Reading Time: 2 minutes

His elegant paintings for the first time in Italy

John Currin, one of the most respected artists of our time, is in the spotlight at the Museo Stefano Bardini in Florence. For the first time in Italy, his elegant paintings will be on display until 2nd October in a unique and unmissable exhibition.

Endowed with a refined visual technique and culture, Currin is best known for his sophisticated portraits and enticing tableaux interpreted with irony and unabashed realism. His paintings have redefined contemporary portraiture thanks to unfailingly unclichéd settings and sarcastic innuendos, as well as a choice of subjects whose formal definition echoes the graphics of glossy or pornographic magazines. In Currin’s works the interpretation of female eroticism and the American bourgeois psyche proves to be almost surreal or grotesque, extremely disturbing. Yet, his figurative satire is never lurid or theatrical, ludicrous or tasteless. His figures, dressed or posing like minor characters of a romantic novel or unperturbed dummies in a fashion centre, and eager to engage even in solitary or group sex practices, reveal signs and expressions of unmistakable psychophysical disorders. The disproportionate or perspectivally deformed anatomy, the facial expression, alters the ideal representation of the Renaissance female body or face.

In this light, Currin’s painting follows more in Pablo Picasso’s and Willem de Kooning’s footsteps than in John Singer Sargent’s or Edward Hopper’s. The exhibition will feature a series of paintings for the first time on display in Italy, selected by John Currin to communicate with the extraordinary collections of painting and sculpture of the Museo Stefano Bardini, named after the great 19th-century antiquarian and collector from Florence. The exhibition will include also some of Currin’s drawings, as a token of his exceptional technique, side by side with Tiepolo’s and Piazzetta’s  graphic “sprezzatura”, some fine specimens of which are housed at the Museo Bardini.