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Antonio Crivelli: emerging from the rock, abstracting the marble

Once upon a time, there was an ancient castle in a clearing in the woods, inhabited by two castellans… This is how the story of the sculptures that Antonio Crivelli created and installed in the Fonte Santa woods could begin.

Antonio Crivelli is a sculptor who has had his studio in Bagno a Ripoli for many years, loves walking, and, thanks to his friendship with the owner of some land in Fonte Santa, in June 2013, he started making statues from monoliths found in this wood.

“I started – he says – from some yellowish sandstone boulders, typical of the place, working them respecting their characteristics. Today, the statues have become 36 and are placed in a sort of path around the ruins of the ancient Antelli castle, known as the Palazzaccio, and the Gavignano farmhouse, in a vast territorial extension. It takes weeks of work to create a statue, but a lot depends on the size of the stones and above all on the climatic and environmental conditions. For the roughing, I use electric tools thanks to a petrol power generator, and I continue until finishing with a mallet and chisels”.

Imagine walking in the woods, and almost without realizing it, you find yourself in front of a statue… “In these very eloquent spaces and with suggestive views, I decided to insert figures that have the appearance of emerging from the rock without being finished, each boulder from time to time expresses what it appears to contain, and I limit myself to extracting it with some newly traced sculptural element. I am inspired by the shape of the stone and the context such as the statues of the  two castellans

which convey sadness for the abandoned conditions of the Palazzaccio”.

“Recently, I installed twelve figures lined up like menhirs on an aerial terrace overlooking Florence, in which I portrayed the Apostles. The large boulders, no more nor less than twelve, lay in the subsoil of that abandoned field, exactly where the idea of ​​the apostles had been born years before, so much so that their fortuitous discovery appeared to respond to a call.

An unusual project but “the underlying idea is that of the gratuitousness and usability of art in a natural environment and the desire to animate these woods with the vocation and historical memory they preserve”.

The statues are found in the clearing of the Palazzaccio and on the terrace of the ancient outpost of Gavignano where the largest and most impressive ones are placed. For trekking lovers, it is possible to locate them by following the CAI route n.12.

Antonio Crivelli not only creates statues of this type but also abstract works in marble, exhibited at Palazzo Medici Riccardi and the Port of Scarlino, inspired by the first vague appearance of forms in the artist’s mind. Furthermore, he has created large bronze works installed in the new Palace of Justice in Florence, in the port of Rio Marina, on the Spanish fortress of Monte Argentario, and in the municipal square of Fiesole. Finally, in the Park of Villa Salviati, home of the European University, he positioned the great Door of Time, constituting the script for the tragedy of Oedipus Rex performed at the Roman Theater of Fiesole.

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