A journey through Ravenna’s contemporary art

After a short break due to this very intense working period, for which I would like to thank everyone who carefully followed me through the discovery of Ravenna’s ancient beauties and beyond, this month I would like to show you an alternative and very fascinating path, consisting of different works located outside around the city of Ravenna. These are contemporary works of art, ranging from the Grande Ferro “R” by Alberto Burri to the beautiful works of Invader, Blub and many other important artists like Mimmo Paladino and Marco Bravura, whose creative spirit has made Ravenna a very modern city, avant-garde from an artistic and cultural point of view. Beyond the 8 Unesco monuments that we all know, you can admire the peculiarity and timeless beauty of several modern works, that are the result of free artistic expressions and many years of field experience.

In addition to the already mentioned Grande Ferro “R” by Alberto Burri, located inside Pala de Andrè, I also suggest you to go see the beautiful wooden horse, a work by the great Mimmo Paladino, located in via di Roma in front of the Picture-Gallery and near the beautiful baroque Church of Santa Maria in Porto. In the same place, the wonderful Rotoballa of gold mosaic by the artist Marco Bravura testifies that it is possible to reuse also scraps of mosaic to create extravagant but meaningful works. A bit far from the city center but still only a few minutes walk from there, you can find the wonderful mosaic fountain, also made by Marco Bravura, which name is “Ardea Purpurea“. This fountain reminds us of some beautiful flying heron’s wings and it’s located in Piazza della Resistenza. In Ravenna you can also find a sculpture made by the great Gió Pomodoro, located at Ponte degli Allocchi, but many other only-apparently minor works of art are scattered around this byzantine city.

And why not also take a look at the beautiful street art works? These ones are my favourites, because most of them have been created with  the purpose of criticism against the misdeeds of contemporary society, like pollution, wars, child labour etc. We’re dealing with true masterpieces that will leave you astonished and in awe. So let’s go see these big wall paintings! Many of them can be easily found on the buildings in Darsena district, like the giant “harlequin” Dante, made by the famous brazilian artist Kobra in Pasolini street, near the city center, and another very original Dante located just in front of the great Poet’s Tomb.

And like in a treasure hunt, I invite you to go throug every corner of the city to discover all the beautiful famous carachters reproductions made by Blub, a visionary artist that has been included among the world’s greatest street artists by the Guardian magazine. During his spring night raids in Ravenna, this very original artist left us some very important testimony of his multifaceted art. The city woke up between a series of new stunning portraits, like the famous Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo, a suggestive Madonna and Child that has immediately been stolen, a wonderful portrait of Vincent Van Gogh and another one of the girl with the pearl earring by Vermeer, as well as Botticelli’s Venus and the very famous women with long necks by Modigliani.

In conclusion, if you are especially interested in Ravenna’s contemporary art topic, all you have to do is visit the Palazzo del Mutilato di Guerra in one of the city’s main squares. In the prestigious Salone dei Mosaici you can find four masterpieces from the 20th century, that have been made during the early 40’s and represent now the most important parietal mosaic cycle in Ravenna, after the byzantine cycles.

I hope I’ve whet your appetite and gave you further insights about Ravenna, that made you willing to visit this city again in the future. The city of mosaics it’s full of surprises, and today is increasingly rich in artistic treasures that testify its nature of “city of art”.

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