Francisco Smythe & Florencia at the Medici Riccardi Palace

The Embassy of Chile in Italy pays homage to the artist Francisco Smythe in the city where he made important part of his work, Florence, in the Medici Riccardi Palace, with works of important collections from the regions of Tuscany, Lazio and Campania. Curated by Antonio Arévalo and Paulina Humeres.

Francisco Smythe & Florencia at the Medici Riccardi Palace

Francisco Smythe (1952-1998) lived the cultural changes of the intense and short years of Popular Unity, during which the opening toward new plastic frontiers -such as Spanish Plastic Informalism- added to the the political and ethical commitment that marked his artistic activity. He also lived the first five years of the dictatorship in Chile, where he was one of the fathers of conceptual art, which later in the 80s would be called  "advanced scene".

He arrived in Florence in January of 1979, with a scholarship granted by the Italian Government to study at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the Institute of History of Art and Architecture from the University of Florence. There he observed the birth of the italian trans-vanguard and of country where  the joy and the colors clearly prevailed.

Artists like Francisco were found to work in Florence, this emblematic city, adding significant aspects to the visual experimentation of that time.

We are facing an artistic offset attitude, literally eccentric, as a result of autonomous individualities, which in the span of thirty years, had had to face a hurricane of extreme  and opposites events in which we could find a search, with great difficulty, a restoration of balance.

And if History, cultural vitality and artistic identity, are based on the ability to organize the memory, Smythe without doubt has achieved that. There is a conductive thread related to an energy, a kind of pulsion accomplice and protagonist in those moments of encounter, that strange and fascinating schema.

An always painted path where the luminous game, the pace and the vibration of the forms prevail: in the flowers and landscapes, in the impossible characters designed and created that only poetry can conceive, because poetry is the verb that you want to convert in flesh.

Beautiful is his incursion to the mountains: there he makes colors exploit and  the spontaneity with which creates the scene its unique; through the beauty he makes us enter into a sort of paradoxical look made of connections between the past and the future, in a vanished time.

Symbolic figures, bombastic and full of history, wonderful and mystical, elegant figures, as if they were tender exorcisms with which created a mythology autobiographical. Slowly it grew up in him the requirement to re-appropriate the urban fabric, the hazy landscape and in the morning, the walls barren, desolate of the flowers, of the shadows behind the hearts, that hid a intimate and personal reality: his melancholy.

Francisco Smythe and Florence

Of 6 to 29 March 2018,

Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Via Camillo Cavour, 3, 50129 Firenze, Italy