Massimo Lippi

Siena - New York

November 13 – December 14, 2013


Kathleen White, Chip Holman

NEW YORK, November 1, 2013 - William Holman Gallery is pleased to present Siena – New York, a solo exhibition of sculpture and drawing by Massimo Lippi. The exhibition is the first solo exhibition of the Siena born artist in the United States.

Siena – New York features Lippi’s Searching the Human Soul, a recent series of pastel drawings, as well as his Trottole or “Spinning Tops” sculptures of gesso and Siennese marble. In addition we have seven bronze staffs with painted stave-top ornaments known as the “Bastoni.” As a group, they are a magnificent memory of Pre-Roman Etruscan artifacts. Born in Ponte a Tressa, Siena in 1951, Massimo Lippi explores the overlapping sacred and profane nature of the human condition. Many of Lippi’s sculptures are objet trouvé composites, yet instead of actively seeking materials from his travels Lippi restricts his source objects to the boundaries of Val d’Arbia, the rolling clay hills that lie just a few miles South of Siena in an area known as the “Crete Senese.” The hyper-local origins of the materials give way to sculptures that allude to philosophy, the astral movement of the Earth within the cosmos and humanity’s living relationship to death.

Faithful to his family’s Sienese roots, Lippi’s oeuvre likewise alludes to local historical figures including Saint Catherine of Siena, while simultaneously recalling a more ancient Etruscan past of pagan rite and ritual. In the groundbreaking exhibition “L’orma del Fuoco” (Siena, Santa Maria della Scala, 2000), curator Amnon Barzel described Lippi as “un magicien de la terre,” whose terracotta and bronze works provide a missing link between the profane Etruscan past and the spiritual present.

A poet as well as a sculptor, Lippi has published four books of poetry and is referenced in Nuovi Poeti Italiani (Einaudi,1982). Professor Enzo Carli has called Lippi an artist, both “in words and in stone.” Lippi has held teaching positions at both the University of Carrara and Macerata and is currently Professor of Sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. He was a Visiting Professor of Sculpture at SUNY University, Buffalo and at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He participated in the International Symposium in Lahr, Germany and in Vitoria, Spain. His works are included in both national and international museum collection, notably the Modern Museum of Tokyo.

Lippi is best known for his bronzes, more recently for the bronze portal dedicated to S. Caterina di Siena in the Basilica di S. Domenico in Siena, as well as his bronze crucifix for the Duomo in Siena. Additionally, Lippi has works in the Piazza del Campo in Siena as well as a monumental marble statue of S.Bernardo Tolomeo in the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore.