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9 JULY – 11 OCTOBER, 2015
MUSEUM HOURS: 8:15am – 5:00pm

The Ascent of Orpheus. For the first time in its 150-year history, the Bargello National Museum hosts a solo contemporary art show, THE ASCENT OF ORPHEUS: Between and Beyond Representation and Abstraction, by the American-born artist Adi Da Samraj. In an unusual bridging of ancient myth and digitally composed large-scale fabrications, the exhibition is Adi Da’s sweeping and at times demanding retelling of the famous Orpheus and Eurydice myth. The exhibit runs from 9 July to 11 October 2015 in two galleries off the Bargello courtyard.

Through the nine large-scale pieces and the multimedia projection in the exhibition, Adi Da demonstrates his radical approach to “aperspectival, aniconic, and anegoic” art. Drawn from his Orpheus One and Linead One suites created in 2007, the digitally composed works, some never shown publicly before, demonstrate the artist’s reach beyond the linear perspective and individual “point of view” that have dominated Western art since the Renaissance. The exhibition is also a testament to Adi Da’s advance in what he considered to be the unfinished modernist project of the early 20th-century avant-garde.

Achille Bonito Oliva, the internationally acclaimed Italian art critic and historian who curated Adi Da Samraj’s official collateral exhibition at the 2007 Venice Biennale, notes in his essay in The Ascent of Orpheus exhibition catalog: “The abstraction of Adi Da Samraj is anti-rhetorical and aspires to restore humanity to a state of contemplation and reflection . . . His abstract images look upon the world from beyond any point of view.” July 9, 10, 11 — The exhibition coincides with the 750th anniversary of the birth of Dante and opens with collaborative performances of by the Florence Dance Company on 9, 10, and 11 July in the Bargello Museum courtyard. The ballet, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, integrates monumental projections of images by Adi Da from Linead One. The images move on screen in dynamic interaction with the dancers and are also the inspiration for the costume design. The ballet is accompanied by live musical performances from pianists Stefano Maurizi and Naamleela Free Jones and avant-garde electronic rock by Maurizio Fasolo and the group Pankow.

Tickets are now available for all three performances:

  • July 9 (Inaugural Event) — The Inaugural Event includes entertainment by Fidget Feet, a ribbon cutting ceremony, Exhibition viewing, cocktails, the opening ceremony for the Florence Dance Festival, and the performance of
  • July 10
  • July 11

Finissage: October 8 — You are invited to a finissage celebrating the conclusion of The Ascent of Orpheus exhibition, at 6:00pm on Thursday, October 8, 2015. Noted art critic, Giuliano Serafini, will give an illustrated presentation on the art of Adi Da. Also, the Florence Dance Company will give a special, multimedia performance, Orpheus Ascending, accompanied by a multimedia presentation (projected behind the dancers) of the art of Adi Da Samraj. The evening will conclude with cocktails.

Exhibition Catalogue. A 112-page catalogue entitled The Ascent of Orpheus: Between and Beyond Representation and Abstraction accompanies the exhibition. Offering a visually rich survey of Adi Da’s Orpheus One and Linead One suites, the catalogue includes images from the exhibition, numerous additional images from the two suites, as well as commentarial essays on the suites and selections from Adi Da’s own writings on art.

DaPlastique and the Adi Da Foundation. Da Plastique is a division of the Adi Da Foundation and is responsible for the worldwide dissemination and promotion of the art of Adi Da Samraj. The Adi Da Foundation is charged with bringing the legacy of Adi Da Samraj — his visual and literary art, message about world peace, and philosophical and spiritual teachings — to audiences around the world.

About The Artist

Adi Da Samraj (1939–2008) created visual, literary, and performance art for more than forty years with a single intention: to create works of art that would draw the viewer beyond the feeling of egoic separateness into the feeling of “prior unity.” His artistic output includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, and a large bodyof groundbreaking photographic, videographic, and digitally composed work. Adi Da’s work appeared as anofficial solo collateral exhibition at the 2007 Venice Biennale, in a solo show in the historic Cenacolo di Ognissanti (Florence), and in gallery and art shows in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, and Amsterdam.

Peter Weibel, Chairman of ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe), notes that “[Adi Da’s] pursuit of the spiritual paths found in early abstraction, from Kandinsky to Mondrian, and [his] translation of that pursuit into the digital age, restore a transcendental spirituality to the materialism of the machine aesthetic.” Art critic Donald Kuspit has written, “Protean and unified at once, Adi Da’s ever-changing images become all-pervasive ‘big screen’ experiences, perceptually riveting, indeed, sometimes excruciatingly intense, but always balanced and even sublime sensory experiences.”

In addition to being a prolific artist, Adi Da Samraj is a widely recognized spiritual teacher who produced many volumes of literary, poetic, practical, philosophical, and spiritual writings.

Adi Da's Orpheus and Linead Suites

Solo Exhibition: "The Ascent of Orpheus". The exhibition of Adi Da's "The Ascent of Orpheus" will be held in two galleries on the courtyard level of the Bargello National Museum. Seven monumental fabrications from Adi Da's Orpheus One and Linead One Suites will be featured in Gallery #1. Gallery #2 will feature the premiere of a newly commissioned Orpheus One fabrication:

Eurydice One: The Illusory Fall of The Bicycle Into The Sub-Atomic Parallel Worlds of Primary Color and Point of View - Part Three: The Abstract Narrative In Geome and Linead  (Second Stage) - 1, 2

The Spiritual Descent of The Bicycle Becomes
The Second-Birth of Flight Part Six, VII, from Orpheus One
2007, 2014 – Lacquer on aluminum, 77 x 119 inches / 196 x 302 cm
© 2015 ASA

[Click on image for enlargement]

Adi Da’s digital drawings are informed by a complex vocabulary of forms, colors, and spiritual concepts. In His suites, Orpheus One and Linead One, He uses two major visual elements in each work, which He calls lineads and geomes. Lineads are hand-drawn gestural marks and curvilinear lines; geomes are solid geometric shapes. There is a momentum that takes place as the lineads uncoil upon the harmoniously positioned blocks of colors or the geomes. Together these forms unite to create a sense of dynamism and movement within the drawings.

The secret of Orpheus is hidden (or encoded) in the images — the secret of the flight out of the hell and into the Earth-world, and, ultimately, into the Divine Domain of Conscious Light.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

Eurydice One: The Illusory Fall of The Bicycle Into The Sub-Atomic Parallel Worlds of Primary Color and Point of View - Part Three: The Abstract Narrative In Geome and Linead  (Second Stage) - 1, 2

Eurydice One: The Illusory Fall of The Bicycle Into The Sub-Atomic Parallel Worlds of Primary Color and Point of View - Part Three: The Abstract Narrative In Geome and Linead (Second Stage) - 1, 2

2007, 2010 Lacquer on aluminum 96 x 96"
© 2011 ASA

[Click on image for enlargement]

Eurydice One: The Illusory Fall of The Bicycle Into The Sub-Atomic Parallel Worlds of Primary Color and Point of View - Part Three: The Abstract Narrative in Geome and Linead  (Second Stage) - V, 2

Eurydice One: The Illusory Fall of The Bicycle Into The Sub-Atomic Parallel Worlds of Primary Color and Point of View - Part Three: The Abstract Narrative in Geome and Linead (Second Stage) - V, 2
2007, 2010 Lacquer on aluminum 72 x 72"
© 2011 ASA

[Click on image for enlargement]

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The Bargello National Museum

Bargello Museum

The Bargello National Museum in Florence, Italy has its setting in one of the oldest buildings in Florence, dating back to 1255. The Bargello is world-renowned for its sculpture collections, and, in particular, for hosting the world's largest concentration of masterpieces by Donatello. 2015 is a special year: the 150th Anniversary of the Museum.

The Bargello Museum also houses masterpieces by Michelangelo, such as his Bacchus, Pitti Tondo ("Madonna and Child"), Brutus, and David-Apollo. Its collection includes Donatello's David and St. George Tabernacle, Vincenzo Gemito's Pescatore ("fisherboy"), Jacopo Sansovino's Bacchus, Giambologna's Architecture and his Mercury, and many works from the Della Robbia family. Benvenuto Cellini is represented with his bronze bust of Cosimo I. There are also a few works from the Baroque period, notably Gianlorenzo Bernini's 1636-7 bust of Costanza Bonarelli. The museum also has a fine collection of ceramics (maiolica), textile, tapestries, ivory, silver, armours and old coins.

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Adi Da's image-art — the first solo contemporary art show to be exhibited in the 150-year history of the Bargello — combined with these centuries old masterpieces, will create a stunning juxtaposition, like the one created in the Cenacolo di Ognissanti in 2008:

(click picture for enlargement) by the Florence Dance Company

On July 9, 2015, The Florence Dance Company will open the 26th annual Florence Dance Festival with the 2015 version of the multimedia ballet event, is a comprehensive aesthetic experience. Based on Dante's masterpiece, La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy"), it is accompanied by live musical performances from pianists Stefano Maurizi and Naamleela Free Jones and avant-garde electronic rock by Maurizio Fasolo and the group Pankow. Behind the dancers are large screen projections from Adi Da's Linead One. The dancers' costumes are also inspired by the Linead One Suite.

The 2015 performance also commemorates the 750th anniversary of the birth of the great poet, Dante Alighieri. joins the more than 200 cultural events in Italy and around the world commemorating this occasion. Dante

There will be three evening performances (July 9 – 11) at the Bargello National Museum, timed to coincide with the first three days of Adi Da's solo exhibition, The Ascent of Orpheus.

"Divina" means "to be Divine" and also alludes to Dante's Divine Comedy.

".com" refers to the interconnectedness of the Internet, which brings the world together in our time. has its roots in the great poem of Dante. Like Dante's epic poem, is a journey from the darkest corners of human nature to its most illumined virtues, while simultaneously inviting the voyager to discover that, in the words of Adi Da, "Reality Itself is Truth Itself is the Beautiful Itself" through unguarded particiption in His Art. has three, half-hour long parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, corresponding to the three parts of Dante's epic poem. Keith Ferrone, the Choreographer and Director of (and the director of the Florence Dance Company) elaborates. (We reprint his description from the Florence Dance Company website.)

  • Inferno interprets the universal aspects of Dante’s story through movement, giving a sense of human struggle and entrapment, of souls in anguish and confusion, and a fruitless search for the Divine Light, which is seen as a faint glimmer beyond our grasp.A tapestry in motion weaves across the stage, in response to Dante’s vision and to the art of Adi Da Samraj, creating a sense of the great struggle to achieve divine order amidst the apparently hellish maze of experience. Finally the stark face of the "devil" appears as the root source of our suffering, our "sin" or failure to meet the mark of love under all conditions. Thus, as in the famous portrait of Paolo and Francesca in Canto V of his Inferno, Dante learns the great suffering of all sin, and is moved to transcend it by moving onward toward his loved one.

    Inferno Art: Adi Da's art selected for Inferno represents in abstract terms Orpheus' descent into hell to rescue his loved one Eurydice, and a visual exploration of their entrapment there. Although the elements are highly abstract, the parallel to Dante's journey into hell can be intuitively felt. The abstract "linead" forms (free-drawn line forms) seem to fall from left to right across the panels, with the primary (fiery) colors of red and yellow dominating over blue and white.

  • Purgatorio finds us in between the extremes of heaven and hell, where, having faced the lessons of the inferno, Dante begins his ascent to the heavenly realm of light and love above. There is a sense of waiting and penance, of learning the path of light beyond the struggle of sinfulness, but as yet the forms of experience only tend to continue and repeat, never fully resolving in the present-time enjoyment of the divine state of grace. The changed music and art suggest a sense of streaming consciousness — normal day life suspending in plastic time.

    Purgatorio Art: Adi Da's artwork for Purgatorio is full of abstract references to the struggle to ascend, with a complex maze of ladders and planes, and chairs for waiting, the sense of flight and hope portrayed in the free-line forms that are caught uneasily between shifting angles and rectilinear shapes. Here, blue and white have begun to dominate the primary colors of red and yellow, but they are intertwined in a complex field without resolution.

  • Paradiso offers the final resolution of Dante’s story, with the dance performed on point to represent the glorious ascent into the heavenly realm of divine light and love. There is a series of visual movements in response to the nine spheres of Dante’s Paradiso. Here we see the Divine house built according to the Divine order and geometry, based on the strong foundations of universal unity and lovers forever united and as one. There is a celebration of angelic joy and ecstasy as Dante learns the model for living life according to the highest ideals, which resolves ultimately in the eternal life of Divine Radiance, where the perfumed garden grows untarnished and eternally bright.

    Paradiso Art: For Paradiso, two of Adi Da's images were selected, a triptych and a diptych, which communicate a sense of resolve of the heroic struggle of Orpheus to ascend out of hell and a sense of epiphany and ecstasy in the symmetry of the image elements. The final diptych communicates the resolution of blue and white dominating over the red and yellow flames of the inferno, with the final panel coming to rest with the purity of the white central sphere radiating amidst a pure blue field, a simple visual allegory to the Divine Domain of Light above.

The July, 2010 performance

We will be posting pictures from the 2015 performance of here, as they arrive. But in the interim, here are some pictures and descriptions from the inaugural July, 2010 performance.

(click picture for enlargement)

The July, 2010 ballet was performed in front of a monumental screening of Adi Da’s Art from the Linead – Eurydice suite (an hour and a half long). The projection was done by a state-of-the-art projection company on an enormous screen that is 5 meters (16.25 feet) high by 12 meters (39.6 feet) wide.

The music was composed by the professional music group, Pankow. The renowned pianist, Stefano Maurizi, accompanied Pankow. The music was partly live, partly pre-recorded. Each of the 3 segments of had a prelude, composed and performed live by Naamleela Free Jones on the piano.

Naamleela Free Jones on piano in Florence
(click picture for enlargement) 'out of town' pre-opening
(click picture for enlargement)

French composer and singer, Hélène Tavernier (of the electronica group, Angel Factory), composed music to text from Dante and Adi Da Samraj, and sang her compositions in Italian, French, and English.

Hélène Tavernier
Hélène Tavernier singing: 'out of town' pre-opening
(click picture for enlargement)

45 very elaborate costumes were developed for this occasion by Mirko Bottai, based on the color scheme of Adi Da's Images.

Costume Designs for
Costume designs for

Pictures from the Exhibition

The Ascent of Orpheus Exhibition
The Ascent of Orpheus Exhibition
(click picture for enlargement)

The Ascent of Orpheus Exhibition
The Ascent of Orpheus Exhibition
(click picture for enlargement)

The Ascent of Orpheus Exhibition
The Ascent of Orpheus Exhibition
(click picture for enlargement)


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Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
© Copyrighted materials used with the permission of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam. All rights reserved. None of these materials may be disseminated or otherwise used for any non-personal purpose without the prior agreement of the copyright owner. ADIDAM is a trademark of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as Trustee for the Avataric Samrajya of Adidam.

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