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The show

The echo of widespread celebrations for the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death (born in Vinci in 1452, who died in Amboise in 1519) also reverberates from Prato, where the LEONARDO EFFECT exhibition opens from 5 April to 30 June 2019. Works from the Carlo Pall I collection , created by the Palazzo Pretorio Museum in collaboration with the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art, to which the Prato collector donated 200 works from his collection of contemporary art in 2006.
The exhibition at the Museum of Palazzo Pretorio - curated by the head of collections and archives of the Pecci Center, Stefano Pezzato, with the coordination of the curator of the Civic Museum, Rita Iacopino, and set up by the architect Francesco Procopio - presents over 80 works by 50 Italian artists and organized in a thematic path inspired by Leonardo, as a tribute to the genius of Vinci and in "continuity" both with the great historical-artistic tradition of Tuscany and with the vocation to contemporary art of the city of Prato, where they arose and are based various contemporary collections of excellence.

The symbolic work of the exhibition is the famous senile portrait of Leonardo graphically reworked by Man Ray in a ready-made with the help of 1967, which reaffirms the Duchampian matrix of the objet trouvé and paves the way for the postmodern recovery of universal icons such as Leonardo, ironically "rediscovered" with a cigar in his mouth. The premise of the exhibition thus becomes the canvas of the "lyricist" Ben Vautier which reports the manifesto assumption of conceptual art: Art is a discourse on art. The whole exhibition is presented as a "discourse on art" by Leonardo, his myth, his researches and his activities, his masterpieces and his codes, revisited and reinterpreted, taken up or evoked by dozens of artists in Italy and around the world over three decades, from the end of the 1960s to the 2000s.
On the ground floor of the Museum of Palazzo Pretorio the exhibition unfolds in contiguous sections of works dedicated to: Leonardo and Mona Lisa; words on art (and Leonardo); reflex writing; last dinner; the nature; anatomy and physiognomy; drawing and painting; tools and machines; the flight.
On the first floor of the Museum, on the other hand, other "collector's choices" are presented around the Leonardian imagery that constitutes the leitmotif of the exhibition.
The whole path, after all, is the result of choices, intentions and opportunities of Carlo Palli from Prato (former tennis player, then gallery owner, art dealer and auctioneer, then a passionate collector and irreducible archiver, client and partner of many artists) , of his predilection for neo-Dadaist artistic research, in particular Nouveau Realisme and Pop Art, Fluxus and Visual Poetry, of his assiduous frequentations with shareholders and performers, experimental musicians, irregular poets, intermediary artists; all artistic experiences that take up or retrace cultural motifs and social facts in a conceptual key yet amused, subtle and even pungent, intelligent but often irreverent, in forms that are now proposed in this exhibition

Ay-O, Anna Banana, Massimo Barzagli, Mirella Bentivoglio, Alighiero Boetti, Umberto Buscioni, Giuseppe Chiari, Philip Corner, Giuseppe Desiato, Paul De Vree, Herman De Vries, Jean Dupuy, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Giovanni Fontana, Claudio Francia, John Furnival , Fabrizio Garghetti, John Giorno, Klaus Groh, Pietro Grossi, Al Hansen, Geoffrey Hendricks, Allan Kaprow, Jiri Kolar, Ketty La Rocca, Arrigo Lora-Totino, George Maciunas, Roberto Malquori, Lucia Marcucci, Eugenio Miccini, Larry Miller, Yoko Ono, Luciano Ori, Orlan, Ben Patterson, Lamberto Pignotti, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Man Ray, Gianni Ruffi, Serge III, Mario Schifano, Daniel Spoerri, Stelarc, Luigi Tola, Karel Trinkewitz, Ben Vautier, Emilio Villa, Rodolfo Vitone, Wolf Vostell

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Piazza del Comune
59100 Prato


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