01 Firenze Massimo Barzagli

Barzagli's painting is the result of a dual gesture: the artist paints directly on the models he works with, such as the human body, animals, or vegetable elements; he then rolls out a canvas or PVC surface over them to capture their imprint. Thus the space on the canvas becomes the venue for an event, and the painted work becomes a kind of performance; this, because it is impossible to separate these figures eroded in colour from the gesture that spawned them, seeking direct contact with the matter of the body.
Since Barzagli's artistic career began in the eighties, the artist has always adopted an experimental and interdisciplinary approach which has led him to combine and contaminate painting with other expressive forms such as photography, performance art and installations. His painter's mark has also been imposed on preexisting images, photographs of home interiors airographed on canvas that become the backgrounds on which the body prints fluctuate, generating a particular tension and a sense of bewilderment in the gap between divergent images and times. While Barzagli's figuration appears to have abandoned the painted imprint procedure in recent years, he certainly has not lost interest in the physical relationship with the object depicted: in the stills in his Mai Home series, simple objects such as chairs, tables or lamps, flooded with light in a dark room, become imprinted on the monochrome backdrop of photographic paper likes figures in negative, like white luminous shadows. The images are the result of meticulous stage management in which the objects become the mute and almost unreal traces of a past time, converted into an emotional, magical and imaginary present on which the artist can indulge the fictional or real dramaturgy of his memories.

Massimo Barzagli was born in Marradi (province of Florence) in 1960; he lives and works in Prato and Florence. He began to show his work in personal and collective exhibitions in the late eighties, while the presentation of his work in fully fledged performance art situations began towards the end of the nineties: Concerto per pianoforte e tentacoli, FIAC, Paris, 1998; Sarabanda per mercato e disastro, Kunstmesse, Cologne, 1999. In 2005 he began to cooperate artistically with dancer Luisa Cortesi, with whom he devised a performance called Di Stanze which was first performed at the 35th Santarcangelo dei Teatri festival in 2005. Fiorile was presented at the Sesc de Arte Mediterrâneó Exhibition in Sao Paulo in Brasil, and at the Milano Oltre Festival curated by Luca Scarlini the same year.
He has shown his work in collective exhibitions in major galleries and museums including:
Galleria L'Attico, Rome; Galleria d'arte moderna, Bologna; Quadriennale d'arte, Rome; Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf; Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato; Palazzo Fabroni, Pistoia; Michelle Rosenfeld Gallery, New York. His most recent personal exhibitions include: The history of the heart, Entr'acte, curated by Sergio Risaliti, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 2002; Imperturbabilità, curated by Sergio Risaliti, Quarter, Florence 2005; Mai Home, curated by Sergio Risaliti, Galleria Alessandro Bagnai, Florence, September - November 2005.

Meeting point at festival Fabbrica Europa, Stazione Leopolda, Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5, Florence
How to get there: 15 min. walk from Florence SMN railway station. By bus, Ataf lines 1, 9, 12, 16, 17, 26 or 27 - alight at Porta al Prato stop


It's not possible to make reservation for this artist