In occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the exhibits organized at the Horti Leonini, the magnificent garden built around 1581 on a piece of land owned by Francesco I de’ Medici, and situated in the historical centre of San Quirico d’Orcia, in the province of Siena, the protagonist of the 2021 edition is the internationally renowned Italian- Albianan sculptor Helidon Xhixha.
Forme nel verde is the most longlasting, open air International Sculpture Exhibit in Italy, born in 1971 from an idea of Mario Guidotti. In time, many important artists exhibited their works here, such as Arnaldo Pomodoro, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Maurizio Cattelan, Yoshin Ogata, and the 2021 edition, under the artistic direction of Carlo Pizzichini, announces itself to be filled with events. Reflexes, sculptures of light, curated by Klodian Dedja, confronts itself with the luxurious nature of Tuscany: the works are set in the characteristic Sienese scenery, rich in historical and landscape peculiarities celebrated by painters of the Sienese School, which thrived during the Renaissance, and, more precisely, in the Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. Thus, a large steel “ICEBERG” floats in the thermal bath of Bagno Vignoni, Piazza Chigi in San Quirico d’Orcia hosts “Satellite”, and other five large sculptures are located in the Horti Leonini, “Conoscenza” and “Abbraccio di Luce” in Santa Maria in Vitaleta, “Ionic Column” has an undisputed global icon of both Tuscany and Italy as its postcard backdrop, the Cipressini found along the Via Cassia, and, finally, following the ancient road of the Via Francigena, the exhibit reaches Siena, in Piazza del Duomo, where “Getto di Luce” stands.
An ideal itinerary marked by sculptures who retrace a spiritual journey, an actual pilgrimage that is also coherent with the role that was once historically held by San Quirico, and which, since the year 990, as stated in the travel journal of the archbishop of Canterbury Sigerico, was an important “statio” of the Via Francigena that shortly after reaches the State of the Church. A fascinating project with a scattered exhibit that takes on an even more special allure because of the dialogue that is instilled with the landscape and that reflects on the mirrored surfaces of the works: monumental shapes in shiny and polished steel model the light, shaping it in a captivating embrace with every natural element surrounding the sculpture. Xhixha confirms to be a master of light and is able to direct it where he wants, so that we will end up looking precisely where he desires, to exactly grasp those reflexes as he imagined them on his great sculptures, to mirror in them with the same inclinations he sought, navigating with our eyes through curved lines, geometries and acute edges.
Xhixha recently has held exhibits in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at the Venice Biennale, at Casale Monferrato, at Lungolago in Lugano, Switzerland, at the Giardino di Boboli of Palazzo Pitti, Florence, at Montecarlo, Monaco.