venerdì 31 marzo 2017

News dal Padiglione Francia

Xavier Veilhan (né en 1963, vit et travaille à Paris) a successivement suivi les enseignements de l’École Nationale Supérieure des Art Décoratifs de Paris (1982-1983), de la Hochschule der Künste à Berlin (auprès de Georg Baselitz) et de l’Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques du Centre Pompidou à Paris dirigé par Pontus Hultén (1989-1990). 

Il développe, depuis la fin des années 1980, une démarche aux formes multiples (sculpture, peinture, environnement, spectacle, vidéo, photo), qui s’inscrit entre classicisme formel et haute technologie. Son travail est un hommage aux inventions et inventeurs de la modernité à travers un langage formel qui mixe les codes liés à l’industrie et à l’art. 

Ses œuvres questionnent notre perception et cultivent un intérêt pour les espaces de déambulation, souvent évolutifs, dans lesquels le visiteur devient acteur. Il nourrit également son approche plastique par des collaborations musicales avec notamment le groupe Air, le musicien Sébastien Tellier ou encore la compositrice Éliane Radigue. 

En 2009, il investit le Château de Versailles et ses jardins avec l’exposition Veilhan Versailles. Entre 2012 et 2014, il développe Architectones, une série d’interventions dans sept édifices modernistes majeurs à travers le monde. En 2014, il porte son intérêt pour l’architecture à une nouvelle échelle en concevant la réhabilitation du Château de Rentilly. Il réalise en 2015 deux films qui prolongent ses explorations spatiales : Vent Moderne (La Villette) et Matching Numbers (3e Scène, Opéra national de Paris). 

Habitué des projets dans l’espace public, Xavier Veilhan a installé des sculptures dans diverses villes en France et à l'étranger (Bordeaux, Tours, Lyon, New York, Séoul). 

giovedì 30 marzo 2017

News at Singapore Pavilion

March 29, 2017: Multidisciplinary artist Zai Kuning will represent Singapore at the 57th Venice Biennale. The presentation, Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge, is commissioned by the National Arts Council, Singapore and will exhibit at the Singapore Pavilion in the Sale d’Armi building at the Arsenale from 13 May to 26 November 2017.
Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge uncovers forgotten stories of the orang laut, sea people of the Riau Archipelago, juxtaposed against an artistic re-imagination of the seventh-century voyage of Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa through the kingdom of Srivijaya. Central to the presentation is a 17-metre-long ship that traverses the hall, suspended. Made only of rattan, string and beeswax, it appears as if emerging from an aluminum sea, carrying within its hull ghosts of the past, even as it unloads its cargo of sealed books in the present.
In this installation, Zai explores one of the lesser-known narratives of Southeast Asia, which presents Dapunta Hyang as the first Malay king of what was once a powerful empire – a hegemon that exercised immense political, economic and military influence, stretching across modern-day Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Yet, despite his pre-eminence in the ancient Malay world, Dapunta Hyang has been forgotten, fading over time with the arrival of Islam and later rulers.
As the first contemporary visual artist to resurrect Dapunta Hyang’s story, Zai’s journey is a culmination of over 20 years of research and discovery. The colossal ship is the fifth such vessel constructed by Zai, and the largest and most intricate to date – calling forth the grandeur and sheer force of a maritime world cast in darkness for centuries. The installation commands attention: it is imprinted in the viewer’s mind and forces us to confront this forgotten past.
Since 1999, Zai has built a relationship with the orang laut, also believed to be the first people of Singapore. Their ways of life are entwined with nature, with their ancestral customs and beliefs informed by animism. Zai has come to know intimately the harsh conditions in which they live, as a people marginalised and discriminated against. Through his interactions with the orang laut, Zai discovered the performers of mak yong, a pre-Islamic operatic tradition with Hindu-Buddhist roots that was once widespread but is now sustained only by a few remaining masters.   
The installation features 30 photographic portraits of living mak yong performers on a facing wall running parallel to the ship. An audio recording of an old mak yong master, speaking in an old Malay language, plays faintly on loop in the background. The fragility of these elements is a poignant reminder – yet another ancient tradition is on the verge of disappearance; presently safeguarded by a small community that has itself been neglected and discriminated against.
Zai has collaborated with Thai photographer Wichai Juntavaro on this aspect of the work, visiting Phatthalung and Surat Thani in Thailand, as well as the once vibrant trading cities of Palembang and Jambi in Indonesia, to uncover the history, landscape and influence of Dapunta Hyang and the Srivijayan Empire (650 CE–1377 CE). On these travels, they came across ancient relics believed to date back to Srivijaya, including a recurring motif of a leaf-shaped boat, engraved on the tombs of royalties at Palembang’s Bukit Seguntang.
Zai elaborates, “Relics or remains surviving from the Srivijayan world helped me imagine the old Malay world. My interpretations concerning Srivijaya are personal, inspired by my own dreams, life experiences and imagination, especially about how they may have lived in the seventh century. I am not a researcher, nor academic nor historian. I am an artist and a storyteller.”
Through the synthesis of Dapunta Hyang, mak yong and orang laut, Zai raises questions on how knowledge is transmitted and directed across time and space to inform future generations. The juxtaposition of the forgotten Malay king with a dying operatic tradition reminds us that history is not just documentation, but rather it is lived, and often painfully. This journey signifies the need for dialogue on issues of identity, culture and history amongst Malays in Southeast Asia.
Paul Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council, says: “Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge is a poignant installation that invites viewers to reflect on our region’s history and identity. We are excited to see Zai’s work take shape at the Venice Biennale, the premier platform to showcase Singapore’s visual artists to the world. Our eighth participation in Venice continues the conversations and connections between Singapore artists and the rest of the world, and Singapore’s contemporary art practice will benefit and grow from this international dialogue.”
The Singapore Pavilion will be opened officially on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 by Guest-of-Honour Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore, at the Sale d’Armi building at the Arsenale. An exhibition catalogue will be published for the launch of the Pavilion, featuring essays by art historian T.K. Sabapathy, head of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Museum Ahmad Mashadi, and Professor, Southeast Asian Studies at NUS Dr. John Miksic, among others.
Minister Grace Fu says, “I am happy to see Zai Kuning’s work being displayed at the Venice Biennale, which is widely regarded as one of the most established international platforms for contemporary art. It will raise our artists’ profile beyond our shores, and tap into a most important global network to reach new audiences for our Singapore art. Having worked closely with the orang laut community since 1999, Zai’s work infuses elements of the Malay archipelagic culture which he has mastered so well. It will be a masterpiece that will truly reflect our identity, and I have no doubt it will move the hearts of many visitors to the Singapore Pavilion.”
The Singapore Pavilion is commissioned by the National Arts Council and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Join the conversation with the Singapore Pavilion via the hashtag #SingaporeInVenice.

MUVE 2017

L'estate veneziana non sarà solo Biennale ma anche una ricca messe di proposte dei Musei Veneziani.

Gli obiettivi del MUVE sono la valorizzazione del patrimonio artistico, interventi di restauro e restyling sui siti, senza dimenticare le proposte espositive. 


Avviatosi all’insegna delle grandi mostre e delle collaborazioni internazionali, con le esposizioni in corso su Jheronimus Bosch a Palazzo Ducale, William Merritt Chase a Ca’Pesaro e sui disegni dei pittori francesi dalla Collezione Prat al Museo Correr, il 2017 vede un calendario fittissimo di impegni per la Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.

Da un lato gli eventi temporanei – ben 21 i progetti espositivi inseriti nel programma dei musei veneziani, molti dedicati a nomi di fama mondiale come David Hockney, Shirin Neshat, Gaetano Pesce ma anche a raccolte di straordinario valore come la Collezione Al Thani in arrivo per la prima volta in Italia – dall’altro gli interventi sulle collezioni permanenti, sul patrimonio archivistico, sulle strutture museali e i relativi servizi al pubblico.

Tra le parole d’ordine della Fondazione - con la direzione di Gabriella Belli da dicembre 2011 e la presidenza di Mariacristina Gribaudi, che ha da poco festeggiato il primo anno alla guida dei musei - c’è infatti la valorizzazione dei siti e del patrimonio (12 palazzi storici, circa 700.000 opere d’arte e immensi archivi) - che significa ricerche, restauri, adeguamenti funzionali, aperture di nuovi ambienti e percorsi, forme rinnovate di accessibilità e vivibilità dei musei oltre a sistemi adeguati di comunicazione e coinvolgimento del pubblico: il tutto con un occhio di riguardo per i veneziani e per la città nella sua accezione metropolitana.



Proseguendo dunque il complesso lavoro condotto in questi cinque anni - che ha già portato al restyling di percorsi, a nuovi allestimenti e ampliamenti, dal Museo Correr al Museo del Vetro, da Ca’ Pesaro a Palazzo Mocenigo - anche il 2017 sarà foriero di novità, a partire già dal prossimo maggio, con il nuovo percorso espositivo della collezione permanente di Ca’ Pesaro completamente ripensato nelle sue linee guida da Gabriella Belli, grazie anche all’arrivo di circa 90 opere della preziosa Collezione di Francesco e Chiara Carraro, ottenuta in deposito a lungo termine dai Musei veneziani.
Saranno circa 60 le opere delle collezioni civiche che usciranno dai depositi per essere esposte nelle monumentali sale della Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna di Venezia nel nuovo percorso, che dedicherà un’intera sala ai “Ribelli di Ca’Pesaro” e ricomporrà uno spazio destinato a Klimt mettendo in dialogo la Giuditta II anche con opere su carta di particolare importanza, da Ensor a Munch, da Odilon Redon a Felicien Rops.
Due stanze di grande suggestione saranno occupate dai capolavori in vetro e dai magnifici dipinti della Collezione Carraro: Antonio Donghi, Giorgio Morandi, Giorgio de Chirico, Arturo Martini e altri importanti protagonisti del Novecento italiano, dialogheranno come nella casa del collezionista, con un nucleo preziosissimo di vetri del XX secolo, da Bellotto a Zecchini, da Scarpa a Venini.
A seguire, alcune sale dedicate alla figurazione novecentista, quella meno retorica, legata al clima del realismo magico di Casorati, de Chirico, Carrà, Martini. Un focus dedicato alle presenze internazionali nella collezione del museo vedrà ruotare attorno ai capolavori di Calder e di Kandinsky, opere di Klee, Picasso, Matisse, Beckmann, preziosi capolavori su carta, alcuni esposti per la prima volta, testimonianza della lungimiranza collezionistica della Città di Venezia e dei molti notabili che, almeno fino ai primi anni Sessanta, contribuirono allo sviluppo delle collezioni d’arte contemporanea della Città.
Una sala dedicata ai tre massimi Maestri del secondo ‘900 italiano, Burri, Afro e Fontana, chiuderà il percorso permanente con opere date generosamente in prestito dalle Fondazioni di riferimento di questi autori, che saranno presentati nella peculiarità dei loro anni emergenti, quegli anni Sessanta che li videro protagonisti della trasformazione dell’arte italiana del secondo dopoguerra, con uno slancio creativo di forse irripetibile originalità.
Al piano superiore, invece, a conferma del ruolo e del prestigio conquistato a livello nazionale e internazionale da Ca’ Pesaro e dai musei veneziani, il pubblico potrà ammirare un approfondimento sull’Arte Povera con opere della Collezione di Ileana Sonnabendarricchite da alcuni capolavori di recente giunti a Venezia, affiancati ad una selezione di autori americani degli anni Ottanta e Novanta, scelti tra i 23 dipinti della recente donazione Panza di Biumo.
Continueranno nel corso del 2017 gli interventi di valorizzazione degli spazi espositivi del Museo Correr. Da un lato, prenderanno avvio ex novo i lavori di restauro dell’area mostre temporanee al secondo piano: un progetto totalmente sponsorizzato da privati che prevede non solo nuove tecnologie di climatizzazione e illuminazione, ma anche la realizzazione di un ascensore, che collegherà il primo con il secondo piano.
Dall’altro, grazie al Comitato Francese per la Salvaguardia di Venezia, che da oltre 17 anni collabora con la Fondazione per il recupero di Palazzo Reale, si completerà l’opera di restauro delle 24 Sale, fronte bacino.
L’insieme delle stanze costituirà un percorso unico insieme alle sale del Museo Correr, tra loro collegate da una circolarità da decenni auspicata, resa possibile grazie al recupero della Sala Papadopoli: in queste sale, e negli annessi studioli, troverà spazio il Museo dell’Ottocento, nel quale verrà ripristinato un percorso museografico dedicato alla storia del Risorgimento veneziano, mentre sul fronte Piazza San Marco tornerà fruibile il lascito Morosini.
Anche a Palazzo Ducale, simbolo della Storia della Serenissima, si completeranno grazie anche all’aiuto di sponsor privati e con la guida di Pierluigi Pizzi, i lavori per dotare di una nuova illuminazione la Sala del Maggior Consiglio; saranno inoltre riaperte in tutta la loro eccezionale ricchezza le sale dell’armeria, di cui era stato avviato l’anno scorso il restauro, e dopo decenni in cui erano state interdette al pubblico, perché utilizzate come magazzini o depositi, la Quarantia Civil Vecchia e la Quarantia Civil Nova verranno sottratte all’oblio e riaperte nella loro originale bellezza, restaurate e dotate di una nuova illuminazione.
Infine, mentre proseguono i restauri di singole opere o di porzioni di edifici, grazie alle collaborazioni con partner privati, e continua l’impegno della Fondazione per l’archiviazione e inventariazione delle sue collezioni, tra la fine del 2017 e l’inizio del 2018 vedranno la luce alcune pubblicazioni come il catalogo generale della Pittura del Sei-Settecento, il volume dedicato alla Collezione di Pittura di Ca’Pesaro e il catalogo generale delle Maioliche.


In campo espositivo non si possono non sottolineare per il 2017 il numero e la qualità degli eventi proposti, frutto di collaborazioni scientifiche di altissimo livello e di partnership con istituzioni internazionali di prestigio: il Museum of Fine Arts di Boston; la Phillips Collection di Washington, la Royal Academy di Londra, il LACMA di Los Angeles, il Guggenheim di Bilbao, il Museo Nazionale di Stoccolma, ma anche musei italiani come le Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia, gli Uffizi, il Polo Museale Regionale del Veneto, la Fondazione Fontana, la Fondazione Burri, l’Archivio Afro e molte altre istituzioni.

Nell’anno della Biennale d’Arte di Venezia si rinnova l’appuntamento con “MUVE Contemporaneo”, il programma di progetti e mostre, dedicate alla contemporaneità con eventi che coinvolgono la maggior parte dei Musei civici.

È Il segnale di un ruolo di primo piano della Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia nella complessa riflessione sui linguaggi più attuali dell’arte, in una città che ha fatto della ricerca contemporanea una delle principali chiavi d’innovazione e sviluppo.

A inaugurare la rassegna “Muve Contemporaneo” sarà la terraferma, dove, al Centro Culturale Candiani, dal 14 Aprile prenderà il via il secondo appuntamento del progetto “Corto Circuito. Dialogo tra le arti” pensato appositamente per la sede di MUVE Mestre. Grazie alla straordinaria collaborazione della Scuola Grande di San Rocco, che in via del tutto eccezionale ha deciso di supportare questa singolare iniziativa d’arte contemporanea con il prestito del capolavoro di Tiziano, L’Annunciazione, si aprirà un serrato confronto tra due giganti della storia dell’arte italiana, Tiziano appunto e Lucio Fontana.

“Attorno a Tiziano. L’annuncio e la luce verso il contemporaneo. Garofalo, Canova, Fontana, Dan Flavin”, è il titolo di questo secondo appuntamento mestrino, curato da Gabriella Belli e Luca Massimo Barbero. I due maestri saranno messi tra loro in dialogo sul tema dell’Annunciazione, soggetto di grande interesse non solo nella storia dell’iconografia antica ma anche per la sua concettualizzazione contemporanea. Arricchiranno il racconto di questo singolare percorso dall’Annuncio dell’Arcangelo Gabriele all’epifania della luce di Fontana, capolavori assoluti delle collezioni veneziane e non, capaci di tessere dialoghi tra passato e presente ma soprattutto cortocircuiti visivi ed emozionali.

L’appuntamento successivo per la terraferma sarà il 1 luglio, con altri grandi dell’arte mondiale riuniti nella mostra “Attorno alla Pop Art nella Sonnabend Collection. Da Johns e Rauschenberg a Warhol e Lichtenstein, fino a Koons”, curata da Antonio Homem su progetto di Gabriella Belli e realizzata in collaborazione con la Sonnabend Collection Foundation.

La mostra ripercorrerà, attraverso un nucleo di oltre quaranta capolavori appartenenti alla prestigiosa collezione americana - dal 2012 in deposito a lungo termine a Ca’ Pesaro - gli straordinari anni Sessanta, in cui oltreoceano si affermava un nuovo modo di concepire l’opera d’arte, che si misurava con la nascente cultura di massa e i nuovi media. A Mestre, opere iconiche dei più importanti protagonisti della Pop Art.

Dal 13 maggio - in contemporanea con l'avvio della 57° Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte - si apriranno al pubblico molti eventi espositivi che arricchiranno i percorsi del “fuori Biennale”.
A Palazzo Fortuny, nell’affascinante museo, che fu la casa-atelier del grande artista e designer spagnolo, vi sarà l’attesissima mostra “Intuition” curata da Axel Vervoordt e Daniela Ferretti: ultima nata di una serie di esposizioni realizzate dai Musei Civici con la Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation; al Museo Correr invece “La casa dei miei occhi” (The Home of My Eyes) dell’iraniana Shirin Neshat a cura da Thomas Kellein, un evento supportato da The Written Foundation, presenterà un ciclo di 55 fotografie in gelatina d’argento realizzate nel 2015 e mai esposte in Europa: un intenso affresco di varia umanità, persone diverse per etnia, lingua, religione, età e cultura che riescono a convivere.

Altro nome di spicco nel panorama artistico internazionale è quello di Gaetano Pesce, scultore architetto e designer, protagonista al Museo del Vetro di Murano di una eccezionale mostra dedicata ai suoi originalissimi lavori in vetro, testimonianza della sua incessante ricerca sulle nuove tecniche di lavorazione di questo materiale sorprendente.

Sempre al Museo muranese, interessante focus a cura di Chiara Squarcina per ricordare - grazie alla collezione di Lutz Holz - il veneziano Corrado “Dino” Martens. Pittore e designer (1894-1970), trasferitosi da Milano a Murano negli anni Venti, prima a fianco della SALIR (Studio Ars et Labor Industrie Riunite) e della Salviati & C. e dal 1939, per quasi 25 anni, direttore artistico della Vetreria Aureliano Toso.

Marzia Migliora è presente a Ca’Rezzonico, con la mostra “Velme” - microcosmi di “relazioni tra acqua e terra, simbolo di qualcosa di sommerso che non deve smettere di emergere” - curata da Beatrice Merz e realizzata in collaborazione con la Fondazione Merz: un progetto site-specific in dialogo con alcune opere della collezione del Museo del Settecento veneziano, come il Mondo Novo di Giandomenico Tiepolo e alcuni celeberrimi dipinti di Longhi. Il progetto è coordinato da Elisabetta Barisoni e Alberto Craievich.

Quindi, Douglas Gordon alle prigioni di Palazzo Ducale, con un progetto di video-arte a cura di Mario Codognato, co-prodotto con The Venetian Heritage, The British Council e Canon; Maria Bissacco - con la creatività e la modernità dei suoi merletti a fusello – al Museo del Merletto e, a Palazzo Mocenigo in collaborazione con il Museo Nazionale di Stoccolma, la mostra “Trasformation”: sei giovani artisti svedesi che creano le loro opere-gioiello con materiali “poveri”, come polvere di alluminio, crini di cavallo o pelle di pesce.
Infine Roger de Montebello, artista franco-americano dal ’92 a Venezia, espone con la curatela di Jean Clair al Museo Correr una serie di opere che sono un po’ il filo conduttore della sua originale ricerca, ritratti di persone, corride e quasi metafisici ritratti di Venezia.

Punto di forza del programma è l’eccezionale presenza a Ca’Pesaro di David Hockney - tra i più noti e affermati artisti contemporanei - dal 24 giugno nelle sale del museo di San Stae con i suoi “82 ritratti e una natura morta”: una mostra organizzata dalla Royal Academy of Arts di Londra in collaborazione con Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia e con il sostegno di Crédit Agricole FriulAdria. La direzione scientifica è di Gabriella Belli e la curatela di Edith Devaney.

I progetti di “MUVE Contemporaneo” proseguono lungo tutto il periodo della Biennale. A luglio a Ca’ Rezzonico inaugurerà la mostra “Ritratto/Copia”, che propone le riflessioni sulla città e i suoi visitatori di 4 giovani artisti tedeschi, ospitati dal Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani - e in autunno, al Museo del Vetro di Murano, si aprirà la mostra Rosslynd Piggott. Garden Fracture / Mirror in Vapour e, sempre in isola, un progetto del filandese Markku Piri, che presenterà opere realizzate dai maestri vetrai muranesi, tra cui un’installazione di perle giganti lunga 5 metri.

Nel corso dell’anno la Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia non ha voluto dimenticare la valorizzazione identitaria dei siti e del patrimonio, anche attraverso le mostre, con Cabinet of Curiosities. La collezione Drom a Palazzo Mocenigo (dal 28 aprile) e con la presentazione della straordinaria collezione di perle del Museo del Vetro di Murano a seguito del primo studio scientifco della raccolta - forse la più grande esistente al mondo - curato da Augusto Panini: Il mondo in una perla (dal 15 dicembre).
L’ultimo grande appuntamento internazionale dell’anno 2017 sarà però nel mese di settembre con la stupefacente bellezza delle favolose gemme d’India appartenenti alla Collezione di Sua Altezza Reale Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, della famiglia reale del Qatar, esposte per la prima volta in Italia nel magico scenario di Palazzo Ducale, dal 9 settembre fino al 7 gennaio 2018.
“Dai Gran Moghul ai Mahraja. Tesori dalla Collezione Al Thani”: 181 gioielli eccezionali selezionati dai curatori Amin Jaffer e Giancarlo Calza - tra cui The Idol’s Eye, il più grande diamante blu del mondo - testimoniano l’antica passione dei Sovrani dell’India per le gemme preziose, diamanti, zaffiri e rubini, lavorati con talento ineguagliabile da abili gioielleri e designers, che hanno fatto di questa mirabile arte una delle più rare e preziose espressioni della genialità creativa dell’homo faber.

Prima l’impero Moghul nel XVI secolo e poi i Maharaja sotto il Raj britannico, in collaborazione con le più celebri maison di gioielli d’Europa, svilupparono e diedero continuità a quella favolosa tradizione: una storia di cultura, design e bellezza lunga più di quattro secoli.

Alighiero Boetti: Minimum/Maximum

Alighiero Boetti: Minimum/Maximum

Curated by Luca Massimo Barbero
with a special project by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Agata Boetti
The exhibition celebrates the genius of the Italian artist with over 20 spectacular works, selected for the very first time according to their size in order to compare the “minimum” and “maximum” examples of Boetti’s most significant series of works. This new way of looking at Boetti’s work provides fresh insight into the artist’s creative process. 

Curated by Luca Massimo Barbero with the Alighiero Boetti Archive, the exhibition also presents a special project developed by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Agata Boetti around Boetti’s work on photocopies, entitled COLOUR = REALITY. B+W = ABSTRACTION (except zebras).
Twenty-two years after the posthumous homage to Boetti curated by Germano Celant at the 2001 Venice Biennalethe Fondazione Giorgio Cini hosts an unprecedented journey through the work of Alighiero Boetti (1940-94), one of Italy’s most prominent and influential artists.Alighiero Boetti: Minimum/Maximum, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, director of the Istituto di Storia dell’Arte della Fondazione Giorgio Cini, with the collaboration of theArchivio Alighiero Boetti, presents an original juxtaposition between the minimum and maximum formats of the artist’s most iconic cycles of works in order to explore Boetti’s artistic process and iconography. From one to many, micro to macro, and private to public, ‘Mimimum/Maximum’ explores the Boetti’s dialectical approach to art and examines the radically conceptual role of an artist who liked to define himself as a ‘creator of rules’.

‘This exhibition is not a retrospective but rather presents visitors with an unprecedented series of comparisons, inspired by the gathering of large-scale works by Boetti from public and private collections,’ explains Luca Massimo Barbero. ‘It is an organic project that was specially conceived for Venice at a time in which the role of Boetti as one of the major exponents of Italian art is being increasingly recognised internationally.’.

The exhibition is organised by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in collaboration with Tornabuoni Art. Its highlights include major loans from important private and public collections. Among these are the monumental watercolour triptych Aerei (1989) from the Fondation Carmignac,Mimetico (camouflage) (1967) from the Fondazione Prada and Lavoro Postale (permutazione)(postal work (permutation)) (1972) from the Stedelijk Museum, as well as loans from the Boetti family.

Divided into 11 sections with over 20 artworks, the exhibition contains Boetti’s most iconic cycles of works – Ricami (embroideries), Aerei (planes), Mappe (maps), Tutto (everything) and  Biro (works made with a ballpoint pen) – as well as some less famous works such as theBollini colorati (coloured stickers), Storia Naturale della Moltiplicazione (natural history of multiplication) and the Copertine (magazine covers). It is also an opportunity to showworks that are largely unknown to the greater public, such as the large-scale work with coloured stickers Estate 70 (1970) – on loan for this event from the artist’s family – and Titoli(1978), one of the largest formats from the rare series of monochrome embroideries.

The theme of the format is crucial to understanding the way Boetti conceived and realised his works, and is directly connected to the concept of time: like in Estate 70, a monumental work that opens the exhibition – a twenty-metre roll of paper, onto which Boetti applied thousands of colourful stickers. This work is unique, not only in its dimensions, but also because it introduces in a powerful way how the notion of time is an essential element of Boetti’s work. For him, the process and time that it takes to make the artwork is part of its beauty. The smaller works complement the meaning of the larger works in a dialectical opposition that is characteristic of Boetti’s creative process.

The exhibition unfolds through focused comparisons between small and large, minimum and maximum, with works like Storia Naturale della MoltiplicazioneMettere al mondo il mondo (to bring the world into the world) and Alternando da uno a cento e viceversa (alternating from one to one hundred and vice versa) – allowing the viewer to experience within a single space works from different phases of the artist’s career.

The exhibition also includes a screening of Niente da vedere Niente da nascondere (nothing to see, nothing to hide), a documentary made by Emidio Greco in 1978 on the occasion of the Boetti retrospective at the Kunsthalle in Basel. The film alternates between images of the Swiss exhibition and scenes of Boetti’s Roman studio and provides viewers with a way into the works on show through Boetti’s own words.

The exhibition then continues with the famous Mappe (maps) and with the Tutto (everything) – ‘a panoply of Boetti’s themes and images’ – explains Barbero – that introduces the seminal theme of the deferred realisation of the artwork, of travel and the nomadic aspect of art, in turn connected to the idea of time. This concept is most evident in the embroideries, which were begun by Boetti and his assistants in Rome, to then be sent to Kabul and later Peshawar in Pakistan following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. There, artisans from families of Afghan refugees embroidered them with colours of their own choosing according to the rules set by Boetti. The works were then returned to Rome, where the artist saw them completed for the first time. These and many other episodes in Boetti’s career reveal his philosophy that he as an artist creates the rules of the game and invites others to play it; that the act of creation involves a dialectical tension between control and chance, between the conceptual and the physical.

The section of the exhibition dedicated to these juxtapositions ends with the monumentalCopertine (magazine covers), a 1984 work that speaks of media obsession and of the transmission, reproduction and reuse of images, implicitly questioning the truth of media images. This work leads into the special project by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director for the Serpentine Gallery in London, and Agata Boetti, daughter of the artist and Director of the Archivio Alighiero Boetti. The project is a further example of Boetti’s essentially dialectic way of thinking as it revolves around the theme of photocopies.

‘Already in 1969 in Turin, I used to go to the Rank Xerox showroom with coins in my pocket and so many ideas. – said Boetti in 1991 – I used to say that the photocopier is not only a machine for the office – in the year 2000 everyone will have one in their living room! Give me one and I will document for you some of its creative applications. I didn't mean manipulating its mechanism or the ink like some have done from Munari onwards. No, I was interested in the standard application. But for example I would have put it on the balcony when it starts to rain, one drop, ten drops, a thousand drops...’

COLOUR=REALITY. B+W=ABSTRACTION (except zebras) explores Boetti’s “creative applications” by showing together for the first time a group of works made with a copy machine in various moments of the artist’s career and which, according to Obrist, bear witness to Boetti’s passion for communication technologies (like the polaroid or the use of fax – introduced in the 1980s – which is a synthesis of post and photocopy) and invite viewers to imagine the creative uses which Boetti would have found for our current means of communication and reproduction of images:

‘By showing these works in an installation, as we are doing with the 1665 photocopies at the Fondazione Cini, we will show the public that Boetti was like an analogue version of the Internet,’ says Obrist, whose encounters with Boetti as a student inspired his curatorial practice. ‘He was like a search engine. He anticipated Google with analogue means.’

At the centre of the room dedicated to photocopies, visitors will be invited to use a real photocopier by following rules specially created by Mexican artist Mario Garcia Torres as an homage to Alighiero Boetti.

Alighiero Boetti: Minimum/Maximum curated by Luca Massimo Barbero and the special projectCOLOUR = REALITY. B+W = ABSTRACTION (except zebras), curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Agata Boetti, will each be accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, published by Forma Edizioni, Florence.
Exhibition information:

Title: Alighiero Boetti: Minimun/Maximum with the special project COLOUR = REALITY. B+W = ABSTRACTION (except zebras)
Production: Fondazione Giorgio Cini onlus and Tornabuoni Art
Curator: Luca Massimo Barbero, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Agata Boetti
Dates: 12 May - 12 July 2017
Opening Hours: 11 am – 7 pm, closed on Wednesdays
Location: Venice, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore
Tickets: free entry
Catalogues: Forma Edizioni, Florence


To coincide with the 57th Venice Biennale, the Palazzo Grimani Museum is staging Evocative Surfaces an installation of large-scale paintings by the artist Beverly Barkat. It features a site-specific series of painted PVC sheets produced especially for the spaces of the palazzo. Outset Contemporary Art Fund supports this exhibition.

‘Evocative Surfaces was inspired by the Palazzo Grimani and the energy within the building,’ says Barkat, who specifically chose the Palazzo Grimani for her painting project. ‘I want my pieces to do more than just hang in the Palazzo, I want to create a real dialogue between old and new, the architecture and my paintings.’

One of the only High Renaissance palazzos in Venice, this outstanding building was designed by some of the most influential architects of the period – Palladio, Serlio and Sansovino – and boasts an extraordinary decorative scheme and frescoes, including a nude by Giorgione.

‘The palazzo has a powerful painterly presence that I am responding to in my work – in particular, one of its treasures – a Giorgione fresco of a nude,’ says Barkat. ‘I have been working from the nude for many years in my studio in order to better understand the movement of line. At Palazzo Grimani line and colour, architecture and painting come together at every turn and complement each other, and my work responds to that.’

Barkat is installing her paintings throughout the palace’s various stanzas, allowing the space to reverberate with the incredible visual and iconographic richness of the Venetian patrician home, to underscore the importance of painting in the late Cinquecento. Viewed as ‘objects of entertainment’, paintings were an integral part of the overall decorative scheme, meant to evoke the grandeur of the Grimani house, as well as the Venetian Republic and its rulers through an Arcadian iconography.

In the palace’s main hall, Barkat is creating a site-specific installation in response to the interior architecture and the natural light that floods the space. It features 12 monumental paintings on semi-transparent PVC sheets, hung from the wooden beams of the ceiling and reaching to the floor. These sail-like works waft gently with the breeze from the windows and the movement of viewers as they walk around the paintings.

Hung near the windows, the sheets are painted on both sides and present an overlay of images that interacts with the space and its light. Each side of the sheet contains a distinct painterly unity while at the same time echoing the reverse side. The overlapping layers of abstract painted gestures combine into imagery that recalls the pastoral landscapes of the palazzo interiors. The duality of the painting surface, together with the natural light flowing through it, evoke ideas of transparency, mirroring and fluidity that engage with the Venetian context and create a contemplative space.

Daniele Ferrara, the Director of the Palazzo Grimani Museum and the Polo Museale del Veneto, has commented: Barkat melts the historic into the contemporary… Like the Renaissance artists, like the patron Giovanni Grimani himself, Barkat immerses herself in the architectural context of the palazzo, urging the use of new materials and exploring the potential and the energy inherent in this architectural space. For me the most important contribution Barkat has made is in rereading the space with her painting. Her work inspires many possible developments; it is far from dogmas, as open to reality as to imagination and dreams.

Barkat's painterly practice is rooted in an ongoing dialogue with art history, while her interest in transparency and the luminosity of colour can also be traced back to her early work in glassmaking. Her foundations in both glassmaking and in painting enable Barkat to consider her paintings in three dimensions, to shift her subject matter into a subliminal world and abstract imagery. Interested in the interplay of color, line, form and texture, she creates richly layered work in dynamic compositions that are at once energetic and lyrical.

For the exhibition at Palazzo Grimani, Barkat has begun working on a large scale, using painterly gestures that recall action painting. The PVC support is placed on the floor as the artist physically leans on top of it to apply her fluid brushstrokes, constantly moving and changing her position in relation to it in a spontaneous and intuitive flow.

Beverly Barkat’s solo project Evocative Surfaces widens her ongoing preoccupation with the intersection of old and new that speaks pertinently today. Following Christine Macel's curatorial statement for the upcoming Biennale, this exhibition aims to foreground the work and practice of a single visual artist. A room in the Palazzo Grimani will be dedicated to a reconstruction of the artist’s Jerusalem studio, providing a glimpse into her daily practice and her continuing research of colour, form and texture. The exhibition also features an installation of paintings around the entrance to the palazzo and a video documentation of her at work in her studio, as well as live talks open to the public.

Palazzo Grimani in Campo Santa Maria Formosa was re-opened in 2008, after being closed for many decades. It is unique in Venetian history and architecture in its High Renaissance style. At the beginning of the 16th century, Antonio Grimani, a future doge, gave his sons the family house at Santa Maria Formosa. Later, on the advice of celebrated architects such as Sebastiano Serlio, Jacopo Sansovino and Andrea Palladio, Antonio’s grandsons – Vettore and Giovanni – transformed the building into a grand Renaissance palazzo. Its entry courtyard sets the tone with arcades on all four sides and is the only Renaissance courtyard in a Venetian Palazzo.

The Grimani pursued a distinctive art policy in comparison with the mainstream in the Venetian Republic at the time by introducing a language that reflected the Renaissance tastes and Mannerism of central Italy. The palazzo housed Giovanni Grimani’s archaeological collection, one of the finest of the time, which was strikingly displayed on specially designed shelves, mantelpieces and plinths in settings such as the Tribuna and the courtyard.

The decoration of the rooms is exceptional, with outstanding stuccowork and frescoes reflecting the confidently unconventional taste of the Grimanis. The decorative scheme for the palace, commissioned by Giovanni Grimani, is a kind of homage to the Mannerist culture of central Italy and alludes to the pomp of ancient Rome. Highlights include the Sala a fogliami (Foliage Room’) with frescoes painted by Camilio Mantovano in the 1560s to forma a botanic garden. Arguably the most spectacular room in the palace is the Tribuna, conceived as a treasury for the ancient sculptures that once stood in the niches and on the shelves lining the walls. Some of these works are now in the Venice Archaeological Museum, while others were removed at the end of the family's centuries-old history.

Beverly Barkat was born in 1966 (Johannesburg, South Africa) and moved to Israel in 1976. She grew up with parents who were themselves artists and was surrounded by art. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, to then work with clay, metal and glass, and finally she studied oil painting and drawing at Israel Hershberg’s Master Class at the Jerusalem Studio School.

Intensely interested in experimenting with new materials and wanting to discover the potential and power of architectural space, Barkat submerged herself in architectural projects. These included the building and renovation of communal spaces, private homes and libraries in elementary schools with the intention of improving the educational climate.

In 2009 Barkat opened her own studio in Jerusalem, where she has continued to develop her own language in art. She has been exploring drawing and painting with mixed media on paper, self-stretched canvasses and PVC, while incorporating the skills and techniques acquired from the various art disciplines in which she specialises.

Beverly Barkat has held critically acclaimed exhibitions in Israel and the Far East, while her works have been shown in galleries and art fairs across the globe.

Sally Haftel Naveh was born in 1969 (Colombia, South America). She earned her Bachelor and Master degrees in art history from Tel Aviv University, and studied performing arts at Yoram Levinstein Performing Art School in Tel Aviv and at Lee Strasberg Institute in New York.

Since 2008 she has been an independent curator, curating exhibitions in alternative art spaces as well as in public spaces, among which the exhibition Disruptions and Caution, Expansion! held as part of the Tel Aviv annual art festival Loving Art, Making Art. From 2010 to 2013 she served as a director and curator to Tel Aviv's Municipality Art Gallery Kay 16 – Community Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Since 2010 Haftel Naveh has curated many solo and group exhibitions held at, among others, the Tel Aviv Museum (8 Cube Museum Space); the Rockefeller Museum for Archeology, Israel Museum, Jerusalem (Re: Visiting Rockefeller); the L.A. Mayer Islamic Museum of Art, Jerusalem (Orient Express); the Herzliya Museum for Contemporary Art (Tie Break); the Meet Factory, Prague (Objectonomy: The Economy of the Object); the Jerusalem Artists' House (The Sensitive Plant); the Art Cube Artists' Studios, Jerusalem (Welfare of the Monarchy); she was also a co-curator of Traces VI, the 6th Drawing Biennale in Jerusalem Artists' House.

Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Outset and the
Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo present
at Museo di Palazzo Grimani

13 MAY TO 26 NOVEMBER 2017
10:00 to 18:00
Closed on Mondays

Opening hours during Vernissage days of the Venice Biennale 
10 to 12 May 2017
10:00 to 18:00

Santa Maria Formosa, Ramo Grimani

mercoledì 29 marzo 2017

On Kawara cercasi volontari!

Installation view, On Kawara: One Million Years, David Zwirner, New York, 2009
 Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London. Photo: Cathy Carver. 

Ikon is presenting On Kawara’s One Million Years at Venice Biennale this year.  For those familiar with the city the venue the artwork will be housed in Oratorio di San Ludovico, Dorsoduro, an old ecclesiastic building dedicated to spoken word.
One Million Years is an ongoing artwork by renowned Japanese artist On Kawara.  It involves two readers at a time (one male, one female) to count consecutive yearly dates up and down for 60-120 minutes.  Due to the nature of the piece, Ikon is currently looking for volunteers who will be in Venice between 9 May and 30 July 2017 to perform as readers in the work.  You will need to be available to read for 60 – 120 minutes.
The reading will be in English, but you do not have to be a native speaker.  In fact, beautiful Italian accents are desirable!
For more information on how to get involved, please email Elisa Genna  at:

lunedì 27 marzo 2017


HyperPavilion, a large scale exhibition produced by Fabulous Inc and curated by Philippe Riss-Schmidt is scheduled to open this year during the 57th Venice Biennale in Arsenale Nord. HyperPavilion focuses on an international roster of artists, whose common objectives question, challenge and respond to a furthering digital transition.

 Presented on technology including: large scale projections; a 360° immersive cinema; a hologram theatre; multi-screen installations and hybrids artworks. All of which accumulate to present a spectacular post-techo-human immersion. “The exhibition will display newly commissioned artworks: a dynamic selection, that address the consequences of art after the arrival of the digital, as well as investigating the new ways to exhibit these outcomes.”

venerdì 24 marzo 2017

Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa) receives the Future Generation Art Prize 2017

Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa) receives the Future Generation Art Prize 2017 

Phoebe Boswell (Kenya / United Kingdom) receives Special Prize 

Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa) is the recipient of the Future Generation Art Prize 2017, the fourth edition of the first ever global art prize for artists under 35, founded by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. The winner was announced by the international jury at the award ceremony in the PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine on March 16. Dineo Seshee Bopape received a total of 100,000 USD: 60,000 USD as a cash award, and 40,000 USD towards the production of a new work.
An additional 20,000 USD was allocated to fund artist-in-residency programmes for the Special Prize winner Phoebe Boswell (Kenya / United Kingdom). 
The winners were chosen by a distinguished international jury consisting of Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator, Public Art Fund, New York; Iwona Blazwick, Director, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Björn Geldhof, Artistic Director, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev and YARAT, Baku; Mami Kataoka, Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and Curator, 21st Biennale of Sydney 2018; Koyo Kouoh, Founding Artistic Director, Raw Material Company, Dakar; Jochen Volz, curator of the 32nd São Paulo Biennial and General director of Pinacoteca, São Paulo, Brazil; Jérôme Sans, Co-Founder, Palais de Tokyo Paris and Artistic Director, Perfect Crossovers, Paris-Beijing.

Addressing the young artists Victor Pinchuk, founder of the Future Generation Art Prize said: “Contemporary art is the space of freedom. It lets you be free. It even forces you to open up. This is so important. People in many countries are afraid. Politicians use this. Nations speak the language of threats. Contemporary art is the antidote. I am really proud to be together with the 21 most energetic young artists here today and we can confirm that Ukraine is still a very modern country, a hub for contemporary art in the world. Together we create this energy of freedom here in Ukraine for the world.”
The shortlisted artists and winners will take part in the Future Generation Art Prize@Venice group exhibition organised by the PinchukArtCentre as a Collateral Event of the 2017 Venice Biennale. As the winner of the Future Generation Art Prize 2017, Dineo Seshee Bopape will present her solo show at the PinchukArtCentre in Kiev, in 2018.  

Introducing Dineo Seshee Bopape, the winner of the Future Generation Art Prize 2017, the jury stated: “An earth sculpture made of rich black local soil acts as a platform for objects, organic forms and geological fragments that represent actions and symbols. The artist creates ceramic hand casts that express gestures of labor and of protest. Her arrangements of minerals, stones and gold leaf suggest forms of extraction. The work is a metaphor for the land and for landlessness; for wealth and poverty; for new life and mourning. Burnt herbs and crystals act as agents of healing for a young artist who lives and works in Post-Apartheid South Africa. In recognition of her formal innovation and political symbolism, we are delighted to award the 2017 Future Generation Art Prize to Dineo Seshee Bopape.”

Commenting on works by the Special Prize winner Phoebe Boswell the jury said: “In this exhibition we encounter a corridor of virtuoso life drawings, female figures, animated on an epic scale. These naked yet heroic protagonists have stories to tell and they are activated by our presence—we are also invited to contribute our own thoughts and statements. In recognition of the immersive and emotionally charged power of the installation titled Mutumia, a special prize is awarded to Phoebe Boswell.”
The exhibition of the 21 shortlisted artists for the fourth edition of the Future Generation Art Prize is on show at the PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine until April 16. The Future Generation Art Prize 2017 exhibition is curated by Anna Smolak.