Monday, February 3, 2014

Three Powerhouse Art Exhibits open in Venice

Sebastião Salgado
Penisola Antartica, 2005; © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images
(Venice, Italy) Three major exhibitions opened nearly simultaneously in this soggy city. The wet weather did not stop the crowds from donning their high-water boots and toting their umbrellas to attend the openings of Genesis. Photographs by Sebastião Salgado at the Casa dei Tre Oci, THEMES & VARIATIONS. THE EMPIRE OF LIGHT at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Giuseppe Panza di Biumo. American Dialogues at Ca' Pesaro. 

Sebastião Salgado
Brasile, 2009 - © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images
The Brazilian photographer, Sebastião Salgado, has the heart of a poet who loves and respects Mother Nature, and She allows him to get close enough to capture Her soul. Sebastião and his wife, Lelia Wanick Salgado, who curates, travel the globe documenting the purity and power of Nature in black and white. Over 200 photos illustrate Nature in action -- icebergs in Antarctica; jungles in the Congo, New Guinea, Indonesia and the Amazon; the haunted beauty of the African and United State deserts, the frigid beauty of the mountains of Chile and Siberia, and the indigenous people on this Earth who still run around naked, living in harmony with Mother Nature to this very day.

Sebastião Salado
Isole South Sandwich, 2009 - © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images
The photos of Salado's GENESIS fill three floors of Casa dei Tre Oci with joyfulness and awe, and remind us how utterly powerful the force of Mother Nature is, and that She has a rollicking sense of humor. As long as penguins are still lining up to slide down a glacier and plunge into the sea... WEEE!!!! you know the planet is okay. Sebastião Salado looks straight into the eyes of Nature without blinking.

Genesis. Photographs by Sebastião Salgado
Casa dei Tre Oci
February 1 to May 11, 2014
http://www.treoci.org/


René Magritte
Empire of Light
(L’Empire des lumières)
1953–54
Oil on canvas, 195.4 x 131.2 cm
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
© René Magritte, by SIAE 2014
This the the fourth time curator Luca Massimo Barbera has dipped into the Peggy Collection Collection to present some of the most important works in a fresh and dynamic way. Themes & Variations. The Empire of Light combines art from Peggy Guggenheim’s museum, other works from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and a number of loans, with Magritte's Empire of Light as the protagonist of the show. Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, and Lucio Fontana are there; Salvidor Dali is there; Jackson Pollack is there -- there is even a video clip where he talks about his process. 


Philippe Halsman
Salvador Dalí's "Leopard Skull"
1951
Modern giclée print, 35 x 27 cm
Philippe Halsman / Magnum Photos
The museum's works are displayed with paintings and sculptures designed to shake up dusty labels and categories. Viewers are challenged "to look beyond the customary categories of the 20th century avant-garde, culminating in contemporary work by Gabriele Basilico, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Anish Kapoor, Thomas Ruff, Kiki Smith, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Piotr Uklański."


Piotr Uklański
Untitled (Skull)
2000
Platinum print, 35.5 cm x 27.9 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London
The final section of the exhibition is a tribute to Italian art by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and specifically to Fausto Melotti (1901-1986), who titled several of his sculptures Theme and Variations.

Il genio è un uomo civile che, dopo aver messo in ordine il passato, inventa l'avvenire. The genius is a civilized man who, after creating order of the past, invents the future. ---Fausto Melotti  



Themes & Variations. The Empire of Light
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
February 1 to April 14, 2014


Robert Rauschenberg
Kickback, 1959
Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Panza Collection, inv. 87.17
© Robert Rauschenberg/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY, photo credit Brian Forrest
Giuseppe Panza di Biumo was an Italian who collected art by major post-war American painters, as well as Europeans. He was one of the first to sense the value and novelty of conceptual art -- "for the first time, philosophy has an image..." -- and, according to the press notes, "always acted as an accomplished talent scout moved by the need to discover and a boundless curiosity to know." When no one was interested in Rauschenberg, Panza bought the Kickback "because it contained an atmosphere full of emotions, a depiction of reality completely transfigured by memory and passion, episodes of the moment..."


Franz Kline
Buttress, 1956
Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Panza Collection
photo credit Brian Forrest
Italy allowed the collection to slip away in 1983 when the Piedmont Region turned down the offer to buy 80 works at a discounted price on the condition that they remain in Italy -- they were subsequently bought by the MoCA of Los Angeles. 

American Dialogues includes Panza's first Kline, Buttress, which he bought in 1956 for $550 US dollars, as well as some of the finest works by artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Mark Rothko, Dan Flavin, Hanne Darboven, Jan Dibbets, Joseph Kosuth, Richard Serra and many more. Approximately 40 works by 27 artists have been loaned to Venice from the Guggenheim Museum of New York and the MoCA of Los Angeles, as well as significant works from the family's private collection. 


Mark Rothko
Red and Brown, 1957
Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Panza Collection
© Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo credit Brian Forrest
The strangest thing about American Dialogues -- given the title -- is that except for the introduction, the entire exhibition is only in Italian, without a word of English -- unlike most other exhibitions put on by the Museo Civici. Curious. 

Giuseppe Panza Di Biumo
American Dialogues
Ca' Pesaro - International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice
Curated by Gabriella Belli and Elisabetta Barisoni
Layout by Daniela Ferretti
February 2 to May 4, 2014

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat

1 comment:

  1. Three major exhibitions opened nearly simultaneously in this soggy city. The wet weather did not stop the crowds from donning their high-water boots and toting their umbrellas to attend the openings of Genesis. Photographs by Sebastião Salgado at the Casa dei Tre Oci, THEMES & VARIATIONS. THE EMPIRE OF LIGHT at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Giuseppe Panza di Biumo. American Dialogues at Ca' Pesaro.

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