The Guggenheims in Florence

 
 

Palazzo Strozzi does it again. Arguably the most forward thinking museum in Florence, the former palatial home of the powerful Renaissance Strozzi family is a sight to take in, even if just for its grand architecture. And where the Fondazione Strozzi lacks in a permanent collection of art (it doesn't have one), it makes up with strong rotating exhibitions with unique themes. Their latest show, "From Kandinsky to Pollock. The Art of the Guggenheim Collections," is a blockbuster for modern art lovers. 

The exhibition examines and compares prized pieces collected by Solomon Guggenheim (of the Guggenheim Museum in New York) and his niece Peggy Guggenheim (of the Guggenheim Collection in Venice) from the 1920s through 1960s. Both lovers of the avant-garde, the wealthy American patrons helped propel the careers of numerous artists who are now celebrated as geniuses of their time. And all of these big names are represented in the show thanks to a considerable number of loans from the respective Guggenheim institutions on either side of the Atlantic. 

With a series of rooms curated and lit with powerful dramatic effect, the show starts off with a strong Kandinsky that puts everything in perspective. Then, as the exhibition continues, gradually moves from smaller-scale (but grandiose) European works by the likes of Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and Max Ernst to impressive large-scale paintings by the revered Pollock, Calder, and our personal favorite Mark Rothko who has an entire peaceful space dedicated to him. 

We attended the exhibition's opening reception, and judging by the huge number of attendees, interest in the rare coming together of these two striking collections is strong, to say the least. So our advice is to get to the Palazzo Strozzi mid-week to avoid crowded galleries and appreciate the art on view in peace.

From Kandinsky to Pollock. The Art of the Guggenheim Collections, Palazzo Strozzi, from March 19-July 24, 2016.