The Gagliardi Contemporary Art Gallery is presenting the solo exhibition Pilgrims, Travelers, Wayfarer by sculptor Sergio Zanni. The exhibit, which was inaugurated on July 2 and will be on display until the end of the month, focuses on the figure of the pilgrim.
Curated by Elisabetta Pozzetti, the showcase consists of 16 terracotta sculptures (one of which is on display at the entrance of the Museum of the Duomo di San Gimignano), all stemming from the profound reflection that Zanni has conducted for many years on the essence of Man and his transit in this life. The works on display were chosen to reiterate the sanctity and historic significance of the Via Francigena, that had and has one of its most significant stops precisely in San Gimignano.
Zanni’s works tell the stories of the Homeric tradition mixing the naïve wonder of childhood and the ancestral nature of the myth, stories that have not been written (or not yet anyway), but still have the deflagrating power to sail through the centuries unharmed.
His sculptures possess an unsettling grace. They flatter the viewer by cajoling him with the apparent sweetness of the figures, lyrical and suspended, at the same time confining you to the darkest corner of the revived conscience.
As Pozzetti writes in the accompanying catalogue of the exhibition, the sculptures “live off the artist’s reflections and turmoil, off his questions to which comprehensive answers will never be given…the important thing is to never stop searching:” they may be silent, but they speak wonders. Compact, solid bodies support the weight of tiny heads, possess an unsettling grace and make for a humbling showcase.
Sergio Zanni studied painting and deepening research on modeling at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna in the early 1960’s. Now considered one of the greatest national sculptors, his most recent showcase, curated in the Tuscan headquarters By Elisabetta Pozzetti, consists of sixteen terracotta sculptures inspired by the spirit of man and its journey through life.
Pilgrims, Travelers, Wayfarer is a special tribute to the current Jubilee Year of Mercy, having previously been mounted before in the Old Hospital of Bologna, which for hundreds of years has welcomed pilgrims, travelers and the sick (this coincides with the recent reopening of the Pilgrim’s Village on the Via Francigena).
The Galleria Gagliardi is located on Via San Giovanni 57, in San Gimignano and is open every day from 11 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.