This is the premier exhibition of this major Italian artist at the gallery's recently opened Florentine location. The exhibition is curated by Bartholomew F. Bland, who produced the "American Dreamers" exhibition, which appeared at the CCC Strozzina of the Palazzo Strozzi in 2012. The exhibition will be comprised of two separate displays. The first exhibition will appear in Florence, followed by a second exhibition at the gallery's Pietrasanta location in June. The project will include will be a joint exhibition catalogue, which will appear in June. The exhibition will explore the idea of Beauty in contemporary art, and how Donzelli's most recent work places him in at the center of an international narrative and debate within a professional art world, which has gradually begun to re-embrace the concept of Beauty, after decades of viewing it with great suspicion.
The catalogue will contain an interview with the artist, and an overview essay by Bland of the works in the exhibition and their place within Donzelli' larger oeuvre, entitled "Glittering Nature: Reflected Surface and the Biomorphic Form in Contemporary Art." Visitors to the exhibition in Florence encounter will a wide variety of Donzelli's work in different media, ranging from dozens intimate watercolor drawings to large-scale installations of mirrors. Much of Donzelli's work explores the space between the viewer and the artwork and the interaction that occurs between them. His work explores both the sharp, crystalline geometry found in the glassy mirrored surface, in which the Edge is a well-defined concept and the fractured geometry that indicates a distancing sharpness one that revels in a distancing of the viewer, even as the sheen of the surface allures.
At the same time, the Donzelli's use of curvilinear forms, drawn from nature, pulsate with life. Swollen, curled within themselves, they contain secrets, and a suggested fecund power. Unlike Donzelli's use of hard-edged crystalline forms in his mirrored works, these works blur at the margins, breaking down the barriers between each form. This breaking down of the Edge, is alternately suggestive of fading vision, concussion, and drunken perception. It creates a needed sense of unease in the viewer, and contains the requisite power to lift Donzelli's work from mere prettiness into the realm of Beauty. Donzelli recognizes in his artistry that Beauty demands the element of the unexpected—the ingredient that takes a moment for the viewer to recognize on the visual palette, but which provided the necessary savor. For Donzelli, his charming use of colors, often pretty pastels, and forms, shiny surfaces, draw the viewer into his aesthetic.
His forms which range from heavy the heavily lumpen to the airily balletic, providing a friction and counterweight to his color and surface that is essential. Indeed, in these works Donzelli proves himself to be a master of form. His distinct shapes suggest amoebas or protozoa placed under the sharp, artistic eye of the microscope. They are powered by their own energy, driven by their own life force, and within their surface attraction, place within the viewer the shivery sense of dread. It is this friction that creates his distinct miasma of surface contradiction and demonstrates Donzelli's powerful pulse in contemporary art.