walls that ring the hilltop town. It took some work and persistence to find the piece, but was worth the effort. It felt like a secret, an art treat that revealed itself especially for us.
Dorothy Kosinski, Director
One of Antony Gormley’s human figures perched high atop a tower over the town of San Gimignano. Photos: Dorothy Kosinski
After fulfilling my teaching assignment with the Legatum Institute summer seminar, my husband Thomas and I spent a week in nearby Siena, a town that I love. Our final day in the area was devoted to a trip to the beautiful hilltop village of San Gimignano. I always make that pilgrimage to see the fabulous frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli in the monastery church of Saint Augustine or the painting cycles in the main cathedral, the Collegiata, including the gory damnation scenes by Taddeo Bartoli. What a 21st-century treat, however, to see the absolutely vast and wonderful exhibition of works by Antony Gormley at Galleria Continua! They had also installed Antony’s powerful figures in the town, including high on one of the many towers. We were pampered by one of the gallery owners, Mario Cristiani, who offered us a beautiful Tuscan lunch al fresco out in the garden on a terrace overlooking the beautiful surrounding landscape (with a two-figured marble Gormley nearby). Of course I loved the tie back to our own Phillips Gormley installation.
Dorothy Kosinski, Director
Clockwise from top left: Thomas and Antony Gormley’s Another Time XV in the town of San Gimignano; moving among Gormley’s Two x Two II; Gormley’s Vessel on view inside Galleria Continua; Mario Cristiani and Gormley’s Drift I.