On June 24, 1976, I climbed up to Forte Belvedere in Florence, Italy, and had my first exposure to the sculpture of brilliant British artist Henry Moore. Massive works outside in the grounds of the medieval fortress, smaller pieces and drawings inside. I roamed the exhibit for hours, entranced, then lay out on the grass and drank a bottle of chianti as the sun went down. And then the fireworks started, an incredible display that lasted for 30 glorious minutes. When it ended, I got to my feet and then more pyrotechnics started, even better than the first set, and ran another half hour. (I later learned that it was a major feast day, and one of the ways the holiday is celebrated in Florence is that the area's two major fireworks manufacturers have a competition in the sky.)
Ever since, I have been a major fan of Henry Moore's work. I don't know exactly what it is about his forms that speaks to me, but I continue to consider him by far my favorite 20th-century artist. His website can be found here.
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