At the Cloisters of Sant’Eustorgio, the Flowers of Stefano Arienti

At the Cloisters of Sant’Eustorgio, the Flowers of Stefano Arienti
#Exhibitions

Among the oldest monumental structures of Milan, the Cloisters of Sant’Eustorgio never turn away from the most current trends - amidst the aged stones of Sant’Ambrogio and the precious works of the Museo Diocesano, history lives thanks to confrontations with the protagonists of the present. Dialoguing with centuries-old works this Spring are the creations of the artist from Lombardy, Stefano Arienti, who has had great success at the MAXXI di Rome, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Isabella Stewart Museum in Boston, the ICA in London and the Power Station of Art in Shanghai. The work of Arienti takes form using pre-existing materials - treasures from the past or popular culture - to creatively reflect on current issues, such as the role and originality of the image. The heart of the project in Milan is the response of the artist to the large altarpiece of the Lamentation Over the Dead Christ by Altobello da Melone, making a rare appearance at the Museo Diocesano after an important restoration. However, each of the spaces within the complex offer a part of this fascinating itinerary. At the Early-Christian Cemetery, for example, tempera-painted flowers evoke the memory of martyrs and the cult of the dead, while in the Monumental Sacristy of Sant’Eustorgio, the artist reinterprets, on a gold background, the Irises and Sunflowers of Van Gogh, indicating a parallel between the genre of the still life and the devotional genre of the religious icon. “Since the Eighties, Stefano Arienti offers of way of conceiving a work of art as a continuous commentary on current living, in which humanity and its rituals become part of a vast natural dynamic, omni-comprehensive and full of wonder,” explains curator Angela Vettese: “Arienti started as a botanical scholar and became impassioned by the work of classification, always committed to his archeology of daily life, of our species, only one of the countless presences in the cosmos.”
Francesca Grego - © 2019 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano