Image: Ali Banisadr
Museum Exhibitions

Ali Banisadr Beautiful Lies

April—August 2021
Palazzo Vecchio & Museo Bardini, Florence

This year, Italy marks the 700th anniversary of the death of the medieval poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri, known as the Father of the Italian language, with a programme of commemorative events throughout 2021.

The project Museo Novecento OFF pays tribute to the ‘Sommo Poeta’ with the solo exhibition of the Iranian Born, American artist Ali Banisadr, Beautiful Lies'.

The exhibition, curated by Sergio Risaliti and created in collaboration with the Museo Novecento will take place in two symbolic places in Florence, Palazzo Vecchio and the Museo Stefano Bardini.

At the Palazzo VecchioBanisadr will present a trilogy of paintings inspired by Dante's Inferno and produced over the past year. This group of paintings will be installed across from Donatello's 'Judith and Holofernes'; in the prestigious Sala dei Gigli.

At Museo Bardini the artist will present 20 paintings from different periods, installed in dialogue with the museum's historical permanent collection.

As I fell into the rabbit hole of studying everything Dante, I realised that it kept going deeper and deeper. I am fascinated by how Dante was able to bring together fragments of knowledge from many different places and to make such an encyclopedic visionary world. His poems were intended to make it into our present day history, which is exactly what I have tried to do over the past year with this series of paintings based on Dante's Inferno. The series of works I have made will be shown in Dante's hometown, Florence at Palazzo Vecchio and Museo Bardini on the 700th year anniversary of his Death. The title of the show is "Beautiful Lies" which is what Dante had said about his own works and about allegorical poems, which hold truth within allegory as they unfold. I believe that Epic poems hold the essence of all the stories we have been telling ourselves, which is very important in my own work. 

— Ali Banisadr, 2021
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