Shakespeare in White

3 April-26 May 2017

The exhibition is free and open during Library opening hours. For more information about the Library see here.


Through his evocative white book sculptures, Lorenzo Perrone revisits Shakespeare’s most important works.  

White Books are real books which are stripped of their literary content and graphic look. Using plaster, acrylic paint and the application of objects such as barbed wire, nails, stone and wood, the books are turned into sculptures and installations with great visual impact.

Books acquire an accentuated symbolism in which the tactile and the sensory are heightened. The language becomes that of surfaces, folds, volumes, emptiness, fullness, positive and negative spaces.

In the end, freed from the weight of words, the White Books, in their motionless and silent candor, gain eloquence and silently illuminate what can neither be spoken of nor seen.


As part of the centenary celebrations of the British Institute of Florence, Lorenzo Perrone made a special totem of 100 white books, each book commemorating a year of the existence of our Institute, founded in 1917. On Friday 31 March 2017, in the Harold Acton Library, the totem was unveiled by HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH the Duchess of Cornwell. 


Lorenzo Perrone

Lorenzo Perrone was born in Milan. 

He studied graphic arts and painting, and won scholarships to the Scuola del Libro at the Umanitaria Institute, and to the Castello Sforzesco School of Painting.

He started to work in advertising in Milan and London and then moved to New York where he attended The New School and the School of Visual Arts and worked for over 10 years in advertising.

Back in Italy he started to paint, write stories, take photographs and shoot his own videos.

He started to make his White Books in the year 2000.

The artist lives and works between Milan and Florence. He collaborates with libraries and bookstores and his White Books are shown in major galleries in Italy and around the world.