From 28 May to 29 August 2021 Palazzo Strozzi presents American Art 1961-2001, a major exhibition that celebrates modern art from the United States of America through over 80 works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Louise Nevelson, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Bruce Nauman, Barbara Kruger, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney, Kara Walker, exhibited in Florence, many of them for the first time in Italy, thanks to the collaboration with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The exhibition offers an extraordinary journey through important and iconic works of personalities and movements that have marked American art between two decisive historical moments, the beginning of the Vietnam War and the attack of 11 September 2001: from Pop Art to Minimalism, from Conceptual Art to Pictures Generation, up to the most recent researches of the 1990s and 2000s.
Curated by Vincenzo de Bellis (Curator and Associate Director of Programs, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center) and Arturo Galansino (General Director, Palazzo Strozzi Foundation), the exhibition testifies to the multifaceted American artistic production between painting, photography, video, sculpture and installations, proposing an unprecedented reinterpretation of forty years of history and addressing issues such as the development of the consumer society, the contamination between the arts, feminism, the struggles for civil rights. In 1961 John F. Kennedy became president and on 11 December the Vietnam War officially began, when the first American helicopters arrived in Saigon; in 2001 he became President George W. Bush when on 11 September nearly 3,000 people died in the most dramatic attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. These two years become watershed dates that define the affirmation of the United States as a political superpower but also mark an era of unprecedented experimentation for the art of which America becomes a global reference point.
In a path that offers the works of 53 artists, special attention is given to some key figures of these forty years.