Tuscany is a land rich in art but not only indoor. You can find artworks also into the nature in which the landscape is a central element, as well as the person who observe it. Each installation is site-specific that is they are projected for specific locations. From sculptures to murals, from parks to open air museums, find out here a list with some of the best art installations "en plein air".
On a hill overlooking the area between Florence and Pistoia, Fattoria di Celle farm boasts a large collection of environmental art that Giuliano Gori and his family have gathered since the early Eighties. International artists were invited to create installations in the picturesque open spaces, which are spread out over an area of about 45 acres and inside the historical buildings and various other rural structures. Today, Celle has about 80 installations.
In Seano, near Carmignano, also in the Prato area, there’s the Quinto Martini park museum. The park was founded in 1988, starting with a large group of bronze artworks donated by the artist Quinto Martini to the town of Seano. The 36 sculptures represent daily rural life: a woman chasing a goose, an innkeeper waiting for some clients, another woman who peeks at the street from the door.
In Chiusdino (Siena), in the woods surrounding the Osho Miasto center, lies the Selva di Sogno or Dream Woods: towers, temples, squares made of irregular stones simply laid one over another, perfectly balanced. The sculptures – by Deva Manfredo – are miniature buildings that could have belonged to any ancient civilization and, at the same time, they are reminiscent of children’s games.
One of the most fascinating art parks in Tuscany is without a doubt the Tarot Garden of Niki de Saint Phalle. The garden is built in the beautiful Tuscan hills, in the Garavicchio estate (Capalbio area). The first work on the Tarot Garden began in 1979, and the author is a world-renowned French sculptor, Niki de Saint Phalle. The motivation that kicked off the impetuous desire to build the esoteric garden came after a visit to the wonderful Park Güell by architect Gaudi, in Barcelona. Influenced by the soft shapes and the majestic buildings of this magical park, the artist began her adventure, creating artworks at her own expense and with the help of her husband Jean Tinguly.
The open air museum of Luicciana is a journey in the small hamlet of Cantagallo, a village that bases its life on art, with installations that take shape between houses and gardens, including wall paintings on the façades of the houses. Painters, sculptors, graphic artists and potters have made Luicciana a curious gem of contemporary art.
Made in 2006, in Pontedera, the wall of Enrico Baj is a 100 meters long and three meters high mosaic and it's probably the largest in Italy. On the wall are represented humans with robotic features: a sarcastic metaphore of how people risk to live a mechanical life today. A unique artwork of its kind in the heart of the city.
Not everyone knows that in Pisa there is one of the most spectacular murals by Keith Haring, the famous American graffiti artist. The idea of creating a mural in Pisa came randomly after an encounter on the streets of New York between Haring and a young student from Pisa. It is called Tuttomondo: 30 figures, painted like a puzzle, cover the 180 square meters of wall of the convent of St. Anthony. The characters of the mural are bursting with Haring’s typical vitality and energy and his relentless creative fervor that allowed him to realize, just a few months before dying of AIDS, a work that is a hymn to life.
Mauro Staccioli is one of the greatest sculptores of contemporary art. He gave some of his finest large-scale installations to the town of Volterra, his hometown, creating a journey to discover the local area and his artistic career. These shapes invite us to stop and consider the view, and furthermore, to consider how the artist is asking us to see that view.
There is an eclectic collection in the heart of Chianti: internationally renowned artists from 20 different coutries have created site-specific works totally integrated with the surrounding nature. Artists for their sculptures used traditional materials as marble and granite, iron and glass, but also modern neon lights and sounds. These elements all combined together create an ejoyable harmony. After visiting the park you can also decide to stop in the picnic area.
In the early Nineties, the Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri began to install a sculpture park in southern Tuscany, in Seggiano, about 80km south of Siena. In 1997, the Garden of Daniel Spoerri was opened to the public, and can now be visited from Easter to October. Currently, there are 112 works by 55 different artists, worth discovering in an area of about 16 hectares.
Piazza dei Guidi, in Vinci, is a "tribute" by Mimmo Paladino to the genius of Leonardo. The artist, helped by architect Nicholas Fiorillo, has reconfigured the square using a geometric pattern. The artwork is in line with the local identity and with the artistic and scientific figure of Leonardo.